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 Brayden Fillmore
story by Lily Weinacht
Brayden Fillmore of Penrose, Colorado, comes by his love for roping honestly, following in the bootprints of his grandpa, and his dad, Josh Fillmore, who is the 2016 Mountain States Circuit Champion Heeler. Brayden, 13, ropes with his dad at jackpots, and CJRA rodeos in the parent/child roping, while this is his rookie year in the CJHSRA. “I ended up stopping baseball and basketball because I wanted to spend all my time in rodeo — it’s my favorite thing to do,” says Brayden, who started rodeoing four years ago. He enters the breakaway and team roping in the CJHSRA, as well as the dally ribbon roping in the CJRA. He and his roping partner, Klayt Staudt, are sitting second in the CJHSRA team roping standings, and Brayden is leading the breakaway roping. He won second in Eagle, Colorado, in the breakaway roping, and won the team roping at one of the performances as well. “I don’t care where the rodeo is at or the condition — as long as I get to go, it’s fun!
“I definitely like team roping more because my dad and my grandpa have done it, and I’ve worked harder in that one. I look up to my grandma and grandpa Lance and RoxAnn Fillmore, and my dad really helped me start roping. He inspires me when I get to see him rope and when I see him win.” Brayden was watching when his dad won the year-end Mountain States Circuit title in 2016, and the whole family went to Kissimmee, Florida, for the RNCFR and a trip to Disney World. Brayden also wants to check California Rodeo Salinas and the WNFR off his list of rodeos visited, and he’s met several professional ropers, including Dustin Bird, Erich Rogers, and Russell Cardoza.
Brayden ropes the dummy every day, and ropes cattle or some of his goats as often as possible. His 2-year-old sister, Brylee, likes to rope with him, and they have a 4-month-old brother, Briston. Their mom, Jessica, runs barrels and ropes, and Brylee likes to ride with Brayden, who competes on a 9-year-old gelding, Ruben. Brayden rode several different horses over the years before turning Ruben, who was his mom’s barrel horse, into a head horse. “My dad’s partner, Austin Crist, helped me a bunch with Ruben in breakaway and riding, and he definitely helped me get to where I am.” Along with his horse, Brayden brings his Australian Shepherd, Sid, to rodeos, and he’s in charge of taking care of his 30 head of roping goats. “Most of them are pretty well behaved, except the small ones try to get out. But it’s fun to get them back in because we chase them and rope them,” Brayden says with a laugh.
An eighth-grader at Fremont Middle School, Brayden enjoys science and recently studied cells, but his favorite part of the day is being outside. After school, he does chores and spends time with his sister, or ropes the dummy. “I’ll put the dummy in the barn in the winter, or I’ll scrape out a spot to rope outside. My mom will head a few steers in the pen and my dad heels. I like to rope with him in the harder jackpots because they’re high numbered, and that’s helped me out.” Brayden also enjoys riding his horses around his family’s property or driving their ATV in the snow, and he often goes to rope at his grandparents’ house.
“I want to end my season winning both my events,” says Brayden, who plans to high school rodeo next fall. “I eventually want to win the NFR, or win the college finals or big ropings.”