Meet the Member Gentry Godbey
story by Ruth Nicolaus Gentry Godbey has a bright, sparkly personality. The cowgirl, a Colorado Junior High School Rodeo member, is upbeat, positive, and a […]
By Lily Weinacht
Brianna Denton of Rocky Ford, Colo., is a third generation rodeo competitor. The 14-year-old’s own rodeo history is rapidly growing as she competes in the CJHSRA and CJRA. “I love the experience of rodeo, from being with your friends, to competing,” Brianna explains. “When you win, it’s pretty sweet to have a victory, plus my whole family gets together to rodeo, which keeps me going.”
Brianna competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, team roping as the header, and ribbon roping as the runner. She returned to the NJHFR for the third time in June, this time in barrels, goats, breakaway, and ribbon roping. In 2013, Brianna was the National Champion Goat Tier and Rookie of the Year, while she was the NLBRA Little Wrangler Goat Tying Champion in 2009. Much of her inspiration to rodeo comes from her two brothers, Bryan – a junior in college – and Blake – a college freshman. “I think they’re amazing ropers, and they’ve pushed and helped me, and never lost faith in me,” she says. “My parents (Bruce and Regina Denton) backed off their own rodeoing to support us. They help me in the practice pen, and sometimes my dad will compete at local ropings with my brothers and I.” Brianna is particularly fond of the roping events. “I like team roping best because you get to do a lot of practicing for that, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of it!”
The Denton’s home outside of Rocky Ford is bustling with animals and rodeo practice. Brianna and Blake roped together in the CJRA this year, while he just finished his final season with the CSHSRA. Brianna uses his tie-down roping horse, Dunny, for breakaway roping, while Reno is her barrel and pole horse, and Doc is her mount in the team roping and goat tying. “Doc came from a sale barn, and I trained him,” describes Brianna. “He was the 2013 junior high champion goat tying horse, and he’s hard headed, but he’s the calmest, easiest horse I’ve ever had. I’ve only had Reno for four months – he’s kind of spooky, but very pretty, and he’s definitely got speed!” Their other animals include more horses, roping cattle, and a handful of goats.
Rodeo is Brianna’s favorite sport, but basketball and volleyball are next on her list of favorites. She went to several camps for both sports this summer, and plays on her school’s team. Another favorite summer pastime is hunting and fishing in the mountains with her family. Brianna occasionally helps her uncle with his outfitting company, Trujillo Creek Outfitters, and her favorite camping trip is on Music Pass. “That’s our family place to go camp for a week and a half,” she explains. “My grandparents and aunts and uncles come – the whole shebang. It’s a blast!”
This fall, Brianna will be a freshman at Swink High School, while her brother, Blake is a freshman at a local community college, leaving them a few more years to rope together. Their older brother, Bryan, is a junior at Oklahoma State University, while he is pursuing an internship with American Airlines in order to become a commercial pilot.
As for high school rodeo, Brianna is game for the challenge. “I’m really excited for it – I just have to step up my game, but I think I can do it,” she says. “I want to continue doing the best I can, always giving it my all, and never giving up. I know I’ll always have God on my side to lead me through it!”
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