Meet the Member Emma Thompson
story by Lindsay Humphrey “I got a really late start in rodeo, I was 13 or 14 when I started going to jackpots and junior […]
story by Michele Toberer
Seventeen-year-old Reed Brazeal has been competing in the Kansas High School Rodeo Association since he was in 8th grade and is fully enjoying his final year with KHSRA before he moves on to the next chapter in his life. The Epic Charter School senior is competing as a team roper, heeling for Grayden Penny. This is the first year the two have paired up, but Reed is hopeful that this will be the year that everything comes together so he can finish the season with a trip to the National High School Finals Rodeo in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Reed and his mother, Kristy Brazeal, who works as a cosmetologist, recently moved to Hardesty, Oklahoma. He will continue to rodeo in Kansas since he is only 30 miles from the state line. His father, Billy Brazeal, lives in Dalhart, Texas and works at a livestock sale barn. Reed has a 22-year-old brother, Brock, who works as a lineman in Kansas. Ranching and cattle have been a strong part of Reed’s upbringing, but he’s the only Brazeal that has had the pull towards rodeo. “My brother did some rodeo when he was really young, but my parents and grandparents were drawn more towards reined cow horses. I’m the only one that has really just been drawn to rodeo and stayed at it. My grandpa was a racehorse trainer in Raton, New Mexico when he was young, but mainly ranched and worked in feedyards all his life; it’s what he did till the day he died.”
Starting out, Reed tried riding steers and bulls after his friend, J.D. Robson introduced him to the sport. “J.D. and I both wrestled and when I started hanging around with him and going to his house I started riding too. The junior steers were fun, but after I started getting on bigger bulls, I got hurt a couple times and decided to start roping. I calf roped a little bit, but really like to stay on my horse, so team roping is what I’ve stuck with.” Reed has headed and heeled over the years but prefers heeling. “I’m probably better at heading, but heeling is more exciting.” Reed is currently heeling on his new mare, Yeller. He purchased the 6-year-old mare from Chase Gibbs in Dodge City, Kansas a month ago, and is excited about competing on her this season. “She is really cowy and likes her job for sure.”
Rodeo is Reed’s sport of choice for competition, but he is also an avid snowboarder, and likes to fish and hunt. “I’ve been snowboarding for about 5 years. We spend a lot of time going to Red River or Taos, New Mexico, and Colorado Springs in the winter.”
After graduation, Reed would like to college rodeo, and is narrowing down his choices on where he would like to attend. “It’s hard to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. I’m just trying to make sure I choose what’s best for me and my future.” He will miss the KHSRA and his time with the association will be cherished memories of his time in youth rodeo. “I think the people of the KHSRA are what makes it great. It’s the friendliest state association, and everyone gets along and supports each other even though they’re competing against each other.”
“I really want to thank God, my family, the Reeves family, and my friends, for all their support in my life. My parents are so supportive and if they believe something is best for me, they let it happen.”
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