W.L. “Sunny” Edwards was born in 1918 in Big Spring, Texas. He began roping and working cattle at a young age. In fact, he worked a month long roundup in Glasscock, Reagan, Ector and Crane counties when he was only 10 years old. As a young man Sunny managed ranches at Coahoma and the K Bar between Odessa and Crane.
His professional rodeo career began in 1940 when he joined the Turtle Rodeo Association. It wasn’t long after before he became a top ranked calf roper. Along with his brother-in-law and friend Toots Mansfield, they traveled to rodeos all over the states. They also roped in many team tying events, winning in Tucson, Phoenix, and Pecos.
Pecos, according to Sunny was the greatest ropers in the world. “They used to rope all day long for three or four days.” In his 18 years of pro rodeo, he won at Houston, San Angelo, Ft. Worth, Big Spring, and Denver and place at Madison Square Garden and many other shows. When it came to matched calf roping, Sunny had more than his share of wins. He roped against Troy Fort, Lanham Riley, Ray Wharton, Shoat Webster, James Kenney, and Walt Poage.
His first and best roping horse was Monty who he considered an “iron horse.” On one afternoon in Pecos, Monty had 28 head of stock roped on him.
Sunny, with his wife Jane, moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico where he owned Cree Meadows Golf Course. He enjoyed piloting his plane, playing golf and raising and running quarter horses. He served 17 years on the board of the Ruidoso Jockey Club and was president of Ruidoso/Sunland Racetrack from 1979 through 1982.
His greatest pleasures are his western lifestyle, his family, friends and working with good horses.
Until his peaceful passing on January 31, 2011, Sunny was among the very few living members of the Cowboy’s Turtle Association, the predecessor to the Rodeo Cowboy Association.