story by Lindsay Humphrey “Every bull I’ve gotten on my dad has pulled my rope for me,” said Kyle Campbell. “I like him being behind […]
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Meet the Member: Jada Burgman
story by Lily Weinacht
Jada Burgman is a native of The Sunflower State, but she calls the rodeo arena home. The 15 year old from Leonardville, Kan., started rodeoing ten years ago, and she’s well into her second season with the KHSRA, competing in breakaway roping, barrel racing, and goat tying. “Whenever I have success in the arena, that always makes me feel that I can do it again,” says Jada. “The people are always helping me, and that keeps me inspired.” One such success was during the 2015 KHSRA state finals, when Jada roped her fastest time ever in the breakaway with a 2.62, winning the first round. “It really shocked everyone, because I hadn’t roped like that all year!” says Jada. Her mom, Jane Burgman, adds, “If you get a little success, it really feeds your fire, and it’s been fun to watch Jada strive to improve.”
“I like all my events, but I’ve been roping a lot better the past few years, and I’ve always loved the action of goats,” Jada explains. “I really look up to Jeanne Anderson – she lives about an hour away, and she’s helped me a lot of with my barrel horses.” Jada is retiring her barrel horse, Shadow, and now competes on a mare named Shawnna. “We have our ups and downs, but her personality has improved. It’s hard to retire Shadow since she was my go to horse, but she’ll be happy. For the breakaway roping, I ride Minnie. She’s short and fat and adorable,” Jada says with a laugh.
She practices nearly every day of the week, either riding them on the back roads for several miles, or practicing barrels and goats in her family’s hay meadow. “We don’t go very fast there, but it’s a good spot because my barrel horse can’t see other horses without wanting to go visit them. It’s the easiest place for her to focus. My mom also pulls the roping dummy, since we don’t have roping cattle.” The Burgman family raises beef cattle, however, and Jada and her brother, Brock, help their parents, Jane and David, with many aspects of the farm. Brock, 11, also competes in rodeo in the KJRA, and Jada shares Minnie with him in the roping. He’ll be moving up to the KJHSRA this fall.
Counting down the days until she finishes the school year, Jada is a sophomore at Riley County High School. “We get out on May 26 at 1:10. I’m very excited for summer break!” she says. Jada does enjoy her Advanced Biology class, however. “It’s a hard class, and I really like my teacher. Her daughters play sports, so she understands when I have to miss it for a rodeo, and she really helps me out.” Additionally, Jada was on the honor roll and academic team her freshman year, and served as the girls high school basketball team manager for the second time.
Once home, Jada’s in the barn saddling horses. “We don’t have lights in the arena, but I can do homework when it’s dark,” she says. She additionally competes in the speed events in 4-H and enters the occasional NBHA race. “I’ll show steers in 4-H this summer, and that consumes some time, plus I’ll show Shadow at the fair.” Jada also competed in the American Royal Youth Invitational Rodeo for three consecutive years.
“I’m interested in becoming a nurse,” Jada says of her goals, “and I recently had the opportunity to shadow a nurse as a requirement for school. I want to be really good at my job when I’m older, and keep on rodeoing!”