Meet the Member Libby Berger
story by Lindsay King Third generation rodeo competitor 13-year-old Libby Berger from Udall, Kansas, has a need for speed. “Barrels or breakaway roping is my […]
story by Magie Downare-Nevius
In his first year as a cardholder with the Central Plains Rodeo Association (CePRA), up-and-coming saddle bronc rider, Lane Hamm, swooped in to capture the 2013 year-end and finals championships. The 18-year-old cowboy has already set his sights on a comeback to defend his titles and keep the crown in his name for a second season. “I’d like to win in again. Not for the glory, but because rodeo is a passion for me,” he said. Although a recent member, Lane has actually competed within the organization as a nonmember for the past three years. “I really like the stock contractors, who have good horses for us to get on,” he said.
Having started his career as a bull rider in junior high school and half of his freshman year, Lane made the switch to broncs through family ties, as both of his older brothers (Cody and Ty, 21) compete in the event. “In practicing with my brothers, I just fell in love with it,” he said. Since the shift in competition, Lane has created a dynamite résumé for himself. A four year member of the National High School Rodeo Association, Lane is a three-time Kansas state champion and a four-time National qualifier, having recently won the state championship in his final year. His accomplishments has led him to a spot on the 2013-2014 High School Cinch Team, but the list doesn’t end there, Lane is also a third-year member of the Bloomer Trailer Team that competes at the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Okla., where he finished eighth and ninth last year.
The recent graduate of Minneapolis High School, will carry on through a rodeo scholarship to Fort Scott Community College, where he plans on majoring in general agriculture. “Both of my brothers went to school there and I’ve really got to know coach Chad Cross, so it seems fitting when he offered me the opportunity,” he explained. Through his progression, Lane has also expanded to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association with a recent permit purchase. “I’ve only been to two rodeos, so far, but have been lucky with the draw and drew the same horse [“Toy Box”] both times,” he said.
Lane’s rodeo roots stem back to his parents (Tim and Anita). While Tim rode bulls in high school and broncs in college, Anita was involved through queen competitions and representations. The growing rodeo family has continued to expand with breakaway roper, Noell’s, marriage to Ty. “My family influences my rodeoing. I would rather have family involved, then do it by myself,” said Lane. Within the chain of support, Lane says that his biggest influences have been his brothers. “We can help each other so much and they have helped me more than anyone,” he said. “The best advice they have given me is to keep my head down and move my feet, which is something they tell me all the time.”
The Minneapolis, Kans., cowboy’s work ethic stretches beyond the arena and he spends his Mondays working at the sale barn, along with the construction of steel buildings on a day-to-day basis. He contributes to the family business of raising their own string of bucking horses through JC Rodeo Company’s Jim Crowther. “Rodeo has so much to offer, but one of the best things is the chance to meet a lot of people and build lifelong friendships,” he said.
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