Waxahachie bull rider Maverick Potter, 19, surprised the field of competitors by capturing the top prize in bull riding at the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on Jan. 24.

The nationwide event was held at the newly opened Dickies Arena, a 14,000 seat, multipurpose venue located adjacent to the Will Rogers Memorial Center campus in "Cowtown," Fort Worth.

Dalton “Maverick” Potter lives in a rural section of Ellis County, just south of Lake Waxahachie. His main job these days is helping manage his family’s 109-acre Waxahachie property, better known as DMP Ranch, along with his parents (D.K. and Patta Potter) and siblings (Dylanger - 21, and Harley - 15). The family also owns a 470-acre ranch in Athens, Texas. Both properties are appropriated for cattle ranching, as well as some limited hunting land.

Potter said he started his rodeo career at age 9 with steer riding competitions, hoping to keep up the rodeo family tradition. “My dad and my uncle both were active rodeo cowboys in their younger years, so I naturally became interested in that sport as well," he said. "Dad was a bareback saddle bronc rider and also enjoyed bull-riding. My uncle, Russel Sheehan, loved sitting on the backs of those bulls, too!”

Potter says he was home-schooled because rodeo events were causing him to miss too many days of school. “I did not graduate from Waxahachie High School, but I did spend a lot of my teenage years training to be a professional bull rider," he said. "I did rodeo with Region 4, a high school sanctioned rodeo program in the area.”

In the past couple of years, he has won at the Xtreme Bulls Championship in Castle Rock, Colorado; the International Finals Youth Rodeo bull riding championship in Shawnee, Oklahoma; and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) bull riding championship in Huntsville, Texas.

His competing days were put on hold in October 2019, after he was injured during a bull ride.

After a couple of months of rehab, “I decided to compete in the Fort Worth Rodeo championships, and I luckily came out a winner last Friday night," Potter said. "After my two rides during the evening of Jan. 24, I accumulated the judges’ highest bull-riding score of 78 points, after riding on Rafter G Rodeo’s very solid bull named 'Frosty'. For the top prize, I took home the prize of $2,420.” Ruger Piva from Challis, Idaho, came in second with a score was 75.5 and $1,980 in winnings.

Today, Potter said he mainly competes in bull riding championships sponsored by PRCA. "At times I choose to travel to plain old bull riding venues all across America. Bull riding is just my thing in life!”