Youngest King son continuing strong family rodeo tradition
NATCHEZ — Coming from a rodeo family, Davon King has big boots to fill.
But having several saddles to his name when he’s not even old enough to own a driver’s license is an early indication that King may be able to fill those boots with ease.
“At the age of 15, he’s already won three saddles,” said King’s father, Punchy King. “When (his brother) P.J. was 14, he only had one saddle. Davon’s gotten really good at a young age. It’s a family tradition, I reckon.”
Davon said he grew up watching his father and brother compete in rodeo events, and at the age of 4 he was already learning the ropes, so to speak, in rounding up cattle.
“It was hard,” Davon said of coming from a rodeo family. “I had to fill some big footsteps, and my dad and P.J. were both hard on me. I got angry at times, but it was all for the better.”
At the age of 10, Davon competed in premier rodeo events such as the Barry Burke Jr. Superstars and the Rising Star Junior Calf Roping rodeos. Davon recalled his first moments in the competitions and said he looked to his family for guidance as a rookie.
“It was really exciting, but I was really nervous,” Davon said. “My brother and dad came and talked to me, and they both told me to take a deep breath.”
More recently, Davon competed in the Adams County Sheriff’s Rodeo April 26 and 27, in which he won third place in calf roping. The finish surprised even Davon, who said he had doubts about his performance at first.
“I thought I wouldn’t win anything, but then I won (third),” Davon said. “I was going against the big boys — that’s a lot of competition.”
It took all of 12.2 seconds for Davon to rope the calf, tie him down and throw his hands in the air.
“It wasn’t that hard,” he said. “I prepared myself over the weeks leading up to (the event).”
That preparation came courtesy of the Kings’ arena behind their house. Punchy said having an arena has been a tremendous addition for this family, and it’s helped in raising his sons.
“When you have your own (arena), it helps you keep them at home and out of trouble,” Punchy said. “When they’re done, they’ll be tired and want to go to bed. That’s what’s helped me raise them.”
It’s also important for Davon to face the best competition possible in order to continue improving his skills in rodeo events.
“Practicing against better competition has helped him,” Punchy said. “The tougher the competition, the better you will apply yourself.”
In addition to three saddles, Davon said he’s had numerous first-place finishes, more than he can count.
“It feels good,” Davon said. “It lets you know you’re doing something right.”
In addition to rodeo events, Davon said he also likes to hunt and fish.
“It keeps me busy all year round,” Davon said.
And that’s perfect for his son, Punchy added.
“In the summertime, he’s roping, and in the winter, he’s hunting those squirrels,” Punchy said. “Those are good, clean sports.”