Meet the Member Joe Stoddard
story by Lillian Landreth Many a high school rodeo athlete has been shaped by Joe Stoddard’s contributions to the sport, from his blood relations to […]
story by Lily Weinacht
The 2016 and 2017 seasons reflected Colt Hokana’s hard work and practice when he claimed two consecutive state titles in the bareback riding, along with winning the bareback riding at state 4-H finals in 2016. The 18-year-old from Columbia, South Dakota, opened the 2017 season by also winning the bareback riding at the 20X Extreme Showcase. “It’s a lot of fun, and there’s not a whole lot of bareback riders anymore, so I think we’re needed,” says Colt. He also competes in tie-down roping and he headed in the team roping last year, but roughstock remains his favorite.
“My dad, Curt Hokana, rode bareback horses and bulls when he was younger. He’s helped me, and my mom is always there videoing my rides. Chad Lehman, Chad Freeman, and Dave Stangle have also helped me, and I went to a Wayne Herman bareback school in March of 2015 where Kaycee Feild and Bobby Mote were instructing,” says Colt. He also looks up to his traveling partners, which include Nick Schwedhelm, Andy Hall, Jim Bob Ellsworth, and Justin Kissack.
Colt recently practiced with Marvin Garrett, the assistant rodeo coach at Gillette College, where Colt will start on his welding degree this fall. “Marvin has helped me quite a bit already, and I’m excited to go to college there. They have a new college rodeo barn, and I know a couple people who are going there.” Colt has also placed in several SDRA rodeos, and he’s currently working on his PRCA permit, where he met PRCA bareback rider Tanner Aus. “I introduced myself to him in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and he’s a really nice guy and an awesome bareback rider.”
In the tie-down roping, Colt rides El McLuke Bar, whom he calls Luke. “He goes back to Sun Frost on his papers,” says Colt, who competed on Luke at the 20X Extreme Showcase in 2016. “A guy near where I live had him for sale, and I traded some money and a nice looking dun colt I’d started for Luke.” Colt and his parents, Curt and Merri Hokana, have five horses and a foal, along with several steers. They make their home outside of Columbia, and Colt enjoys the people, but admits he’d prefer living closer to the mountains. “For the things I like to do, I’d much rather have mountains. I go pheasant hunting with my dog, Annie, whenever I can, and I like to fish.”
Colton graduated from Groton Area High School, where shop class has long been a favorite of his. “I’d spend a lot of the day in there. I made a set of spurs out of some rasps, and my teacher had me make a feed bunk.” Throughout the school year and this summer, Colt has been working for Cutler Ranch near Frederick, South Dakota. “They raise Black Angus, and they’re really good people.” Colt helps with whatever is needed, and it isn’t unusual for him to be up early loading livestock, even during the school year.
“I’m happy to be a man of God, and my goals are to make the short-go at Nationals and make the college finals and the Badlands Circuit Finals,” Colt finishes. “My long-term goals are written out in my workout room. Number one is to make the WNFR, two is to be a world champion, and three is don’t ever quit.”
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