story by Ruth Nicolaus Justin Rosentreader is in his final months as a Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association member. The Broken Bow, Neb. cowboy […]
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Meet the Member: Clare Kohl
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Clare Kohl is focused on the job at hand. Whether it’s playing volleyball, studying hard, or roping or running barrels, she goes at it with determination and focus.
The fourteen year old cowgirl, who lives a few miles east of Surprise, Neb., is a member of the Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association. She competes in the breakaway, the team roping and barrel racing. Of her events, breakaway and team roping are her favorites, mostly because of the two people who have taught her: Todd Graff, who has taught her to breakaway, and her dad, Ken, who has taught her to head.
She learned to ride aboard her dad’s trusty rope horse, Elliott, who started her interest in rodeo. Elliott has passed on, and she has graduated to her current horses: Cactus, her nine year old sorrel head horse who is new to the family, Rolex, her six year old barrel horse, and Mike her fifteen year old breakaway horse. She sometimes rides Todd’s horse for the breakaway, if he happens to be at the same rodeo she is at. Mike is her favorite horse, but Todd’s horse gives her a better shot at winning.
Clare is an eighth grade student at Shelby-Rising City School. She excels at school, and makes sure she works hard at it. “I focus on school because I know it’s important. I’m a big believer in good grades,” she said. “I know they take you a long ways.” She has been on the school’s Roll of Excellence her entire middle school career.
Her extracurricular activities include volleyball, which she loves almost as much as rodeo, basketball, vice-president of Student Council, FFA, and playing alto saxophone in band.
When she grows up, she might like to be an equine surgeon or pursue something in the medical field, like cardiology or anesthesiology. The medical field interests her in part because her mom BranDee is a surgical RN. Blood and guts don’t scare her, and she likes the intensity that an operating room has. She’d also like to move to a warmer climate. Clare has spent a few weeks in Arizona in the winter, and she enjoyed it. Texas, Arizona or Oklahoma might be on her radar.
Her dad, an accomplished team roper, says she is very mature, and admires her determination, “the amount of try she has,” he said, “and how much time she puts into her roping. I admire that more than anything.” She’s devoted to practice. “When the weather’s good, she’s in the practice pen every day, and in the winter, she ropes the dummy every day.” He has told his daughters, including MaryEll, who is seventeen, that hard work is crucial for success. “Whatever they do, they have to work hard to get anything out of it. If you don’t, you won’t succeed at what you’re doing.”