story by Lindsay Humphrey A life on the road is about all Kenna Kaminski has known since she grew up in the backseat of a […]
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Meet the Member Brenna Strickland
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Very few parents can say they’ve been present for every single trip down the alley, but that’s exactly the case for Brenna Strickland and her mom, Meagan. “If momma isn’t going, then I don’t want to go,” said the 11-year-old from Kentwood, Louisiana. It’s obvious the two have a strong bond and part of that was forged while learning horses and rodeo from the ground up together. “We learned a whole lot in a short amount of time, but it was fun and the memories we’ve made with her have been amazing,” Meagan said. Their favorite memory to date was when Brenna ran a 14.128 in the junior barrels back in January to punch her ticket to the Junior World Finals.
“That’s probably the biggest memory and biggest win. I was crying when she won just because she puts in her time and practices for multiple hours every day no matter the weather. Things are finally starting to go her way and that’s made it bittersweet for me.” Friends and family are already getting suited up for Vegas. Brenna’s grandma had her outfits for Vegas all ready to go when they told her about the win. Perhaps it was that unwavering confidence that pushed Brenna through a tough week and into the number one spot at the qualifier. “On Monday we had to put the horse down that taught me just about everything about barrels and horses. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be ready mentally by Saturday.”
Even though Brenna was mounted on 6-year-old Bonnie, her heart was racing with her trusty Hey Girl. It was a tough situation, but the fifth grader proved she can get down to business when the chips are on the line. After making the BBR World Finals four years in a row, Brenna was determined to mix it up in 2022. That’s what ultimately lead her to Gonzales, Louisiana, to enter her very first KKP event. “A lot of people we knew had ran in the Junior World Finals, so I knew I wanted to try it too. It was easy to find a qualifier close to us and I was going to keep entering until I finally made it to Vegas.” Brenna was surprised she made it on her first try and it was made even more exciting when she won her division and placed second overall. Now she has an entire year to get geared up for the tough event in December.
Luckily, Brenna has quite a bit of extra time on her hands now that she’s being homeschooled. It was a decision made for the sake of rodeo but was solidified by her parent’s work schedules. “I used to get home from school around 4:30 and that didn’t leave a lot of time to practice. It was easy to convince my mom to let me homeschool because she works at the hospital and has an odd schedule. And then my dad (Jessie) works all over the country [as a turnaround site manager], so I’ve been able to see him a lot more too.”
Even though Brenna enters the goat tying and poles in the Mississippi Junior High School Rodeo Association, it’s barrels that has captured her heart entirely. “I like barrels the best because it’s what I’ve had as a goal for a long time and there are a lot of people that I can look up to that compete in it.” Some of Brenna’s favorites include Amberley Snyder and her sister Autumn, Hailey Kinsel, and Emily Miller-Beisel just to name a few. But her favorite is Amberley, thanks in part to a clinic with her last October. “We still get messages from Amberley asking how Brenna’s doing and if she needs any help with her horses,” Meagan said. “It’s been a lot of fun getting to watch Brenna and we’re all looking forward to Vegas.”