Meet the Member Emily Finney
story by Lindsay Humphrey Last summer, Emily changed her last name from Vinton to Finney when she married Doug. It was a match made at […]
story by Lindsay King
It was a mere $30 that separated first and second place heading into the team roping at the M-SRA finals this fall. Leading the pack was header Kolton Good and his partner Travis Goad. Kolton, hailing from Elk City, Oklahoma, got his fill of rodeo this past summer thanks to Travis and his family. “Travis, his wife and kids and I all loaded up in their RV and we took off from the beginning of July through the beginning of August,” Kolton said. Although Kolton enjoyed his time on the road and everything he learned, home was always at the back of his mind. “I like to be around the house and working with my horses. I wouldn’t necessarily rather be home over rodeo, but being gone is the hardest part about it.”
Up until last year, Kolton averaged about 15 rodeos a summer. This year that number jumped to about 50. “Winning the year-end header award was a big deal for me and probably only possible because of the number of rodeos we went to.” Living in southern Oklahoma presented Kolton with two options if he wanted to rodeo: head north or south. He decided to try his luck up north. He made the M-SRA, NSRA and KPRA finals as a header last year. Clearly, he chose correctly. “There are a bunch of rodeos you can go to in one weekend. Down where I am from there aren’t as many and they aren’t as competitive.”
Kolton broke into team roping thanks to his grandpa and uncle on his mom’s side–Ray and Brandon Hughes. “My grandpa team roped in the early 70’s. He, along with my uncle, got me into it and I have eaten it up ever since.” Kolton is handy with a loop of course, but it’s the horsemanship that captures his attention more than anything else. “I like starting a young horse and watching how a good rope horse develops.” Riding colts and roping is putting Kolton through college as he pursues a degree in agriculture at Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, Oklahoma. “I don’t know if I will ever end up using my degree, but it’s what I am going for right now.”
During the winter months, when riding colts slows down, Kolton is on the road. “A buddy of mine and I have been going to a lot of world series ropings and we’ve been placing pretty good. I am just roping to keep my money together right now. It’s something I might have a little bit of natural talent at and it’s a lot better than an 8-5 gig.” It’s very much the life of a rambling cowboy for Kolton right now. It’s what his grandpa used to do as a young man: ranching and roping. Kolton might not ranch, but he emulates his elder just the same. “My grandpa has always been there for me. When he was out working on the ranches a lot, he was pretty good at making a horse.”
Finding his feel for rodeo didn’t happen for Kolton in high school rodeo like many before him. He got into a groove this summer while traversing Nebraska and Kansas. “The M-SRA is a pretty good spot for me because I had never been out on the road full time. It’s a good stepping stone association from the smaller, unsanctioned rodeos to the bigger ones.” The amateur rodeo was a good place for Kolton to learn how to win and lose, and how to hold on to a money-making streak. “I could see myself trying my luck at some professional rodeos down the road. But I also wouldn’t mind going to more amateur rodeos for a while longer.” The future in rodeo is unknown for Kolton as he is short on horseflesh for the upcoming season. Regardless, he has a pocket full of skills to take him to the next level of rodeo when the right mount comes along.
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