story by Ruth Nicolaus Shylene Drumm is a five-time Colorado Junior High School Rodeo champion. This year, she won the pole bending, breakaway roping, goat […]
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Meet the Member: Brannan Allen
By Lily Weinacht
Brannan Allen found his niche in rodeo at an early age. By the time he was five, the cowboy from Loma, Colo., had given up wrestling in school and switched to rodeo, joining the rodeo family of the NLBRA before starting junior high last fall. Today, the 12 year old competes in the CJHSRA in chute dogging, goat tying, ribbon roping, and team roping as a header. “One day I want to be in the NFR team roping, and that’s what motivates me, plus I have quite a few friends that rodeo,” says Brannan. The challenge and coordination of team roping particularly appeals to Brannan, who heads for Brayden Morgan.
With the start of a new rodeo season, Brannan is out practicing at least three times a week, often joined in the arena by his mom and step-dad, Tammy and Jon Goza. “I look up to my step-dad, because he’s really helped me, and taught me a lot of the things I know about rodeo,” Brannan explains. They frequently rope the dummy and even have small roping contests. “I also look up to Bret and Garrett Tonozzi. Garrett comes out in the summer and helps me run through some drills, and Bret helps me when we rope at his barn. He lives just up the road.”
Both Brannan’s brother, Clayton (six), and sister, Gentry (eight), also rodeo, competing in the NLBRA, where Brannan won the World title in barrel racing as a Little Wrangler in 2012. “We usually all travel together, but sometimes we have to split up,” says Brannan, who’s entered the first CJHSRA rodeo of the season in Lamar, while Clayton and Gentry are off to Utah for Little Britches.
When they’re not hauling to the next rodeo, Brannan and his family call Loma home, made complete by their horses, roping calves and steers, and a brown dog named Hank. In the team roping, Brannan rides a 20-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Ringo, while Shiftin’, his 20-year-old tie-down horse, is white from nose to tail. “Simba is my breakaway horse, and we just got him about four months ago,” says Brannan. “I’m liking him a lot.”
During the week, Brannan is a sixth grader at Fruita Middle School, where he particularly enjoys math. “I’ve always liked it, and it comes natural to me,” he explains. He also plays the oboe in his school’s band with 97 other kids, then trades his instrument for a basketball, playing on a team in Fruita. His dad, Jimmy Allen, coaches him in basketball, and also helps him with chute dogging in the CJHSRA. “The first thing I do when I’m home from school is water horses, then I put them on the walker, rope the dummy, go to basketball practice, do homework, and go to bed.” Even with his packed schedule, however, Brannan makes time to go skiing with his family, most recently skiing at Powderhorn near Mesa, Colo. “We live about five miles outside of town, in the Grand Valley,” Brannan describes. “I love it out here, and my favorite thing about where I live is the mountains all around us.”
Brannan hopes to travel outside of the Rocky Mountains, however, to both the NLBFR in Oklahoma and the NJHFR in Tennessee. “I’d like to win the World in team roping with Little Britches, and I’d like to do the same in either junior high or high school,” he says. “If rodeo doesn’t work out, I’d probably want to be a petroleum engineer, since I like math. But I want to rodeo for a career, and make it to the NFR.”