Iowa Senate honors Zwingle cowboy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Senate honors Zwingle cowboy

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Courtesy: Tim O'Connell Courtesy: Tim O'Connell
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Tim O'Connell's rise to the number one bareback rider in the world has been impressive, and now many are noticing.

In fact, the Iowa Senate has declared Dec. 10, 2017 as "Tim O'Connell Day", in honor of the cowboy from Zwingle who secured his number one spot last Dec. 10.

Those that know him best are in no way surprised to see O'Connell at the top.

"It's pretty amazing," said Joann O'Connell, Tim's mother. "You don't tell Tim he can't do anything, because he'll prove you wrong. He's just been so determined to do this. He sets goals, and he figures out what he has to do to reach his goal, and he just does it."

O'Connell got his start at Three Hills Rodeo, just outside of Bernard.

The guys there have seen him grow from a sheep riding kid, to the best in the world.

"It's been real gratifying to have that association, to know them, and be a part of his family and part of his life. Again, I think Timmy would've made good in whatever his endeavors were," said Dave Morehead of Three Hills Rodeo.

And now that he's at the top, no one thinks he's going anywhere.

"I think he'll stay there. Rodeo's a job for him, not just a hobby like a lot of people. And he works hard at it, and he sets goals, and my guess is he wants to set records," said Jake Morehead of Three Hills Rodeo.

O'Connell broke the single season earnings record last year, and the Moreheads say he's on pace to break his own record again this year.

But through it all, everyone who knows O'Connell says he remains humble and continues to work hard.

He got the chance to speak to the Iowa Senate last week after they gave him a day.

"I'm very proud and honored to be from Iowa, and I just try my best to represent this state the best I can. I thank all of you for this today," he said. 

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