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: The Henry Family
story by Lily Weinacht
The KJHSRA ranked fourth in the nation at the 2016 NJHFR held in Lebanon, Tennessee, and Tim Henry, a rodeo dad, team roper, and sponsor of the KJHSRA, attributes that to strong competitiveness – and strong rodeo family ties. “One of the biggest things about the association is that it’s very family oriented,” he explains. “It’s very strong in competitiveness, and you really have to be on your game, but everybody helps everybody.” He deeply appreciates the sportsmanship the rodeo athletes learn, including his 11-year-old daughter, Destiny. “The kids are very disciplined and polite, which is how we want them to grow up.”
The owners of a Ford franchise in Iola, Kansas, Twin Ford Motors, Tim and his wife, Teresa, decided to sponsor the entire KJHSRA teams’ western shirts, which they debuted at the Border Bash between Kansas and New Mexico this summer at the Lazy E Arena. “We wanted to help the kids have matching shirts, so we decided to help with the cost of shirts as a sponsor,” says Tim. “Our family has always been big in investing in our local youth and community, because that’s the next generation.”
Tim began the rodeo tradition in the family, learning to team rope with his twin brother after high school. “Rodeo people are so good about helping you with your horses and roping, and now I follow the open rodeos here locally, and ropings in the area. A good friend and I started entering USTRC ropings in the ‘90s, and we followed them throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.” Teresa calls herself the go-to girl for pop and water at rodeos, and is in charge of videoing and making sure the family gets down the road with everything they need. The husband and wife met at a dance, and recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.
Destiny is the youngest of six children and is continuing the rodeo tradition, competing in barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping. “Breakaway is my favorite, and it’s a really good feeling when I catch. If I don’t catch, I think about what I did wrong and go correct it in the practice pen. My dad helps me with all my events, and Missy Bennet, her father, Chet Bennett, and Bubba Reynolds also help me.” She rides two barrel horses, Friday and Izzy, also her pole horse, along with two breakaway horses, Okie and Pepper. The Henry family lives on a ranch near Iola, Kansas, and runs 200 head of cows. Destiny is in charge of riding the horses and keeping them legged up, which she does after basketball practice each day. She plays for the Iola Ponies, and also enjoys studying history at Iola Middle School, where she is an eighth grader. Her goal is to qualify for The American in barrel racing in a few years, and she’s working to qualify for the NJHFR in breakaway roping and barrel racing this year.
“We have anywhere from 20 – 30 kids in each event, so when they win the roping or place high in the barrels or other events, it’s a big deal,” says Tim. “It also teaches them that not everyone will win, but sometimes third place is like you won the world! To work hard and compete at this level gives them great self-esteem, and as parents we like to see all of the kids succeed. We also have some families from Colorado and Oklahoma in our association, and if there are any families out there wondering what this association is like, or whether it’s too far to travel, I’d tell them it gives them that much more time with their kids. It’s just incredible to watch these kids compete. They might be struggling in an event, and then all of a sudden, they’re on it. When that happens, it’s like they have stars coming off their shoulders.”