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 […]
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Meet the Member Layne Wallinger
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Living in a community focused on the Western way of life predisposed Layne Wallinger to take an interest in the lifestyle. At 9 years old, Layne found himself watching YouTube videos about calf roping when he realized the event was calling his name. “My parents (Jay and Emily) didn’t rodeo or anything like that, but my aunt did and lots of people around here,” said the 17-year-old Stuart, Nebraska, cowboy. “Miles Garwood helped me get started and learn a lot of the basics. I kind of took it from there and developed my own techniques that worked well for me.” After that, Rusty Kluender came into the picture and really developed Layne into the calf roper he is today.
“Rusty brings up a lot of younger horses and he actually hooked me up with the sorrel mare that took my roping to the next level.” Now 12 years old, Tee Time is Layne’s main mount, but he also has her half-brother who happens to be half her age. “Rusty brings some younger horses up to me and then leaves them here so I can rope on them. That helps me practice and they get some more runs in.” This 17-year-old isn’t one to sit by idly, he also works for local rancher Colby Schaaf. “I pretty much ranch with Colby all year long. My life pretty much revolves around ranching and rodeo. I’ve been with Colby since I was little and started working for him when I was 13 and he’s taught me pretty much everything I know.”
Much like calf roping, Layne finds ranching fulfilling for the simple fact that you can track your success and failure in real time. Rescuing a calf from a blizzard and then later watching him walk through the sale barn is almost as satisfying as throwing a hooey in less than ten seconds. Layne has experienced plenty of both in the last few years. As a high school rodeo athlete in the calf roping, Layne won the short round and was second for the year end awards at the NHSRA state finals. He traveled just a few hours southeast for nationals. Although his runs didn’t go as planned, it was a fun week for Layne competing against the best of the best.
Layne is lucky in many aspects, but one of the most important is in his supportive family. Diving deep into a sport they didn’t know much about was no easy task. “There was a little bit of hesitation from my parents to get started but they understand why I enjoy it and help as much as they can. We’re just really thankful for all the people who helped us get on our feet and continue to help as we need it.” Of the five Wallinger brothers – Blake, 14, Brook, 11, Mac, 9, and Miles, 5 – Layne is the only one who rodeos. The rest of the boys have taken an interest in school sports.
In 2018 Layne started roping calves in the M-SRA in the 45 and over as well as the open. The tough competition pushed Layne to step up to the plate and he’s looking forward to making his first M-SRA finals in 2021. “I was only one out from making the finals last year but now I’m sitting pretty well that I think I can make it. I took a break this summer when I was preparing for nationals, but after that I got back on the road.” The road to M-SRA events isn’t all that long for Layne, which is one of the reasons he likes the association. “Almost every little town around here has an M-SRA rodeo. I really like that they try to accommodate everybody, especially us younger kids that are coming in.” As Layne’s fall high school rodeo season as a junior gets rolling, he’s working towards leading the calf roping by the end of it.