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Meet the Member: Reece Wadhams
By Lily Weinacht
Reece Wadhams made the 13 hour trip from his home in Pueblo, Colo., to the compete in the NJHFR in Des Moines, Iowa, this summer. It was the 13-year-old’s first trip to Nationals after he and his partner, Trevor Singleton, placed fourth in the team roping at the CJHSRA state finals. “I thought Nationals was fun. It was cool to compete against so many different people!” says Reece, who has been rodeoing since he was five.
Though he was a header last season, Reece decided to switch ends, and is now heeling for Jacob Heron. The cowboy with one blue eye and one brown eye also competes in breakaway roping and ribbon roping, but team roping is by far his favorite, and the event he spends the most time on. During the summer, Reece practices six times a week, and he tries to keep a similar schedule during the school year, joined by his family in the arena whenever he practices. His step-mom, Lindsay, and his grandparents run the chutes, while Reece and his dad, Jay, and brother, Brier, rope calves and steers. Reece’s uncles, JD and Craig, also come to rope on occasion. “My dad grew up rodeoing and showing horses, my mom showed horses, plus my grandpa rodeoed and my grandma was a rodeo queen, so rodeo is something my family has always done!” Outside of his family, he looks up to PRCA team roper Jade Corkill. “He’s a really good roper,” says Reece, who hopes to meet Jade someday.
“My family inspires me to rodeo, and the opportunities I have to win – and I like travelling and seeing all my friends,” Reece says. “I’d like to thank all my friends and family that have helped me.” Reece rides one horse, Arky, for all three events, and sometimes practices on Jackson Hole, a gelding his grandpa gave to Reece and Brier years ago, whom they have since retired from rodeo.
The Wadhams live just a few minutes outside of Pueblo, where, along with their horses, they keep cows, roping calves, and a dog. His brother Brier, 17, competes in the CSHSRA in team roping, tie-down roping, and ribbon roping. In addition to junior high rodeo, Reece competes in the CJRA, where he placed fourth in the breakaway roping and won the year-end in team roping at the 2014 CJRA finals. He took fourth in breakaway and second in team roping at the 2015 finals.
An eighth grader at Pleasant View Middle School, Reece’s favorite subject is math. Other than working with numbers, he enjoys playing basketball, and is anxious for the new basketball season to start. Reece and Brier play basketball at home, or Reece invites friends over to shoot hoops. This time of year, Reece is also hunting, either duck or goose, while in the summer he likes to fish on the Pueblo reservoir.
Competing in several CJHSRA rodeos this fall has whet Reece’s appetite for rodeo once more, and he has every intention of qualifying for Nationals again next summer. Other than Nationals, his favorite rodeo is Henderson. “It always rains at that rodeo, and it’s harder to compete, but I kind of like it,” he says. Following high school, Reece’s plan is to fill his PRCA permit and travel the pro rodeo trail, with the Pendleton Roundup a priority on his list of rodeos to enter. His ultimate goal is a qualification for the WNFR, and a lifetime of rodeoing.