Story by Ruth Nicolaus The Mid States East Rodeo Association member lived in Texas for five years before moving back to her parents’ farm in […]
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Meet the Member: Shawn Tennant – MSRA-EMeet the Member
story by Rayne Sherman
This season marks team roping header Shawn Tennant’s second year as a member of the Mid States Rodeo Association (MSRA). Last year, Shawn earned the MSRA’s Rookie of the Year title.
Shawn, 23, is from Fairview, a small town in north-central West Virginia. Shawn’s family had always had horses on their farm, but didn’t participate in 4H or rodeo. He first became interested in rodeo when his father, Steve, took him to the rodeo in Fairmont, W. Va. Shawn began roping at age 13 at a local practice arena in Fairmont. “People at the 4T Arena helped me start. Then I met Zack Kilgus and Justin Yost and they showed me how to rope better. They helped me a lot when I first started,” said Shawn. Shawn started competing in the Western Pennsylvania Youth Rodeo Association and later competed in the Pennsylvania High School Rodeo Association (PHSRA) in both tie-down roping and team roping. He started his team roping career as a heeler, but after having trouble finding a partner in the PHSRA, he switched to heading. “I am better at heading and it comes more naturally to me,” stated Shawn. He qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo twice, in 2008 and 2009, in both tie-down roping and team roping. Shawn now competes in the MSRA and the American Professional Rodeo Association (APRA). In 2010, he won the APRA’s team roping heading Rookie of the Year title.
Outside of rodeo, Shawn likes to fish and hunt deer and rabbits. He enjoys bow hunting more than rifle hunting because it presents a greater challenge. Shawn also works for his father’s residential construction company. His mother, Sharon, and older sister, Stephanie, are not involved with rodeo. Shawn met Megan Oberdier through mutual rodeo friends and the two have been dating for two years.
“My dad has given me all the opportunities he can. He’s built me a practice arena and bought cattle. He’s taken me to four or five schools and done anything he’s capable of,” said Shawn.