story by Michele Toberer Emma Arndt’s number one goal is to make it to national finals next summer, when the top 4 rodeo athletes in […]
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Meet the Members: Alexus & Hadison Hatcher
story by Lily Weinacht
Alexus and Hadison Hatcher have only had eyes for horses since they could walk. The sisters from Strong City, Kan., are in their second season with the KJRA, but they began their rodeo careers right in their backyard. “Before the KJRA, we did the Rawhide Wranglers, and they put on rodeos in our family’s arena,” 12-year-old Alexus explains. She’s also started competing in the KJHSRA, but does barrel racing, pole bending, and ribbon roping in the KJRA as the runner for Colton Kennedy. Ten-year-old Hadison also competes in barrel racing and pole bending, and is anxious to start running ribbons next year. “Barrels are my favorite, but I also like bringing in our cattle from the pastures,” she says, while Alexus particularly enjoys pole bending. “My horse really loves poles she dives into them!”
The sisters practice nearly five days a week with the help of their dad, who rides and trains cutting horses. “He’s taught us since we were young, and he has a lot of buckles, and good horsemanship,’says Hadison. “I also look up to my uncle, Jake Adkins,” says Alexus. “He used to ride bulls, and whenever he has a chance, he comes out and gives us little tips on riding.” Both Alexus and Hadison are motivated to rodeo by the opportunities to ride their horses and spend time with their family, including their grandparents, who often come to watch them compete.
Alexus and Hadison live on Fox Creek Ranch outside of Strong City with their parents, Matt and Angela Hatcher. They raise Quarter Horses and stand a stud, Tiveo, who came from Frank and Don Perkins of Perkins Ranch in Flint, Texas. The Hatchers currently have four colts out of Tiveo they are training, while Alexus and Hadison ride their horses, Bitsy and Cheeto. “We’ve had Bitsy for two years. Before, she was owned by Milt Spade and started her on barrels and poles by Penny Trevy,” says Alexus. “My favorite thing about Bitsy is that she’s real smooth, and she won’t buck you off.” Hadison was riding Cheeto in the barrels and poles, but rides Bitsy now that Cheeto is retiring. She plans to ride a new horse that’s coming home to the Hatchers in June. “We also ride our stud – we’re trying to get him to be a roping horse – but this new horse is an all-around horse,” Hadison explains. “She’s six, and her last owner won top hand on her several times. We’re still thinking of names for her, and our parents will probably choose from those what her name will be.”
Along with their horses, including a new colt born in April, Alexus and Hadison help take care of the family’s Angus beef cattle, cats, four dogs, and a goat named Spanky. “He mainly lives in the pen with the horses, and when we bring them back from a rodeo and they roll, he likes to jump up and down and try to make them stand up,” Alexus says with a laugh. “He’s a smart little goat.” Hadison will show the chickens and horses in fair this summer, while Alexus shows cattle, pigs, the goat, chickens, and their dogs.
Both sisters started homeschooling this winter and plan to keep studying through the summer. “It’s fun, and it’s better than being in regular school for seven hours – we can be done in four!” say Alexus and Hadison. They’ll also be taking a trip east this winter, and one of their stops will be the site of the Boston Tea Party.
Alexus and Hadison further enjoy playing basketball and softball, but they’re most interested in rodeo. Both are working to be in the top five of their events and learn to breakaway rope, with hopes of bringing home several buckles this season.