story by Lindsay Humphrey Unlike many of her peers, 13-year-old Sage Putnam didn’t get her start with horses in rodeo. She did, however, always have […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Kham Patterson
story by Lindsay Humphrey
If it wasn’t for his mom (Alicia) and God, Kham Patterson wouldn’t be the rodeo athlete or person that he is today. “My step-dad (JC) is a lineman, so he’s working out on the road a lot,” said the 14-year-old from Cleveland, Oklahoma. “My mom hauls us everywhere and helps us when we need it because she used to rodeo when she was younger. I would not be doing this today if it wasn’t for her.” Before his eighth-grade season, Kham competed in local junior rodeo associations and Little Britches. This is his rookie, albeit final season, with the KJHSRA. Competing for rookie of the year is one of many motivating factors for Kham as he enters no less than six events at each rodeo.
“I like team roping, but I mainly enter when someone needs a partner. I rope with Abby McGee a lot. She’s also my ribbon roping partner.” Kham’s focus is mainly on bull riding, tie-down and breakaway roping, chute dogging and goat tying. The first two are his favorite and the events he aspires to take to a professional level in the future. “I got a new calf horse last year and we have just clicked. I’m roping off him really well right now.” Part of his affinity for calf roping comes from the bond it creates with his horse. One of Kham’s goals for the current rodeo season is to continue connecting with his horse. He figures the bond he has with his horse can only help the pair when they’re competing.
Kham is no stranger to tough competition when it comes to riding bulls. In 2020 he was the reserve world champion and won rookie of the year in the NLBRA. “At the awards banquet I got to meet Tuff Hedeman. Watching the greats is one thing but getting to meet them is just an amazing feeling.” There are plenty of cowboys Kham looks up to in life and he’s hoping to also be someone worth emulating. He has four younger siblings – Kashdyn, 11, Lucas, 7, Kabyl, 2 and Bo-Hayzl, 10 months – who watch his every move. Equipped with a heart of service, one of Kham’s goals for the season is to be of service to his sister who also rodeos. He wants to help her be successful in her events and make sure she always has a good example to follow.
For as long as Kham can remember, he’s had cowboys teaching him the ropes of ranching. Those skills have transferred well to the rodeo arena, especially in the chute dogging. “I had never done or even seen the event, but I realized I was already doing it on the ranch. It’s a lot of fun and I hope I can do steer wrestling one day.” In his younger days, JC would day work and managed various ranches in Kansas and Oklahoma. It would be safe to presume Kham has spent more of his life on the back of a horse than anywhere else. That’s something he plans to continue as he gets older, both competitively and as a day worker.
In the small town of Cleveland, Kham is the only junior higher who rodeos. His unique activity coupled with his friendly personality makes him an interesting conversationalist for his peers and teachers. “It’s kind of cool knowing that I’m the only one who does it in my school. A lot of my teachers like to keep up with how I’m doing. Some of them know about rodeo and go to the NFR every year, so they think it’s cool that I compete.” Even though Kham’s time in the KJHSRA is short, he already feels at home in it. There’s never a shortage of helping hands or friendly smiles. Kham has several stories illustrating how the KJHSRA has welcomed his family with open arms.