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Meet the Member Shad Winn
story by Lily Weinacht
Shad Winn of Westmoreland, Kansas, competes on both ends of the arena as a bull rider and team roper, and he secured a place at the NHSFR after finishing second in the bull riding at state finals. He started junior rodeoing when he was 6, following after his dad, Casy Winn, who rodeoed in college and now coaches the rodeo team at Kansas State University.
Shad, 18, joined the KHSRA two years ago after his family moved to Kansas from Utah, and he enjoys the competitive yet friendly nature of the association. A heeler, he’s roped with Brandon Hittle since joining the KHSRA. “I like to team rope, but I like riding bulls for the adrenaline rush, plus it’s been in my family since my grandpa started rodeo in our family,” he says. Along with his dad, Shad looks up to WNFR bull riding qualifier Jerry Shepherd. “He helped me out a lot with bull riding when we lived in Utah, and helped me get my mental game strong. I still send him my videos and call and text him once in a while.”
For team roping, Shad hauls a 10-year-old mare he calls Sunny. “My brother, Dixon, trained her and when he went to college and went on a church mission, he gave her to me. She’s as solid as they come.” Dixon will be a senior at KSU this fall, and competes in bull riding, tie-down roping, and team roping. Shad recently signed on to the KSU rodeo team, and he is looking forward to roping with Dixon for a year, while their younger sister, Kyleigh, is a freshman in the KHSRA. “It’s been fun hauling to rodeos with her and hanging out,” says Shad, who never leaves for a rodeo without a case of Mountain Dew. “But I try not to drink the whole case – I share with my buddies.”
The Winn family makes their home near Westmoreland, with an arena out back. “I like that we can practice whenever we want,” says Shad. “I like Kansas a lot, and I do miss all my friends in Utah, but it’s been good to make new friends out here.” Along with their horses, the Winns have a cat, Dean, and Shad’s Australian Shepherd puppy, Billy. “He comes to work with me every day to Wickstrom Feedlot,” says Shad. “I’ve worked there the past nine months, and I help with doctoring cows and branding.”
Shad graduated from Manhattan Virtual Academy in May, which held its ceremony in the library. He particularly enjoyed his English class the last semester, and writing poetry. Rodeo has inspired several of his cowboy poems. He met his goal of qualifying for the NHSFR his senior year, and qualified for the NJHFR in bull riding all three years of junior high. Shad also went to the NHSFR in the bull riding last year. “It was a really good time, and I got to see my Utah friends. We also drove over to Sheridan, Wyoming, to watch the pro rodeo, and stopped at King’s Saddlery, which was really fun. I had to get a rope and a ball cap.
“I want to thank my family and all my friends for supporting me,” Shad finishes. “Next year I want to make it to the college finals, and when I’m out of college, I want to make it to the WNFR in bull riding.”