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Meet the Member Caitlyn Comfort
story by Lily Weinacht
Elwood, Nebraska, native Caitlyn Comfort achieved her goal of competing in the short go in breakaway roping at state finals this spring. The 18-year-old also competed in team roping with heeler Avery Brown. “I think the competitiveness of it all plays a big part in it,” she says of her drive to rodeo. “I’m a competitive person. And I like being able to see all the friends that you make throughout the rodeo season, and wanting to see them because you don’t get to on a regular basis.”
Caitlyn’s friends encourage her, as well as her brother, Chandler, 21, who competed in the KHSRA , and now team ropes for Black Hills State University and in several rodeo associations. “He’s helped me push myself,” says Caitlyn. She enters rodeos with Chandler, including the NSRA and KPRA. In 2017, they won the year-end saddle in the Nebraska Team Roping Association. Caitlyn also does the Young Guns Timed Event Rodeos in the winter, and she and her dad and brother enter USTRC and WSTR ropings throughout the summer. Her dad, Greg Comfort, team roped through college, and her mom, Danita Comfort, is the family videographer. They all haul to rodeos together, and Caitlyn always enjoys the KHSRA state finals. “I like the extra competitiveness and the venue. They have a good arena.”
She enjoys both her events equally, but chose to focus more on breakaway this year. “I like the adrenaline rush, and how tough it is and how competitive everybody is. In team roping, it’s kind of challenging to get a good start and go out and make a smooth run every weekend.” Weather permitting, she rides every day and ropes the dummy, then hauls to a nearby arena when she wants to rope live cattle.
Her horsepower includes her 14-year-old breakaway horse, Bugs, and her 20-year-old head horse, Chex. “They’re fun to ride,” says Caitlyn. “My brother comes out and ropes with me, and my dad does too.” The Comfort family makes their home several miles outside of Elwood, and Caitlyn likes having quiet roads to ride her horses on when they need a change of scenery.
A recent graduate from Elwood Public School, she enjoyed her weights and conditioning class, which carried over to rodeo. “It’s helped me with my upper body and being able to have power behind my swing,” she explains. “It was pretty busy, but I stayed on top of my schoolwork and everything really well this year.” Caitlyn also played basketball for the Elwood Pirates and was the manager of the track team. “I wrote down times and made sure kids do what the coaches ask of them and got in full workouts. I also wrote down their goals and times for meets and traveled with them.”
If she’s not traveling, Caitlyn enjoys spending time with her friends and family and relaxing before the next rodeo. She’s rodeoing throughout Kansas and Nebraska this summer, and attending Mid-Plains Community College in McCook, Nebraska, this fall on a rodeo scholarship. “I’m going to get my Associate of Science, and I hope to go to vet school. I’ve worked with several vets when my own horses were hurt, and being able to help them makes me feel better,” she says. “My goal for the next years to come will be competing to my best ability throughout the college season, making the college finals, and staying on top of my grades and school work.”