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 Humphrey
As a night and weekend horse trainer, Peyton Mentzer has seen many horses pass through her pastures. But there’s one that sits at the top of her list without question. “My head horse, Hope, was given to me when she was two and she was a bronc,” said the Ensign, Kansas, native. “We finally got her out of that and now she’s pretty much my best friend. She pours out her heart and always gives me her all.” The 8-year-old mare is now the first to ask for attention and started her rodeo career two years ago. “We broke in a lot of steers on her because I really wanted to take my time with her.”
Heading for her stepdad, Toby, in the M-SRA has helped the team event become Peyton’s favorite. “We do a lot more team roping than anything else around the horse. And I had to work on it a lot to get Hope going, which just made me like the event even more. It’s really thrilling for me.” Peyton first started riding when she was 7 and roping just two years later. She worked her way up the ranks through Little Britches and high school rodeo. She was the world champion barrel racer at the 2009 and 2011 NLBFR and took reserve in 2010 and 2012 before graduating. She rodeoed at Garden City Community College and then Fort Hays State University before graduating with a degree in ag business. Peyton is now looking forward to getting back to barrel racing in the coming season.
“I train all my barrel horses and then I end up selling them to help others. After I sold my old horse, I just kept training and selling barrel horses. I’m hoping to get back into it now that I have a good one again. I just need to get her seasoned.” As Peyton seasons one horse, she’ll be getting a couple others going. On top of those two events, Peyton is also an avid breakaway roper. She first started honing her skills as a barrel horse trainer with the horse she won the world on. “My mom (Janet) and I trained that horse together. But I needed some other backups, so we got some younger horses and started working on them and pushing them a bit more. I’ve always gotten outside horses to train for people.” Peyton’s training style is very focused on the progression of both horse and rider after they leave her place. “I like to help people as much as I can so they aren’t just getting a trained horse from me, but they know what I was doing with them and they can keep things going on their own.”
Peyton is a first-grade teacher at Sunnyside Elementary School in Dodge City, but she also owns a health business, Corvive. It’s not surprising that Peyton enjoys helping others succeed more than her own accomplishments. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished for myself, but for me it’s more about seeing others reach their goals. It makes me happy to watch kids winning on the horses that I made for Little Britches and high school.” This mindset likely stems from the guidance Peyton received growing up. “When I started out, my grandpa, Johnny Northcut, had a lot of impact on me and so did my stepdad and my mom. Just having them and their support to keep pushing me has been really good for me.” Peyton’s adopted grandpa, Rusty Tooley, has also played a role in developing her roping skills and overall outlook on life.
The service-oriented atmosphere has further cultivated Peyton’s desire to help peers and fellow competitors. “I like how everyone in the M-SRA helps each other. If you need help getting in the arena or have a question, someone will help you as much as they possibly can. I also really like how everybody is always so positive.”
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