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Meet the Member Kadin Babb
story by Lindsay King
“It’s a winner takes all sport, which definitely makes you humble,” said Kadin Babb. “Every rodeo solidifies that, win or lose. The glory always goes to God and the thanks goes to everybody that helped you. Without all the support, this sport would not be possible.” This wise-beyond his 16 years Hobbs, New Mexico, cowboy spent many summers in Texas with his grandparents on his mom’s side. “They took me to all the team roping jackpots they would rope in and I was hooked instantly. Watching them compete really drew me in. Every summer I would rope and ride with my grandparents, until the sport meant enough to me that I wanted to really get started.”
At 9 years old, Kadin got the first horse he ever kept at the family home in Hobbs. “I started roping calves because the people we hung around were big into it. They helped me find a horse I would be competitive on when I first started.” Kadin’s mom Sheila grew up in rodeo, but his dad Kody did not. “My parents have always kept me mounted well and driven me wherever I needed to go to practice or compete. They are a huge support system and I would not be able to do this without them.” The last part of that support comes from Kadin’s 13-year-old brother Kutter.
Both Kadin and Kutter got into rodeo the same way. Kutter heads for Kadin at some rodeos. “It’s a bonding experience for sure. Winning together makes us close, but losing together makes us even closer. Not many people can work as a team of two to stop the clock and then go home with that person and be a family.” The stiff competition of the NMHSRA has established a work ethic comparable to none in Kadin. “I like competing against the toughest kids in the state. It shows you what you are capable of. Everybody is there for each other at the rodeos and I like to be there for them too. Everybody in rodeo is basically family, there is no other sport with such good-hearted people as there are in rodeo.”
One member of that extended family sticks out when Kadin thinks of how he got to where he is in rodeo today – Kelsey Able. “When we first started, he was one of the guys that helped me find a competitive horse. He lets me come practice and taught me most of what I know about calf roping. He makes me work hard at it and is always there when I need him.” Kadin also heels, but easily chooses chasing a calf over reaching for two feet. “Calf roping is all about you and your horse. You don’t have to rely on anybody else to stop the clock. Although, it isn’t just a one-man event, you have to work well with your horse too.”
After leading the state in calf roping, Kadin took a few bad shots and acquired no times at the last few rodeos. He finished the year fifth in the state in the calf roping after going back to the basics. “I just wanted to get a rope around a neck every time and stop the clock. I didn’t want to just show up at a rodeo, I wanted to be competitive.” As an eighth grader, Kadin took fourth in the breakaway roping at state for a trip to nationals. “Even though I did not do well at nationals, I held my head up just knowing that I competed against some of the best kids in the country. That is what is so unique about this sport, you have to be humble to be successful.” In that spirit of humility, the homeschooled junior gives all the credit for his past success to everyone that has had a hand in molding him as a competitor. “This sport is a blessing and not many people can comprehend the things rodeo will do for you. You pour yourself into the sport and it teaches you life lessons. I think that is one of the main reasons why people compete.”