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Meet the Member Camden Hoelting
story by Lily Weinacht
Camden Hoelting is a third-generation team roper, and the header from Olpe, Kansas, is currently leading the KHSRA team roping standings with his friend Trey Adams. Camden, 18, also competes in tie-down roping, but he calls team roping his first love. “I like being the header because it’s kind of like being the quarterback—they set up the run for how fast you can be and handle the steers. I like setting it up and then sitting back, and watching my heeler catch two feet is a pretty good feeling.”
This is Camden and Trey’s first high school rodeo season roping together, but they’ve entered ropings together for several years. Camden has also qualified for the NHSFR twice in the team roping, finishing fourth in the nation in 2016. “The National High School Finals and Gallup are two rodeos I look forward to every year, and they’re the ones that get me really motivated,” Camden explains. He’s also motivated by his dad, Eric Hoelting, who first put a rope in his hand, and coaches Camden and his younger brother in the roping pen. “My grandpa (Galen Hoelting) was a team roper, and he’s retired and looks over his ranch now, and my grandma (Vicky Hoelting) was a barrel racer, and she helped us when we needed help running chutes, and she supplies us with some pretty nice horses.” Dawson McMaster, one of Camden’s neighbors, has also influenced him. “He’s a pretty good heeler, and he’s constantly doing anything he can to help me get to where I need to be and take me to the next level.”
A palomino gelding, Sammy, was Camden’s first rope horse and gave him his foundation, and then he rode his grandma’s barrel horse, Scooter. “A bay gelding named Gage helped me get to the last two (NHSFR) finals, and I just turned him down to my little brother and now I have a little palomino that’s young named Jack. I’ve ridden him in every high school rodeo so far this season and he’s done a great job. We got him when he was a yearling. My grandma bought him, and we trained him.”
Camden also works cattle on his horses, and he and his brothers help their dad run the family’s cow/calf operation. “Colby (16) was the quarterback for our football team this year that went to state, and Derrick (15) is more of a farmer—he likes to drive tractor and he plays sports and does well at that. Dexton (12) does junior high rodeo, and he’s into team roping,” says Camden. A senior, he enjoys sports as well, playing basketball and football for Olpe Junior-Senior High School. “I’m pretty busy trying to keep good grades, and my favorite is probably weights or PE. I like history, and learning about World War One and Two—our teacher does a good job with that.” Camden is also looking at colleges, and he plans to start college rodeoing this fall.
When they’re not at rodeos, Camden and his family enjoy going to amusement parks together, and Camden loves duck and goose hunting in the winter. “It’s pretty fun around here,” he says. “In rodeo, I’d like to be a state champion—I’ve come close the last two years, and this last year was really close. I’d also like to get above a 3.8 in academics, and to get all-state basketball point guard.”