Even though ‘Yellowstone‘ primarily revolves around the Dutton family and their conflicts to protect their ancestral ranch, supporting characters do find a moment to shine from time to time. The ranch hands such as Jimmy, Ryan, Lloyd, and Walker are fan-favorites in their own right, but a surprising character has turned into a scene-stealer in the show’s fourth season.
The character in question is the suave cowboy Travis Wheatley who has been gaining fan appreciation due to on-camera and behind-the-scenes reasons. If you are curious to learn more about the actor who brings Travis to life, here’s everything you need to know!
Who Plays Travis on Yellowstone?
Travis Wheatley is first introduced in the fifth episode of the show’s debut season. He is a horse merchant who deals in tog-grade race stallions. John calls in Travis to look at potential horses that he can buy for his ranch. Travis is also a skilled horse rider and partakes in various horse shows with his team. He appears sporadically in the third season before taking the spotlight in the second episode of season 4, titled ‘Phantom Pain,’ wherein John hires Travis to ride for the Yellowstone Ranch in a bid to expand their presence outside the valley. Travis also appears in the following episode, ‘All I See is You.’
In both episodes, Travis’ horse taming and riding skills are on full display as he rides some of the most expensive and angsty horses in the stable. The sequences brought the audience’s attention to the actor essaying the role, and that person is none other than the show’s co-creator Taylor Sheridan. The acclaimed writer-director is known for his work on films such as ‘Hell or High Water‘ and ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead.’ However, he is also no stranger to acting, and fans might remember Sheridan as Deputy Chief of Police David Hale in ‘Sons of Anarchy.’
Is Taylor Sheridan a Real Cowboy?
The fact that the show’s co-creator plays the role of Travis has made fans love the character even more. However, the knowledge has also made audiences question whether Sheridan’s cowboy skills are really as legitimate as they appear on the screen. Sheridan has been very open about his ranching background, and by the looks of it, the multi-talented filmmaker does seem to have some experience as a cowboy.
Sheridan grew up in Bosque County on a ranch near the town of Cranfills Gap. In an interview with Texas Highways, Sheridan opened up about his experience of growing up on a ranch. He said, “We didn’t depend on our ranch for income. But it’s where I learned how to become a cowboy.” He acquired horse riding skills at his family’s ranch and, at the age of 14, began working at a cattle ranch on the outskirts of his hometown.
Presently, Sheridan owns and operates two ranches, one in Weatherford, where he resides, and another in Jacksboro, Texas. In 2021, Sheridan represented/bought Texas’ iconic 6666 Ranch (aka Four Sixes Ranch) as a part of a larger group of buyers. He was also inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame the same year. Aside from his ranching activities, Sheridan has also competed in various Western horse riding events. All things said, Taylor Sheridan is a bonafide cowboy both on and off the screen.