story by Ruth Nicolaus Jozee Sheffield’s favorite things are horses and cattle. For the horses, it’s Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo. For the cattle, it’s […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Rhett Witt
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Rhett Witt is spending his summer roping and raking.
He’s been in the rodeo arena, tie-down roping, team roping (as a heeler for Jate Saults), ribbon roping (as a roper for Elle Ravenscroft), chute dogging, and tying goats.
And he’s been on the family ranch west of Valentine, on the John Deere tractor, raking hay in the hayfield.
The fourteen year old cowboy, a member of the Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association, loves to rope. Of his events, heeling is his favorite and his strength.
He’s well mounted, and he’s thankful for his family, who help him find horses that fit him well. Rhett’s heel horse is a twenty-year-old bay gelding named Snip; his tie-down and ribbon roping horse is Pork Chop, a twenty-year-old sorrel, and his goat tying horse is Tipsy, a twenty-two-year-old bay. Of his horses, Snip is his favorite, because “he’s level-headed all the time,” he said. “He has a fun personality. He makes you like him.”
This month, he will start school as a freshman at Valentine (Neb.) High School. Last year, he participated in basketball, football, FFA, and quiz bowl. In high school, he’ll play basketball and continue to rodeo and team rope with his sister Bailey.
This summer, he’s had fun competing at the National Junior High School Finals (where he finished in sixth place in the nation in the goat tying), at Little Britches Finals in Oklahoma, and he tagged along as Bailey competed at the National High School Finals. When he is out of school, he plans on being a professional cowboy in three events: tie-down, team roping, and steer wrestling.
Besides the rodeo, there’s been a bit of work thrown in this summer. He has put out salt and mineral for the family’s cows, and he’s been on the John Deere, running the rake. In a good year, the family will put up 4,000 big round bales. This year, Nebraska has been drier than normal, but it won’t affect the number of bales the Witts put up, as the drought dries out wet spots that they can’t normally hay.
Rhett loves to hunt and fish. He and his granddad, Bill Mulligan and his dad hunt for pheasants and in the winter, they ice fish at Merritt Reservoir. His grandma Judy Mulligan is an expert at making excellent grilled pheasant, and frying crappie and perch.
Rhett competed at the National Junior High Finals this year, in the goat tying, chute dogging, ribbon roping, and team roping. He also competed at Nationals in sixth grade in the breakaway roping.
He is the son of Michele and John Witt.