story by Lindsay Humphrey All it took was one ride on a live bull and Blake Huffman was hooked on rodeo. Previously he was a […]
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Meet the Member: Hannah Duncan
By Lindsay Whelchel
Hannah Duncan, from Wamego, Kan., found rodeo perhaps just when she needed it the most. She explains that she wasn’t coordinated enough with other high school sports to get involved, but she’d been riding horses since the age of 10 under the guidance of her mentor Vince Mowry, a team roper whom she worked for by the time she was 16, and he got her involved in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association. She’s been focused on barrel racing ever since and hopes to try her hand at breakaway soon.
Hannah explains that she began in the sport around the time her parents divorced and though that was a challenge to overcome, rodeo was there for her.
“One of the most rewarding things was the home I found in it. I just feel like I’m part of this big family no matter what rodeo I go to in the state, and last weekend I won my first buckle when I won my first rodeo, and I never thought that would happen because I started so late in life rodeoing, so being able to win my first rodeo, that was definitely a life-changer,” Hannah says. What made it better was that the rodeo was her hometown rodeo.
Though she’s the only horse person in her family, her mom Teresa, dad Dale and brother Nash support her.
She also credits Vince for all of his help and guidance. “Without him I wouldn’t be anywhere,” she says.
Rodeo quickly became a priority for Hannah, but with money being tight, it was a lifestyle she had to work hard to ensure as she paid her own way down the rodeo road.
All of her dedication has been beneficial.
“The thing that I love most is the pride I get from it and definitely the atmosphere while I’m doing it, it’s just such a respectful atmosphere and everybody is so nice, I just love the community,” she says and adds, “and I just love the work ethic it teaches you, the responsibility.”
The impact rodeo has had has no doubt aided Hannah in pursuing her education and career goals. She graduated in the spring and will be attending college this fall at Oklahoma State University and majoring in sociology.
She plans to work with juveniles, particularly those who are in foster care or facing other challenges. Hannah hopes to one day be able to incorporate horses into a therapy program, she explains.
Horses are her partners in the arena too.
“So many girls look at their horse as a tool, and you can’t look at them as a tool, they’re your best friend through all of this. Treat them with respect,” she says.
“I’m definitely a determined person. I’m very open-minded. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover,” she describes, and it’s those characteristics that will suit Hannah well on her chosen path.