story by Lindsay Humphrey The race for Vegas is stiff, no matter the age or experience of the competitor. Just like the pros in the […]
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Meet the Member Samantha Kerns
story by Ashley Schenck
High school senior Samantha Kerns took one last shot to make it to the JR NFR and qualified in the senior division. “Going to Vegas during the NFR was a big reason for wanting to qualify, but also the fact that it is such a big accomplishment to qualify,” Samantha said. With her last chance to quality for the JR NFR the pressure was very intense. “After my run I looked up and saw the timer; I almost broke down in tears. It was my last chance to make it and after I did, I was just overwhelmed,” Samantha recalled. She is very excited to hit the road for Vegas with her must have rodeo snack, sunflower seeds.
Samantha lives with her mom, Fawn, dad Tom, and brother, Tayle, in Haines, Oregon. Through her high school rodeo career, she has ridden her three mares, TC, Short Stuff, and Honey who were all raised by her family.
Throughout her life Samantha has looked up to her mom as an inspiration. “My mom and brother both competed in rodeos when I was little, and before I knew it I was too.” Attending rodeos since she was three, Samantha has worked hard to achieve her goals, with the constant support from all her family. Some of her proudest moments were becoming the 2014 Idaho Cowboy’s Association Rookie of the Year, 2015 OHSRA Rookie All Around Cowgirl, 2016 All Around Cowgirl for the OHSRA, and now qualifier for the JR NFR in barrel racing.
Along with rodeo, Samantha plays basketball and is involved in the FFA program through Powder Valley High School. Rodeo is very important to Samantha. “It’s my whole life. It’s all I’ve ever known and I’ve learned more rodeoing than I have sitting in a classroom for seven and a half hours a day.”
Samantha is on track to graduate this spring from Powder Valley High School in North Powder, Oregon. She plans to attend Montana State University in the fall of 2018, where she will seek a degree in nursing and continue to rodeo. Samantha is very excited for the upcoming college rodeo season. “My goal for college rodeo is to make it to the college finals.”
She plans to keep rodeo in her life after college, “After I get my degree and a job I want to go into pro-rodeo and one day make it to the NFR,” says Samantha.
Her inspirational quote that she lives by is “difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” The quote means a lot to her after her terrible slump of this past spring, “I missed breakaway calves, missed steers, hit barrels, knocked poles, and goats got up. Then right before state finals, I finally came out of my slump. I started winning money at amateur rodeos and I did really good at state which ended up qualifying me for nationals.” She now looks to the quote whenever she knocks a barrel or misses a calf.