story by Lily Landreth Jaytyn Hash took home his first NLBRA world title at the 2019 NLBFR last summer in the team roping, a victory […]
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Meet the Member Jake Hawkins
story by Lily Weinacht
Jake Hawkins and David Windon are the 2018 NLBRA Senior Team Roping World Champions. It’s the first world title for the friends, who started roping together three years ago. Jake, 19, is the heeler and hails from Goshen, Indiana. He began rodeoing when he was 8 or 9 and met David soon after joining Little Britches in 2016. The friends also enter jackpots, USTRC ropings, and IPRA and MSRA rodeos together. They won the team roping at the NLBRA of Michigan Finals in 2018, then kept their competition sharp, entering a USTRC roping at the Lazy E the week before the NLBFR started. “I knew we were going to be in the top five at least, but I didn’t know it was going to happen the way it did,” says Jake of the Finals. “Our first couple of runs were solid, and in the short go, the second high call missed his calf, so I knew all we had to do was catch. I drew a dragger and roped a leg, and I knew if we didn’t win, we’d be really close to second.” Yet win they did, also securing an invitation to the first-ever Jr American in Fort Worth. “I missed a dally on our second steer, but we had a great time out there, and it was definitely an experience,” says Jake.
Along with team roping, Jake competes in the NLBRA in tie-down roping and ribbon roping, but team roping is easily his favorite. “I’m a predominate heeler, and all I really like to do is have a horse that really stops good and to throw a good loop under a steer and rope two feet. In the tie-down roping, I can get a calf down and tied, but in team roping I know my skills are adequately matched,” says Jake. He grew up playing soccer, but given the choice between his two sports, he chose rodeo to spend more time with his dad, also a roper, and the chance to travel and meet more people. His sister, Jillian, is a senior girl in the NLBRA and their brother Jade is a junior boy. Much of their family time is spent at rodeos with their parents, Jesse and Jennifer Hawkins. “My dad has really helped me become the roper and the man that I am today. He’s helped me a lot with controlling the outcome of the run and helping me to rope faster and be a better horseman. My roping hero is Joseph Harrison—he rides a lot of nice horses and ropes really well.”
One of Jake’s goals is to become a horse trainer. “Most of the horses I’ve ridden were hand-me-downs from my dad or other guys, but the more horses I ride, the better horseman I’ll be.” He roped off a 17-year-old mare, Listerine, at the 2018 NLBFR, and is currently riding Tango, a 13-year-old gelding he started riding last summer. The duo is joining David for one more season in the NLBRA before Jake ages out and heads to Uniondale, Indiana, for horseshoeing school this fall. Their goal is to win the NLBRA of Michigan Finals again and another world title. “Little Britches has a lot of younger kids in the association that look up to you, so you try to make friends with them and teach them that winning isn’t everything, and to try and do your best. A lot of people come together, and everybody is friends with everybody,” Jake explains. “In the future, I’d like to go to the NFR, and make the Mid States Finals and IFR at least once before I do that. And I’d like to train and have my own horses and win big on them.”