story by Lily Weinacht Wes Bray clinched his goal for his final season of high school rodeo, finishing in the top 20 in the nation […]
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Meet the Member Jerren Johnson
by Lily Weinacht
Jerren Johnson comes from a heritage abounding in the ranching and rodeo lifestyle, but the 18 year old from Casper, Wyoming, knows his success is rooted just as much in his own hard work.
The sixth generation of his family to work their ranch outside of Casper, Jerren, his brother, and their three cousins have grown up working and practicing together. Jerren competes in the WHSRA in tie-down roping and team roping, heeling for Wheaton Williams. Jerren’s dad, Justin Johnson, pro rodeoed for a number of years, while his uncle, Jett Johnson, won the World in 2011 team roping with Turtle Powell at the WNFR. Jerren was watching from the stands when his uncle secured the gold buckle. “I love rodeo, and I have a goal to compete at the pro level and make the finals consistently. That drives me to practice and get better so maybe someday I can accomplish my goal of making the WNFR,” Jerren explains.
“My dad and uncle have been our teachers – they’ve taught us everything. We all live right there on the ranch, plus we have an indoor barn to ride in. My cousin Kellen will head for me, and my dad is a horse trainer, so he’s usually riding horses for his clients.” Jerren, his parents, Justin and Jodene, and his brother, Jayden, live on the ranch, along with his great-grandmother, his grandparents, and his aunt, uncle, and cousins. “Everybody in my family except my cousins have names that start with a J. Our family does pretty good with keeping names straight, but other people have a hard time,” says Jerren.
Jayden is rodeoing for Laramie County Community College, and Jerren also plans to college rodeo on a scholarship. “I’ve talked to several colleges, but I haven’t decided yet. I like math, and I want to get a degree in engineering.” Currently, Jerren is a senior at Natrona County High School, where he’s been studying trigonometry and math analysis. Up until his senior year, he also played basketball and wrestled, but decided to focus solely on rodeo this year.
In addition to high school rodeo, Jerren competes in USTRC, George Strait, and Spicer Gripp ropings. He and header Guy Hall competed in the SDRA last summer, along with qualifying for the NRCA finals. One of Jerren’s favorite accomplishments was qualifying for the Wrangler Team Roping Championship Finals in Billings, Montana, last fall. “Guy and I will probably amateur rodeo again this summer. It works out pretty well, because right at the start of the summer, the high school finals are done.” Jerren went twice to the NJHFR and qualified twice in team roping for the NHSFR, with hopes of qualifying in both his events this summer.
He rides several horses in his events, but his main rope horse is Itchy. “I have a new horse out of Oklahoma that we’ve been referring to as the bald-faced horse. I’m waiting to name him until I know if he’s a good horse or not,” Jerren explains. He’s also an all-around ranch hand, helping his family run 500 head of cattle on their ranch. Any free time is spent with his cousins, while Jerren recently started building and selling headstalls. “I braid them with nylon, and I have different colors depending on what the customer wants. Just this year I’ve made fifteen or twenty.”
Following high school graduation, Jerren plans to fill his PRCA permit. “I’d also like to get a master’s degree in engineering to fall back on if rodeo doesn’t work out. But my goal is to make the WNFR, and someday win the World.”