story by Siri Stevens Wesley Lammers is the National Junior High School Rodeo Association president. “I ran for president last year in Des Moines Iowa, […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member: Brayden Morgan
By Lily Weinacht
It’s Brayden Morgan’s rookie year in the CJHSRA, and the 12-year-old cowboy from Avondale, Colo., intends to finish his first season with a trip to the NJHFR in Lebanon, Tenn. He competes in chute dogging, breakaway roping, goat tying, and team roping as a heeler, and he is sitting in the top ten in all his events. Brayden also plans to start ribbon roping, but team roping is his favorite. “I like roping with a partner and having someone to work with in the arena,” explains Brayden, who ropes with his friend, Brannan Allen. Both the boys’ parents rodeoed together, and even though Brannan lives in Loma, Colo., 300 miles and a range of mountains between them doesn’t stop the boys from teaming up, though it does limit practice.
Brayden’s parents, C.L. and Renee Morgan, coach him in his events. They both competed in rodeo as kids and worked their way through National Little Britches, high school, college, and professional rodeo. C.L. is now a PRCA team roper, though he and Renee have put their competition to the side to haul Brayden and his 14-year-old brother, Braxton, to their junior high and high school rodeos. “My parents motivate me,” says Brayden. “My mom was a world champion when she was my age, so that inspires me too.” Brayden has another tie to the western world through his grandfather, Butch Morgan, who is the marketing director for Western Horseman.
The Morgan family travels to most rodeos with five horses in tow – two for Brayden and three for Braxton. “My team roping and goat tying horse is a ten-year-old registered Paint named Ali,” Brayden explains. “I share my breakaway horse, Tom Thumb, with my brother. My grandparents raised Tom Thumb, and my dad competed on him, and now I ride him. He’s 21, and I think he’ll be a future ribbon roping horse.” In addition to their horses, the Morgan’s also have practice calves and steers, two dogs, and a lone goat named Uno. “We usually have goats for practicing, but this one is more like a pet because she acts like a dog,” Brayden says with a laugh. He and Braxton often practice together, and enjoy taking their horses through the pasture or to a nearby river bottom for a change of scenery.
Beyond the arena, Brayden is a sixth grader at Lineman Middle School. As a straight A student, he particularly enjoys math, as well as basketball. His team, the Lineman Pirates, finished fourth in their tournament for the year. After school, it’s off to rope before dark, though Brayden also spends time at the hobby shop his dad owns in Pueblo, Colo. They have an outdoor track where Brayden has a chance to race his remote control cars. “We host races here at the store, which Brayden gets to compete in,” says his dad, C.L.. “We have big events here once a month from April to October, so if Brayden isn’t roping or tying goats, he’s running cars around – and eating his favorite banana pudding.”
As the third generation of his family to rodeo, Brayden plans to make a career out of the sport, with his eyes currently fixed on qualifying for the NJHFR. He has made the 12 hour trip to Iowa twice before when his brother qualified. “I think my season is going good,” he finishes, “and when I grow up, one of my goals is to try and make it to the NFR.”