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Meet the Member Rider Linke
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Rider Linke is steadily adding more skills to his rodeo repertoire.
The Granby, Colo. cowboy, a member of the Colorado Junior High School Rodeo Association, does trap shooting and chute dogging, but next year, as a freshman, hopes to add tie-down and team roping.
Of his two events, he considers chute dogging his strength because of his skill and muscle strength.
Rider is an eighth grade student at East Grand Middle School in Granby. He loves seeing his friends, but there’s always homework, which usually consists of one page of math every night, which isn’t too bad. He loves US History and Civics class, including studying the Wild West, mountain men, and wars. If he could meet one person from the past, it would be gunman and gambler Doc Holliday.
He plays basketball, wrestles and shows sheep, goats and pigs in 4-H.
For fun, he likes to do metal and wood work and has made a shelf, a gun rack, and flowers out of bolts and washers. He’s really looking forward to high school shop class.
Rider knows his way around a kitchen as well as a rodeo arena. If he’s hungry for his favorite, chocolate chip cookies, he makes them and can even separate an egg yolk from the white. He likes to make waffles (from scratch) and oatmeal in the mornings, and even makes his own elk jerky with spice concoctions that might include a peppery or teriyaki flavor. “I throw some stuff (in the jerky) and see how it turns out. It’s usually really good,” he said.
Sometimes he makes snacks, but occasionally he’ll have dinner ready for the family, which might be quesadillas, nachos or tacos. And he cleans up after the meal, too!
If he was given $1 million, Rider would buy his dad’s truck, then pay for college and buy a house and an acreage.
The truck is important to him. It’s a 1996 F350 crew cab manual with 200,000 miles on it. “As long as I can remember, I’ve loved it,” he said. “Anytime I’ve been in it, it’s been a happy feeling.”
The truck has a classic look to it, he says, and everybody wants to purchase it: his cousins, his sister’s boyfriend, and his friends. “Everybody wants to buy it, but I’ve kept him from selling it.”
The most fun he’s had on a trip was going to Panama City, Florida with his best friend and his friend’s grandparents. “They let us have the reins,” he said. “We spent a lot of time on the beach and met a whole bunch of new people. It was a lot of fun.”
He’s an excellent skier: he can ski any run at the Winter Park Resort, including the double black diamond chutes. He can jump off rocks in the powder snow, and loves riding his Ski Doo 800 snow machine.
When he grows up, he’d like to be a rancher.
This is the first year Rider is fully invested in junior high rodeo. He competed a bit his seventh grade year, but not much.
His parents, Trey and Jolene, love their son for a variety of reasons: his zeal for life, his work ethic, his respectfulness, and his willingness to help out on the ranch.
Rider has two older sisters: Sierra, who is 24, and Juliette, who is 22.