story by Michele Toberer Dale Davies has been blessed to live a life centered around horses and rodeo. Growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado as […]
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Meet the Member Molly & Adam Hamilton
story by Lily Weinacht
“Rodeo is a lifestyle we absolutely love and where all our free time is spent. Even in the off season, we’re riding young horses and training them,” says Molly Hamilton. She and her husband, Adam, are both ropers—Molly breakaway roping and Adam tie-down roping—and they are equally interested in making their rodeo horses as competing on them. “We started a few outside horses, and then decided I would go back to breaking our own colts. It’s more worth our time to start our own young ones from scratch than buying older ones. We had three 2-year-olds last year and we’ve sold two of them,” says Adam.
Originally from Minnesota, he grew up showing cutting horses, then spent his summers in Wisconsin learning how to train horses from Shelly Mueller and her family. “Their son, Adam Mueller, got me into roping my senior year of high school, and my sophomore year of college, I rodeoed. I also give credit to Molly’s family, the Bates. She and her dad have really helped me out, and Cole Wilson has been helping me since we got to Kansas. I’m transitioning from roping smaller calves down south to bigger calves up north. I like the adrenaline and the speed.”
After Adam and Molly met through a mutual friend in Molly’s home state of Iowa, the couple got married and moved to Arizona for Adam’s work as an agriculture lender at a bank. They were there for a year and competed in the GCPRA before moving to Holton, Kansas, for new career opportunities and to be closer to family. When they moved, Molly was sitting in the top five in breakaway roping and Adam was competing in the incentive tie-down roping. They hope to compete in the GCPRA rodeos held in Colorado this summer, and qualify for the finals. “The arenas were really nice, with bigger, sandy pens with a little different setup each time. They paid well, and that definitely drew us, and we met some really good people that we enjoyed,” says Molly.
She grew up team roping, coached by her parents, Rick and DeeAnn Bates, who both team rope. In college, Molly competed in breakaway roping, goat tying, and team roping for Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, but settled on breakaway roping after school. “I like the individual aspect of it, and that the more effort I put into it, the more success I get personally,” she explains. “And I like fast horses that stop hard! Growing up, my dad was a major influencer, and he helped me with horsemanship and being able to confidently train my own horse and be able to compete on it. My best friend, practice buddy, and hauling partner, Kate Hansen, has always been great at finding the positives in runs and helping me pick apart what I could do better. Even though we don’t live close now, we still send our runs to each other and help dissect them.”
Molly’s main mount is a 12-year-old gelding named Scrap, whom she trained for a client when he was 3, then bought him the next year. He’s been named Horse of the Year in several rodeo associations, and Molly considers training him one of her greatest accomplishments. “He has the biggest heart and gives you everything on every run. I have another horse that’s 4 this year and he’s coming along really well. He and Scrap are both Shining Spark bred, and they both crave it.” Adam rides a 7-year-old gelding named Louis, a Cats Quixote Jack son. “He was started by Budge Herbert out of Heavener, Oklahoma, and he makes the same run every time,” says Adam. “I’ve never had to run a jerk line on him, and he’s just a nice, honest horse.”
Since moving to Kansas in June, Molly and Adam have yet to build their arena, but are already back to training horses. After Adam breaks the colts, Molly gets them started roping. “We still both have full-time jobs, but we try to spend most of our evenings and any free time doing something horse related. In Arizona, we were close to the mountains and we took our colts trail riding a lot to get them out of the arena. Out here, there’s a lot more cattle work for them.”
Along with making it back to several GCPRA rodeos, Molly and Adam are competing in the United Rodeo Association and Interstates Rodeo Association this summer. They also enjoy spending time with their families and going to the lake. “Breakaway is a sport on the verge of really growing. There’s a new roping in Vegas, Rope for the Crown, that I’d like to qualify for, and it would be amazing to rope at The American as well,” says Molly. “But those take mini goals and taking the summer rodeos one at a time, and continuously working on the mental aspect of rodeo.” Adam adds, “Making the URA finals is a pretty big goal of mine, and to always have colts coming in. It’s pretty fun to watch them come up from ground zero.”