story by Lindsay Humphrey Going into the KJHSRA finals, Logan Vander Hamm wasn’t optimistic about his chances of making it to nationals in team roping. […]
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Meet the Member Brock Baumgartel
story by Lily Weinacht
Brock Baumgartel of Severy, Kan., saddles up several times a week to practice, his favorite Hooey rope in hand and his parents awaiting the nod of his hat as they run the chutes and coach. It was Brock’s mom, Amber Batson, a barrel racer and breakaway roper, who urged him into rodeo three years ago. He’s in the middle of his second season with the KJRA, competing in the goat tying, barrel racing, pole bending, and both the breakaway and steer breakaway roping. “Goat tying is my favorite,” says eight-year-old Brock. “I like flanking and tying the goat, and I want to be a tie-down roper someday. Tuf Cooper and Trevor Brazile are two of my favorite ropers, and I go to the Timed Events Championship every year to watch Trevor Brazile and JoJo LeMond.”
Roping at every opportunity, Brock is also coached by his dad, Justin Baumgartel, and his grandpa, Rick, both of them team ropers. Amber runs the chutes for them, and continues to enter the larger barrel races in the area. “I look up to my mom and dad and grandpa – they’ve taught me everything I know, and help me in the arena whenever I practice,” says Brock. “I also look up to my grandma (Debbie). She always comes and watches me rodeo and supports me.”
Further support comes from his solid rodeo horses, a pair of Quarter Horses named Prancer and Peppy. “Prancer is 24, and he used to be my mom’s rodeo horse, then he was passed down to me,” Brock explains. “I use him for barrels and poles, and Peppy for goat tying and roping. She’s 22 and easy to rope and tie goats off of.” Chickens, two cats, a pair of goats, a cow, and three dogs, Thunder, Petro, and Blue, also make their home with Brock’s family. He’s in charge of helping feed animals, while his dog, Petro, often has a seat in the truck when the family rodeos.
Brock also competes in the OKYRA winter series, though his favorite KJRA rodeo is in Abilene, Kan. “Most of the kids go to the pool there after the rodeo is done, and last year, it was over the Fourth of July, so we got to watch fireworks,” says Brock. “They have good fireworks.” His other sports include baseball, and playing basketball with The Rockets. He’ll be a third grader this fall at West Elk School. “It’s 12 minutes to school from my house,” he describes. “I like P.E., and we do games like dodgeball, fish and whales, trash, colors, and quadruple trouble. There’s a few kids that rodeo in my school, but not many.”
This summer, Brock and his parents are going on vacation in South Dakota, exploring The Mount Rushmore State. He also enjoys reading series of books like The Berenstain Bears and A to Z Mysteries, and if he’s not throwing a rope, Brock is casting his fishing line into one of the many ponds on his property. His dad works for a tree service company in Kansas, while his mom works for Frank Bills Trucking, a family business owned by his grandma. Once home, the family enjoys playing games together and working with their horses.
“Last year, I won the all-around buckle at the KJRA finals – sometimes I’ll wear it, otherwise I keep it on the saddle rack,” says Brock. “But this year, I’m going for the all-around saddle!”