story by Michele Toberer Dawson and Jessica McMaster have “McMastered” their respective events and are sitting at the top in the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Tammy Peterson
story by Lily Weinacht
“When you’re born into it, you just love it,” says Tammy Peterson of rodeo. “I can’t imagine doing anything different. I have an aunt who’s 80 years old and still saddles a horse every day, and I hope to be like her.” Tammy, 51, of Cimarron, Kansas, won her third barrel racing title in the KPRA at the 2017 finals, and she’s lived the rodeo and ranching lifestyle since childhood. Last season, however, Tammy’s goal was simply making the finals; the year-end title was far from her mind. “I was riding a 5-year-old mare I had just bought the year before, so I hadn’t had her very long. I didn’t have a very good winter at the jackpots, but then she really came on. She and I really started clicking midway through the year, and she started winning quite a bit for me. Her name is Papablond, but I call her Sita,” says Tammy. “She was trained by Kiley Weast, who does an awesome job training horses. She trains horses for Namgis Quarter Horses, who raised Sita.”
Tammy joined the KPRA in high school when it was the Kansas State Rodeo Association, along with entering high school rodeos, and later, college rodeoing for Dodge City Community College and Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Her dad rode saddle broncs and Tammy’s brother team roped, but Tammy was inspired to barrel race by two of her aunts and a family friend, whom she grew up watching as they chased cans. “My aunts, Caroline Degnan and Mary Smith, were always there, and that really helped. We also had a family friend, Sue Hoss, that helped me a lot as well. My dad, Laton, was very much a role model for me, and if he were still here today, he’d still be going with me I’m sure. My mom, Sue, likes to go with me, and she’s always been a big support.”
Tammy and her husband, Tom, and their 19-year-old daughter, Camron, make their home not far from where Tammy grew up outside of Cimarron. Her dad managed a ranch north of town, and she and her brother helped with every aspect, from working cattle to running tractors. Tammy met Tom in college at OPSU, where she majored in biology. After they graduated, the husband and wife moved back to Cimarron, where Tammy taught biology and chemistry for 14 years in Dodge City. Currently, she teaches high school special education and co-teaches two science classes in Dodge City. Tom sells animal medicine and team ropes, while he rode bulls and bareback horses in college. He and Tammy used to team rope together, and their daughter is a breakaway roper, competing on the DCCC rodeo team. “She plans on going to the KPRA rodeos this year, and she’s going to cosmetology school,” says Tammy.
As soon as she’s home from work, Tammy saddles up horses and rides at her neighbor’s arena, or takes her horses down the road or through the pastures and fields. “All we do is ride, but I do love basketball. I like all sports—I watch football and basketball, and I played basketball in high school.” She’s rodeoing in the KPRA again this season, and always looks forward to the KPRA rodeo in Lakin. “I always like going there—I know a lot of people there, and I love going to Wellington, Texas, and Canadian, Texas. Those are some really good rodeos that I enjoy going to. I really want to continue to be consistent, and I do plan to go to some circuit rodeos again this year. I have my (WPRA) card. I made the (Prairie Circuit) finals in 2010, and it’s been a goal of mine to make the finals again.”