By Sarah Smith

It is easy to say that Roy Wester has known and loved horses his entire life. Roy was born in Sandrock, Alabama to a farming family. His dad raised cattle, mules and walking horses. Along with the farming, the Westers bought farms, cut the timber and then re-sold the land. Growing up, Roy broke colts for his father. He laughed as he recalled his dad tying colts to a fence post, him climbing on and his dad turning them loose. His father, R.C. Wester, was in the horse business and did business with many well-known breeders back in those days and Roy recalls the memories well of mares, babies and young horses always being a big part of his childhood. There is no doubt that the early years of Roy’s life shaped and grew his love for farming, family and horses.

Roy and Joan now call Odenville, Alabama home, but they both grew up in Cherokee County, Alabama. Roy, from Sandrock, and Joan from Leesburg, the couple who will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary next year, didn’t know each other as kids even though they grew up near one another. Their love story began with a blind date set up by Joan’s cousin who just happened to work with Roy. 

Family is something that Roy holds near and dear. When asked about his children, the delight in his voice is evident. The couple have two sons. Chad is the older of the boys and lives in Enterprise, Alabama with his family and he owns and operates the Boll Weevil Soap Company that specializes in hand made soaps and skin care products . Roy says the only problem with this is that he and Joan are 200 miles away from one of their granddaughters. Blake, who is 10 years younger, along with his family, live close by. Blake is a Nationally Registered EMT, holds a degree in Criminal Justice, is a registered nurse and runs a commercial landscaping and grading company.

Roy is now semi-retired from the construction business where he co-developed and built apartment complexes. The newfound freedom of retirement leaves him more time to do the things that he loves most which include spending time on he and Joan’s family farms where they raise both horses and cattle. He loves watching the mares and babies as well as showing some of their horses. Most of all, Roy enjoys spending time with his grandchildren. 

Although Roy grew up breaking walking horses for his dad, his focus in the show ring has been Racking horses for some time. Many notable Racking champions have been owned by the Wester family, but in 2019 they definitely made history. Jamie Lawrence rode High Sword to his third Racking Horse Breeders World Grand Championship. This win was the first under the ownership of Wester. Following a close second was Roy aboard multi-titled Walking and Racking champion, A Cadillac By Jazz. No doubt Roy appreciates all his horses, but A Cadillac By Jazz is certainly one of his favorites. The year 2015 was the first season Roy teamed up with A Cadillac By Jazz. That year alone, the duo was undefeated winning both their preliminaries and championships at the Racking Horse Breeders’ Association of America Spring Celebration as well as the Racking Breeders World Celebration. Since that phenomenal season, A Cadillac By Jazz has won the Westers over 20 blue ribbons and has won multiple world championships and world grand championships. Another favorite of Roy’s is Tears. Tears was the 2016 Racking World Grand Champion and has carried Roy to the Amateur 15.2 & Under World Grand Championship the past three years.

In 2019, Roy and Joan purchased Hey, Tomcat. Roy proudly recalled the reason he bought the big grey stallion, “I loved his color, the crowd loved him and Carol (Lackey) rode him so well!” This season, Jamie Lawrence and Hey, Tomcat won the Arab Summer Classic Championship adding to their already lengthy resume. Last season wins included stake victories at the Magnolia Classic, Arab Summer Classic, Christmas In July and the Alabama Jubilee. Hey, Tomcat was bred to several mares last year and Roy is looking forward to breeding 25 to 30 mares to him this year. 

It is safe to say the Roy stays busy with his family, farms and all the horses. Whether he is working a horse at his barn at home, visiting barns he has horses at, selling a colt, or checking his broodmares or cattle, Roy is carrying on the tradition of horses, farming and family.