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Meet the Member Laynee and Rein Roberts
story by Lindsay King
Siblings Laynee and Rein Roberts of Douglass, Kansas, both might compete in barrel racing and pole bending but Rein probably will not admit to competing in the same events as his sister. Both siblings are members of the Kansas Junior Rodeo Association.
Laynee is a spunky eight-year-old who likes to ride her horse Chavez fast in the barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and breakaway roping. Chavez is a 19-year-old buckskin. A second grade student at Seal Elementary School, her favorite subject is math. She is a well-rounded athlete and also likes to play basketball for the Bulldogs. “I like it [rodeo] a lot and I want to do it for a long time,” she said.
Rodeo is a family affair for the Roberts, as both Dana and Colt, their mom and dad, also competed in rodeo. They actually even team roped together in high school and both received rodeo scholarships for college. Colt continues to team rope and ranch rodeo right alongside his kids. However, Dana generously allows her kids to ride her horses. All of the horses have worked on the ranch with Colt before their days in the junior rodeo arena began.
Rein’s favorite event is the dummy roping by a pretty big margin. “He’s been roping since he was two years old. He can swing it pretty good,” Dana said. Now six and in kindergarten at Seal Elementary School, Rein competes in the dummy roping, goat tying, barrel racing, pole bending and rides sheep. He has two horses, Spark, a 10-year-old sorrel, and Vegas, a 7-year-old sorrel. Rein uses Spark for barrels, poles and roping, and he uses Vegas, the smaller horse of the two, for goat tying, simply because he is closer to the ground.
Both Laynee and Rein learned about the roots of rodeo while helping brand and vaccinate cattle with their dad at his ranch job. “Rein loves to get out there and the last few times he was catching two feet, some of the grown men weren’t even doing that,” Dana said.
Everyday after school during the season they race home to practice roping the dummy as well as tying the goat dummy. A neighbor down the road lets them use their arena to ride and practice. “Any chance we can we are out there in the arena with them pulling the sled, setting up barrels and poles. They love it; they don’t complain at all,” Dana added. Colt and Dana have served as their kids coaches as they learned how to do each event.
The Roberts siblings do the summer KJRA series in addition to the winter Family Junior Rodeo Association series in Derby, Kansas. To keep themselves busy, they also compete in the Kansas Junior Ranch Rodeo Association. This past winter, Laynee was named the reserve champion all-around in the 7-9 age group while Rein was named the reserve champion all-around in the 1-6 age group in the KJRA. When Laynee grows up she wants to become a teacher while Rein aspires to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a cowboy.