Meet the Member Meadow Burns
story by Lindsay Humphrey It’s been a long time coming, but Meadow Burns is finally competing in the OHSRA. It’s both her first and last […]
story by Lindsay King
Kathryn Todd, from Tuttle, Oklahoma, recently captured the OHSRA championship title in pole bending and the reserve title in goat tying, leading her to the All-Around Cowgirl title and another trip to nationals where she ended up 20th in the goats, and 5th in goats at the IFYR. Kathryn is a junior at Connections Academy, an online school she started her freshman year. “It has been great for my rodeo career, I can travel and practice on my own schedule.” The seventeen-year-old’s favorite subject is math because she likes to problem solve. “I would like to get a computer science degree and then maybe go to law school to become a patent lawyer.” Kathryn’s dad, Jeff, is a lawyer, working with agricultural businesses. Her mom, Nancy, stays at home with Kathryn and her younger sister, Gretchen, while her older brother, Haines, is finishing up an engineering degree at Oklahoma State University. Her parents met while attending Northwestern Oklahoma State University on rodeo scholarships. “My mom made it to the CNFR and my grandpa, Henry Hangzinger, almost made it to the NFR. He was an amazing calf roper and won a lot of rodeos back in the day.”
Kathryn works out a few times a week to keep herself at the top of her game. “I work out a lot for my goat tying, to protect my knees. It helps with all my other events too and it has helped me improve as a competitor.” Her favorite road snack is beef jerky because it is packed with protein and keeps her healthy as she is always on the go.
“It seems like we are going to a rodeo or barrel race every weekend.” Kathryn spends her time outside practicing every chance she gets. “It feels like I am doing something for rodeo 24/7. Growing up in rodeo has helped me develop skills that I hope to use my whole life. I have also met life-long friends.” Kathryn runs barrels, poles, ties goats and breakaway ropes, but her favorite event is the pole bending. “I have a really nice horse and he makes it pretty easy for me. I have been working really hard on my barrel racing so I like that event too.” Both grey Quarter Horses, Kathryn rides ten-year-old Phoenix, a mare, for barrels and a 13-year-old gelding named Dually for poles. She rides 17-year-old Smarty, a sorrel Quarter Horse gelding, for goats and 20-year-old Ruby, a bay Quarter Horse mare, for breakaway. “I like all of my horses but I am most proud of Cowgirl. She is the first horse I trained for barrels and is doing really well. I would love to train younger horses, maybe for futurities, in the future.”
It is no wonder Kathryn’s favorite rodeo to compete in was junior high nationals in 2013. She was the all-around cowgirl and won the pole bending at the Gallup, New Mexico event. “I have always loved nationals; it is so much fun. There are so many kids to meet and lots of great competition.” This June Kathryn returned to the Red Rock Arena in Gallup for the Best of the Best Timed Event Rodeo where she won the breakaway roping and was reserve champion in the pole bending.
For the last six years she has won the Oklahoma junior high or high school championship in pole bending, a streak she wants to keep alive for another year. In 2014 she was the reserve champion all-around cowgirl at junior high nationals. “Since we are not separated by regions like Texas, I think that allows us [OHSRA members] to get to know each other better. Even though we are tough as competitors, we are all still friends.”
Kathryn started riding when she was three and entered her first rodeo at four. When she turns 18 in August she plans to buy her WPRA card. In her spare time, Kathryn likes to bead. “My grandma taught all the girls in my family how to peyote stitch, which is different from loom work. I usually bead headstalls and bracelets and then sell them online. Some of my headstalls have been used at the NFR, which is pretty special.”
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