Meet the Member Ashley Smith & Charles Daniels
Story by Heidi Geesen The 2022 Colorado Junior Rodeo Association Senior Girls Horse of the Year, has a story that is very unique. It is […]
story by Laurie Dineen
One might say 14-year-old Jacob Haren had himself quite a year. Competing in his last year as a CJRA Jr Boy, he won the year- end titles of Champion Header, Champion Breakaway, Champion Ribbon Roper and placed 3rd in the Chute Doggin. All which attributed to being named the CJRA All-Around Jr. Boy for 2016. These honors came with a total cash amount won of $3,258.20, 3 saddles, 4 buckles, and the All-around breast collar. What a way to end his reign in the CJRA Jr. Boy Division.
Jacob indeed had him a year, which actually all started when Jacob first joined the CJRA when he was nine. “My goal when I first joined was to be competitive and catch everything I threw at. It took a lot of patience and due diligence practicing my skills with a rope and becoming a better horseman.” With the help of his mom (Elizabeth) and Step Dad (Rod Gracey) he has grown into a champion.
Riding since he was 5, Jacob’s mom taught him horsemanship, having been brought up and riding English jumpers herself. His roping interests however, came from his step dad who is a horse trainer and an avid team roper. “Watching him work was very inspirational for me,” said Jacob. “Rod has taught me a lot about western riding, roping and competing.” Jacob said he practices every day whether it is in the arena working on his horses and roping skills or roping the dummy.
“I believe that being a successful competitor comes from taking what you have learned through practice, being confident and putting it all together when the pressure is on at the rodeo,” he said. “I also get a lot of support from my family. My dad (Tom Haren) doesn’t rope and neither does my brother (Michael -17), but they encourage me and cheer me on. My mom but has taken up team roping as well. She and Rod rope with me and it is fun to have them in the arena helping me to get better.”
Of all the events, team roping is Jacob’s favorite event. He likes heading the best and when he hooked up with heeler, Klayt Staudt this year they made a great team. “I really enjoyed roping with him,” said Jacob. “We hit it off and Klayt had the same work ethic and goals I did which made our win that much more special.” In addition to CJRA, Jacob also competes at the CJHRA and has gone to some local roping jackpots where he won with Rod last summer – which was “really exciting” he said.
“CJRA has helped me improve as a roper and as an individual,” Jacob said. “ I have learned how to compete, but along with that comes a lot of responsibilities – like taking care of my horses, keeping track of expenses and income, communicating with my partners and interacting with others both younger and older than me. Overall, it has been a good experience and a lot of fun.”
Jacob is a Freshman at Erie High School and plays the linebacker position for their football team. This fall he will focus on football then turn back to roping as soon as his season is over.
Next year Jacob will move into the Sr. Boys Division. “I’m a little nervous, kind of like being a Freshman in HS, but excited to see what the year will bring, As for the future, Jacob says it too early to tell. “But I know that what I am learning now will help me with whatever life brings my way.”
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