story by Lindsay Humphrey This is only Hayden Stump’s second season competing in the OHSRA, but he’s adjusted well to stiff competition in both the […]
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Meet the Member Kaycee Hollingback
story by Lindsay King
Ranch life is the best life, at least that is how 17-year-old Kaycee Hollingback of Wilburton, Oklahoma, feels about it. Born into a family of cattle ranchers, Kaycee spends her summers riding and roping, anything to help her dad Jerald at Watts Ranch down the road and grandpa Ricky at his ranch in Antlers, Oklahoma. “There is not a whole lot that I do other than work cows and rodeo, but that is all fun to me.” Kaycee learned how to rope at the early age of three and went to her first junior rodeo when she was seven. “Since then I have been addicted to it.” She goat ties, breakaway ropes and pole bends in the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association but she also runs barrels and ribbon ropes at other junior rodeos. Her mom Virginia started roping when she was only 12 and is credited with getting Kaycee started. “My parents taught me just about everything. They kind of just gave me a rope at first and then they helped me if I ever needed it.” Kaycee tried her hand at heeling but decided it was not her event. However, her 11-year-old brother Tanner is a team roper. Kaycee is closest to her grandma Hollingback who lives next door to her and she considers her best friend.
At first Kaycee disliked goat tying but her mom told her she had to stick with it until she was good. Today, it ties as Kaycee’s favorite event with breakaway roping. In 2016 she won the goat tying at the Joe Beaver Junior Roping Association finals and the NRS Youth Timed Event Championships. Kaycee is now sitting in the top four for OHSRA in both goat tying and breakaway roping. “The best part about OHSRA is the level of competition. Everybody has the same goal in mind, everybody working hard seems to make you work just as hard.” Last year at state finals, Kaycee missed every calf but still managed to make it to nationals from all her points accumulated during the regular season. “I could have been really fast but I fell over the top of my goat because I pulled my quad in practice that morning.” When she was only 14, she was the all-around average champion in OYRA, winning her a two-horse trailer. Her dad helps her in the box while her mom takes to the stands. “She makes me nervous when she stands behind the alley because she talks too much but my dad doesn’t say anything.”
Kaycee wants to one day start her own brahma herd and started this years ago. “I swapped him a glass of tea and lemon cake for a tiger-striped brahma heifer.” Going into her senior year at Wilburton High School, Kaycee aspires to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University competing on the rodeo team and possibly majoring in pre-law. Her favorite class at school is yearbook, because of its interactive nature. Her mom teaches English at WHS and taught Kaycee both her freshman and junior years. During the spring and fall, they are on the road almost every weekend for a rodeo. “Over the summer I try to go to open rodeos to get runs in. I am always trying to go to one, I hardly ever take a weekend off.” Kaycee ropes off Jim, an 18-year-old gruella Quarter Horse gelding who she has had since she was ten. “We borrowed him for the OYRA finals one year for poles and breakaway. He is a wicked little pole horse. So we ended up buying him after that.” Jim is considered the all-star mount for the Hollingbacks, Tanner even uses him for poles. Her goat horse Hollywood, a nine-year-old sorrel Quarter Horse gelding, was originally purchased as a back up breakaway horse. “I had to turn him into a goat horse in a day after my other horse had a heat stroke. We placed second and he has been my mount ever since.” The 17-year-old bay Quarter Horse mare, Marble, is Kaycee’s barrel and pole horse. “She is kind of hateful sometimes so on those days I call her Mabel and say it is her evil twin sister.”