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Meet the Member Shelby Hinkle
story by Lindsay King
Just before Shelby Hinkle left for Colby Community College in Colby, Kansas, she took to the sport of rodeo. It wasn’t a rash decision, in fact, this had been building since Shelby was growing up in Hayes Center, Nebraska. “My whole family has rodeoed, including my grandparents. We had a fairly big ranch, so I grew up horseback. I went to a lot of team roping jackpots.” Shelby’s college rodeo coach wanted the talented header to take up breakaway roping for the team. “Breakaway wasn’t something I had done much, so I went to some jackpots and rodeos and I found out I really liked it.” Shelby sold her self-made breakaway horse last summer and still isn’t quite set on making a brand new one just yet.
“The mixed team roping is just getting bigger and bigger every year it seems like.” The NSRA is doing something right to have contestants traveling from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona every year. “The NSRA is a good association and they do a really nice job with it. They get the big numbers. It’s nothing to have the same number in the mixed team roping as the regular one which is huge because it’s my main event.” Even though Shelby enjoys the support system of her rodeo family, she finds herself at jackpots more often than not.
“At jackpots you have more time to set up your shots before throwing a loop because you have more than one chance to catch something in a day. Rodeo is a huge mind game for me because you have to make your one chance count.” Because heading is Shelby’s first love, she prefers it over the three-second event that is now breakaway roping. “Breakaway is a challenge and I like that, but heading steers on horses both young and old is much more rewarding. Taking them to a jackpot where they do really well is something else entirely.” Being mounted well is an accomplishment Shelby regards highly. “I started my head horse as a two-year-old and she is a great example of everything I have ever accomplished. Nobody has put as much time on her back as I have.” Shelby has managed to qualify for the NSRA finals in both events for the last several years. In 2017 she was the year-end reserve champion in the mixed team roping.
It was during her second year in Colby that Shelby met Kalib, who is now her husband. “Kalib is my biggest fan, my biggest support system, and my biggest critic. He expects a lot out of me.” They were married in 2016 and now live in Wallace, Nebraska, near Shelby’s parents Tim and Tracy Tyan. Shelby studied elementary education in college but has since become an entrepreneur. Partners on a bar they call T’s, Shelby and her mom are the gathering place for their local community. “We laughed at first, thinking we were crazy for even considering buying the bar and soon enough we were signing the papers and cleaning the place up.” That was back in 2014. “The bar had closed down and the community was struggling. I think every small community needs a place to congregate.” Just like rodeo, T’s is a family affair.
“I just want to make sure my family and friends know how much I appreciate all the support they have given me to get me where I am today.” Shelby gives all the credit to her parents and her older brother, Levi. “You need to have a family behind you to make it all work. Mine took me to a lot of ropings and jackpots. They always made sure I was riding a nice horse. I never had to fight with my horses when I was learning and that was huge, I was blessed to have that.”