Rial Englehart is Dialed in on California Circuit with Collection of Wins in His Pocket
Rial Englehart's a legit rancher, California Circuit tie-down roper, and animal wrangler in the movies with titles like John Wick 4 on his resume.
Rial Englehart is gaining momentum on the California Circuit, currently sitting No. 6.
Rial Englehart is gaining momentum on the California Circuit, currently sitting No. 6. Photo by Fernando Sam-Sin

Rial Englehart has been picking up check after check at California Circuit rodeos in the last six weeks, including wins at the Rowel Ranch Rodeo in Hayward and Glennville Round-Up Rodeo in Glennville.

For the 27-year-old from Lakeview, Oregon, the momentum is the concrete evidence of tie-down roping ability he knew he and his horse had—and his goal to advancing to the California Circuit Finals is starting to take shape.

Currently, Englehart is sitting No. 6 in the California Circuit standings with $5,370 won.

Rial Engelhart’s 2024 win record:

  • Rowell Ranch Rodeo, May 18-19, 8.8 seconds, $1,827
  • Glennville Round-Up Rodeo, May 26, 11.3 seconds, $1,006
  • Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, May 30-June 2, 9.1 seconds, $1,238

Calfroping.com: What’s your background in tie-down roping?

RE: “My family owns a ranch so I’ve always been around roping, but I didn’t really start roping calves until I was in eighth grade, freshman in high school. What really got me into it was roping with Ryle Smith a lot in high school and college.”

How do you think your experience on the ranch helps you in the rodeo arena?

“I think the ranchwork definitely helps my roping—horsemanship especially. We’re horseback for anything with cattle and that not only helps my horses, but it helps me. It’s a cow-calf operation, and I still work some for my parents when I am not rodeoing. We winter the cattle in California and summer them in Oregon.”

In addition to circuit rodeoing and working on his families’ ranch, Englehart is also a wrangler for Hollywood. His most recent jobs include the television show “The Old Man” and movie “John Wick 4.”

Tell us about your Hayward win.

“Hayward was really fun. The winning time was 9-something, and I didn’t know the calf too well, but I went 8.8 seconds and they gave a watch as a prize. It wasn’t a usual prize, but pretty cool.”

Tell us about your sorrel horse.

“I’ve had him since he was 4. I got really lucky finding him, he’s turned out to be a really nice horse. He’s 14 or 15 now, and I call him ‘Vaquero.’ He can run, and then his style in his stop works perfectly for me. I’ve roped so much on him that we know each other. I use a hackamore on him—which, I don’t even know why I started doing that but he seems to work well in it so I never changed it.”

You mentioned wanting to make the circuit finals, what have the last few years looked like for you?

“My main goal this year was to get qualified for the circuit finals and go from there. Win as much as I need to to make it and do well at the finals. I haven’t made them before—I haven’t rodeoed a lot on the circuit because [my family] goes to Oregon in the summer so I haven’t had time to circuit rodeo.”

California is known for long scores. But what have the calves been like this year?

“The calves this spring have been pretty good. Mostly beef calves, some half-blood beef-and-dairy calves. Sometimes they’re a little bigger and that’s Vaquero’s speed. He’s very strong and stout.”

What does the rest of the year look like for you on the California Circuit?

“The spring is the busiest time for California rodeos. They slow down in the summer, and we have Salinas, Santa Barbra and Santa Rosa. And in the fall we have San Bernardino, Poway and a few others.”