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Meet the Member Stannis Hoffmann
story by Lindsay King
The first of her family to rodeo, Stannis Hoffmann grew up in the show pen while her dad spent most of his childhood on the race track. “I showed in 4-H and the AQHA, I even did some English jumping for a while,” said the Dunlap, Iowa, M-SRA competitor. She started a life-long rodeo career on a mare bought from a sale barn that “did everything pretty well.” It wasn’t until high school that Stannis got her first real rodeo horse. “It was nice to have a horse that did not take quite as much effort to go fast. I have never really looked backed after that.” Stannis pursued a degree – first in cosmetology and then in business – at Northeast Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, on a rodeo scholarship. She had such great barrel horses at the time that she took a shot at the pro circuit for a few years. Stannis still runs barrels, but she spends most of her time chasing calves.
“I have just always put more focus on breakaway, it clicked the best when I got into high school. It has probably been ten years since I roped a steer, but if we came across a horse I would get back to it.” With several colts moving up the ranks in the barrels, Stannis is getting busier every year. In 2014, Stannis bought a palomino mare she calls Reba. “At the time, I had been struggling to keep an older horse I was using sound. We bought Reba right after the fourth of July. By the end of the summer she had won me almost $4,000.” The day after Stannis bought Reba, they won a rodeo in the breakaway together. Two years ago, Reba was diagnosed with EPM, but the strong-willed mare wouldn’t succumb to it. “We did treatments on her and I rode her quite a bit last year. Usually she is pretty good, but my go-to is Jose now.”
Prior to Reba getting EPM, a calf horse came into Stannis’ life. “I hated Jose from the beginning, he has a big motor. When Reba got EPM, I had to ride him. We are getting along a lot better now.” Joe, her husband, found Jose for Stannis. An avid horseman himself, Joe showed horses in western pleasure for quite a few years. “He would like to learn how to rope, but for now he just helps me keep the horses in shape.” In December, Joe and Stannis will celebrate their nine-year wedding anniversary. It was also nine years ago that Stannis moved to Iowa from Colorado.
“I still go back to Colorado for an entire week every month to service my clients.” Working as a cosmetologist for Secret Serenity in Harlan, Iowa, gives Stannis flexibility to rodeo. She used to get home in the early morning hours just to go to work for a few hours and head out to another rodeo that afternoon. Her weekend schedule has changed enough that Stannis doesn’t have to keep this up anymore. In 2000, Stannis was the breakaway rookie of the year in the CPRA. She has competed at the CPRA finals six times in the breakaway. “I have been to the IRA finals a few times and the IRC finals twice. I have never quite made the M-SRA finals. The first year I had Reba, I was really close. I roped a front leg at Johnstown and that kept me out of the finals.” Her sights are set on finally making the Mid State finals this year as well as the IRCA. “The M-SRA has great rodeos: they are run well with good added money. The ground, pens and stock are always great also.”