November 3, 2012
Travis Dean Darling, born Jan. 3, 1989, in Steamboat Springs, was killed instantly in a rollover accident when he was ejected from his truck just after midnight Oct. 28, 2012.
He is survived by his mother, Barb Lynn, and stepfather, Charlie Cammer, of Clark; his father and step-mother, Mark and Tammy Darling, of Morrison, Okla.; his brother, Jeremy Darling, of Boulder; his sister, Katie Darling Latham, of Savory, Wyo.; his brothers Kane and Chase Darling, of Montrose; his maternal grandmother, Mil Plant, of Summit County; and his paternal grandfather, George Darling and his wife, Marian, of Laramie, Wyo.
Growing up in Steamboat, Travis loved skiing and horses. As a skier, he had no concern for technique; he was focused on the fastest way down. Fear never was part of his reality.
Travis started wrestling in second grade with coach Atkinson. At Steamboat Springs High School, he played football as a freshman under coaches Harris and Drake. After the first quarter of his freshman year, he moved to Ignacio to be with his dad and gain from his dad's coaching, knowledge and experience in wrestling, rodeo and cutting. In Ignacio he played football for three years and went with the Bobcats to three state wrestling championships.
Travis' first cutting horse, Tom, whom he raised and trained beginning at age 9, won him three Colorado high school cutting horse championships. During the same period, he also rode saddle broncs and was part of teams representing Colorado at the National High School Rodeo Finals in cutting and saddle bronc throughout his high school career.
In summer 2009, at age 19, Travis won the Saddle Bronc Championship of the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series and the Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding Championship.
Travis attended Casper College in Casper, Wyo., on a full rodeo scholarship, and he earned associate degrees in ag business and animal science. Since then, he'd been on the road competing in PRCA rodeos throughout the Western U.S. and Canada. One of his goals was to compete at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Travis' last 83-point ride was in Abilene, Kan., at the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo on Aug. 4, 2012.
He spent the past year working as ranch manager for Mike Jones near Stillwell, Okla. On Oct. 21, 2012, Travis moved to Rockdale, Texas, for a new adventure. Travis' last week of life was spent doing what he loved: riding cutting horses from dawn until dusk at the Tiemenn Land and Cattle Co. with trainer Jonathan Rogers.
Travis got all he could out of every day. He would have wanted you all to continue to love and take care of the people in your lives and to be sure that you are always "ALL-IN" in your life.
A memorial account has been set up in Travis' name through the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (www.justincowboycrisisfund.com), and a scholarship fund will be set up in his name at Casper College.
A celebration of life will be held at high noon Nov. 4 at the University of Wyoming's Cliff and Martha Hansen Arena, 460 Wyoming Highway 230 (three miles west of Laramie).
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