Meet the Member Colby Houlton
story by Lindsay Humphrey In Kiowa, Kansas, just about everything is as deeply rooted in family as it gets. That’s especially true for Colby Houlton […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Kris Rasmussen is the 2016 KPRA Men’s Rookie Timed Event Champion. He went into the association’s finals sitting fourth in the steer wrestling and names the finals as his favorite rodeo of the season. “I enjoy the atmosphere, and the people I was hauling with made all the rodeos pretty fun,” says the 20 year old. “I’m hoping to rodeo with the KPRA again this year and build off my experience from last year. I had some good travelling partners that are older than me, and they pushed me and showed me the ropes.”
Originally from Amherst, Nebraska, Kris now makes his home in McCook. He’s a junior at Mid-Plains Community College (MPCC), where he’s studying for a degree in Ag. Business. Of no relation to rodeo clown Flint Rasmussen, though he gets plenty of questions about his last name, Kris and his brother introduced rodeo into the family, jumping into the sport when their neighbors taught them how to rope. Kris high school rodeoed for Nebraska his junior and senior year and qualified for state finals both times. He team roped until his sophomore year of high school, then switched to his favorite event of steer wrestling. “I like the physicality of it, and I think it’s a lot more exciting,” he explains, though he does team rope in college, and occasionally heels for his rodeo coach, Garrett Nokes, at KPRA rodeos. “I just love the sport. Being the best that I can and seeing how far rodeo takes me is what motivates me to practice every day. I also enjoy the people I get to meet.”
Kris especially looks up to Garrett Nokes, the assistant rodeo coach at MPCC. “He’s helped me out a lot, and made me a lot more competitive,” says Kris. He’s sitting second in the Great Plains region in the steer wrestling, while the men’s team is leading the region. Kris also plans to buy cards with the NSRA and M-SRA this year and qualify for their finals, along with making a trip to the CNFR.
He competes on his steer wrestling horse, Fred, a 17-year-old gelding he purchased last year. Fred took him to more than 40 rodeos last summer, so Kris has been riding his teammate Cyler Downing’s horse, Lovie, in college rodeos while Fred takes a break. “I also ride my heel horse, Snort, that I trained. We use her for hazing too. In my spare time, I like to work with young horses that will hopefully be future rodeo horses, or ones we can use on my family’s ranch. We help my grandpa with his cattle and we farm, and my dad is also a pastor,” says Kris. His family came to watch him compete at the KPRA finals, and attended several college rodeos as well.
During Christmas break, Kris will help out on the family ranch, and he plans to enter several rodeos in Kansas City with some of his college teammates. “I like to have a good attitude whenever I leave for a rodeo so I’ll hopefully have a good outcome, but I’m not too superstitious about it,” Kris explains. “Eventually, I’d like to get my PRCA permit, fill that, and see how far I can go in pro rodeo, mainly in steer wrestling. Once I finish school, I want to go home to the ranch, use my degree to help out as much as I can, and continue to rodeo.”
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