stories by Siri Stevens Cheyenne Seaux started riding on a pony named Amy Lou when she was 1 year old. She graduated to a horse […]
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Hagan Busby Family
Story by Siri Stevens
James Hagan is thankful his family has had the opportunity to participate in the sport of rodeo. “It caused us to spend a lot of time together; not just in the practice pen; but driving up and down the road,” said the father of two and grandfather of four. “I know from my job as an investigator at the District Attorney’s office that kids involved in equine or livestock projects are generally too busy to be in the judicated system. Rodeo requires the family to be involved.” He defends the amount of money he has spent on the rodeo road with: “I can put it in the bank, save it, or pay a lawyer to keep them out of jail. I think rodeo has been good for my family.” James didn’t take up rodeo until after he got out of high school. He was drafted at 19, in 1966, and was shipped to Europe, where he became a tankerman. He returned to the states and got into law enforcement before becoming an investigator. He’d always had horses around, but decided to build some roping boxes and start roping. “We roped in the amateur rodeos and over into East Texas and Mississippi. I had a family and was trying to make a living. I had to be back by Sunday.” James worked as an investigator for 42 years. “Every single day of my life, I went to the same building, and my job was fun. I didn’t have a job, I had something I enjoyed doing.” He also worked as a rodeo judge, in high school, college, and PRCA. “I hung it up when the pandemic came. I spent a few weekends at home and liked being home. I’m retired and I have time to follow my grandkids around. I went on the summer rodeo run for two weeks,” he said. “I drove back to Oklahoma and got the trailer my grandson won at the IFYR. I had a lot of fun doing what I did (for a living) and I’m blessed to be able to do what I want to do now. Both of my kids were involved in rodeo, and when their kids started, they laid it down to follow them.” James has served on the board of the LHSRA for 36 years.
His daughter, Jamie, and son, Chad, competed through high school. By the time they were five or six they were running barrels and roping. Jamie did it all until after high school. Chad went on to college and won the National Title for the steer wrestling in the NIRA and punched his ticket to the NFR in the steer wrestling.
Jamie was the Louisiana High School queen in 1987. She made it to Nationals in 1985 in pole bending, she was the queen in 1987, and in 1988, at the Louisiana state finals, she tore her knee up and didn’t go to nationals her senior year. She competed in poles, goats, barrel racing, team roping and breakaway. “Rodeo taught me responsibility, commitment, and how to be as good a winner as a loser and it was family oriented.” She met her husband, Kenneth, through her brother, Chad, through rodeo. Kenneth did not high school rodeo; he got into bull fighting after high school.
“I was still in high school when I started fighting bulls,” said Kenneth. “I had no intention of becoming a bull fighter. I went to a buck out and since I had tennis shoes on, I was asked to fight bulls. One of the stock contractors there hired me to start fighting bulls for him. I loved it. It’s a thrill every time the latch cracks and something totally different every time too.” He was a bull fighter for the LRCA, high school, and college for 14 years.
Both of their children, Kaylee and Kase, carried on the family rodeo tradition. Kaylee competed in junior high and is now in nursing school. Her 10-month-old son, Hagan, is going to be the next generation rodeo athlete. “Uncle Kase has big dreams of him to be just like him.”
Kase was the LHSRA state president for three years. “I was the spokesperson for the students in the association,” said the 19-year-old that’s headed off the college at Wharton County Junior College in Texas. “My job was easy as the president; the students never had any complaints about the rodeos.” Kase is on a full ride scholarship to study electrical instrumentation. “I want to come back, after I’m done rodeoing, and work in the Cleco Plant (a power plant).” Kase was the state champion tie down and team roping as well as the All-Around cowboy for last year. He gives all the credit to his horses for his success. “The calf horse was being ridden for the queen contest and was bought the first time we tried him.” His head horse got hurt after his sophomore year and he borrowed a horse for the summer and ended up buying him. Kase also bulldogs and won the IFYR in that event. He will rodeo full time and is hoping his kids will carry on the tradition; three generations of rodeo athletes.
Jamie’s brother, Chad, was the 1992 Vice President of the NHSRA. student officer in High School. “We went to summer and winter board meetings,” he recalls. “I flew to Denver as a senior in high school. I’d never flown much. I got to see how the National office is run from the inside. It was neat to learn. It helped me see rodeo from a different side – the production side, not just in the arena competing. I judged a few high school rodeos, here in Louisiana, but nothing other than that.” Chad was the college champion in steer wrestling in 1995 and went on to PRCA calf roper and bull dogger, making it to the NFR in 1997 and 1999. He didn’t make it in 1998 because he was finishing his degree in Ag Business. “That degree helped me get the job I have now as 4-H agent. I think 4-H is good for kids.” Like his father, Chad got off the road and focused on his kids. “I quit so I could watch my kids. My youngest daughter, Sage, is into rifle shooting in 4-H and softball – we don’t want to miss anything our kids are doing.” His oldest daughter, Madeline, was the queen and went to NHSFR in the breakaway. “I do like the lake and taking my kids tubing, but I always come back to my roots, I still like to team rope a little and work with my daughter … it will always be in your blood.”