As mentioned in previous articles, there is somewhat of a progression that goes along with rodeo. Young kids start out at little gymkhanas and junior rodeos, and then it is on to junior high school rodeos, and high school rodeos. Many high school rodeoers decide to sell the rig and retire the horses after that last high school rodeo and move on to other things. A handful of rodeo athletes decide to take it to the next level in the college competition.
Bianca O’Bryan has completed her stint at Lamar Community College and has used 2 years of eligibility on scholarship, rodeoing for the LCC Lopes. She has now signed a letter of intent and will rodeo for Ft. Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Her new rodeo coach, Guy Forell, has met with her and has offered her a rodeo scholarship for the Tigers of FHSU in the Central Plains Region. Bianca competes in barrel racing and breakaway roping on her self-trained horse, Superstar. The duo made some noise in the Central Rocky Mountain Region, making the short-go and placing several times, and hopes to build upon that now in a new region. This region includes Coffeyville Community College, Colby CC, Ft. Scott CC, Garden City CC, Dodge City CC, Pratt CC, Conners State College, Kansas State University, Murray State, Northeast OK, Northwest OK, Southeast OK, Southwest OK, West OK, Panhandle State University, and Ft. Hays State University. Bianca will also take a new horse with her, Phoenix, which she is training in barrel racing. Bianca will be studying Elementary Education.
Sage Bader of Kim, CO will be continuing his rodeo career for Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva under the coaching of NFR qualifier, Stockton Graves. Bader will be roping calves and team roping in the Central Plains Region, as well. He is just coming off a stellar high school state championship for Colorado in the team roping with partner, Colton Zimmerman. He won a saddle for his efforts and a trip to Nationals. At college, he will be studying Agriculture Production and campus wildlife.
Braxton O’Bryan is wrapping up his high school career and will compete in the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, WY in July, along with Bader. Braxton ended up 4th in the state of Kansas in tie down roping and 5th in the state for team roping. Looking to this fall, he has chosen West Texas A & M University in Canyon as the next place to further his rodeo career. He will be under the tutelage of NFR tie down qualifier, Raymond Hollabaugh and breakaway roper, Jordan Jo (Fabrizio) Hollabaugh. Braxton will compete at the college level in both tie down roping and team roping for the WT Buffs. This region includes Eastern New Mexico Univ., Sul Ross, Vernon, Frank Phillips, Texas Tech, Odessa, Ranger, West Texas-Snyder, Howard County, Tarleton, Clarendon, Weatherford, Cisco, South Plains, and West Texas A & M University. Braxton will take horses, “Vegas” and “Shaky” with him to the college ranks. He will likely take “Esther,” the calf-horse-in-training owned by Chad Hawkins, also. A part-time job to earn a little money for O’Bryan is to offer farrier services (hoof trimming). Braxton will be studying Agriculture Communications and Media.
We wish our area youth that are headed to the college rodeo scene best wishes for success and protection. “Making a big life change is scary. But, know what is even scarier? Regret.”