Shiloh Walker was born into a ranch family. According to his mother, Julie Norwood, he cut his teeth on a pair of spurs and the end of a whip. He has always loved riding horses and working the ranch, but his current passion is whips. “Popping a whip comes naturally to him,” said Norwood. The last three years, he has been working out tricks with bull whips. He can crack two at a time, bust balloons, cut cans in half and other things. Sometimes he can light a match, but other times it just gets cut in half said his mom.

“I haven’t let him set them on fire yet, that’s his next thing,” said his mom. “I told him he has a couple more months before he can actually do that. Momma’s still a little scared with that,” she said. “He’s just now 12 years old.”

When he’s here at home, he doesn’t play ball or anything like that. He shoots skeet, he’s in with Tai Kwan Do, he’s messing with his rope all the time, doing tricks.

He has done other demonstrations with his whips for 4-H and Tiger Rock Martial Arts. He has even taught other children how to pop a whip at Vacation Bible School.

Norwood said Shiloh met somebody from Vinton named Anthony that showed him some more things to do with whips.

“Recently in just the last year and a half he has started making whips,” said his mom.

“Ever since I got my first whip, I wanted to learn how to make them. I always wanted to learn different tricks,” said Shiloh.

So far Shiloh has made three or four whips, each taking about a week to complete.

“He’s got a pretty long list of people wanting whips to be made,” said Norwood.

Sunday you can catch Shiloh performing with his whips at “Church in the Dirt,” the sixth anniversary celebration for Cowboy Church of Orange County. The church service is at 10:30 a.m. in the arena, weather permitting. The Youth Rodeo begins at 1:30 p.m. Cowboy Church is located at 673 FM 1078, North of Interstate 10 in the McLewis community.

Shiloh said he was pretty excited about the performance.

During the week, he is a seventh grader at Orangefield Junior High, the rest of the time, he is mastering the whip in performance and production. “This is pretty much what I want to do.”

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.