Meet the Member Logan Vander Hamm
story by Lindsay Humphrey Going into the KJHSRA finals, Logan Vander Hamm wasn’t optimistic about his chances of making it to nationals in team roping. […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
When Wyatt Henry and his family moved to rural Cantan, Kansas, 9 years ago, they jumped into the country life with both feet. They started raising hens for eggs, Jersey cows for milk and bought a few horses just for fun. “My little sister (Jovey, now 9) wanted horses and then my parents got us into riding lessons and that person suggested we start doing rodeo,” said the 14-year-old. “That was 3 years ago, I only started chute dogging last year.” Wyatt was only one point away from winning the year-end buckle in the CKYRA his very first year in rodeo.
Even though Wyatt enjoys riding horses, he likes competing in chute dogging because he doesn’t have to be mounted. He’s prepared to be in the saddle when high school comes around next year, but he’ll enjoy keeping his feet on the ground until then. “I like chute dogging because I like being around cattle and the adrenaline rush. I also like being behind the chutes with the other kids. We’re normally talking and joking around back there until it’s our turn.” Wyatt’s dad, the late Barry Henry, enjoyed watching him in the event. In his absence, dads all across the KJHSRA have stepped up this season. “There have been lots of guys who wanted to make sure Wyatt could still compete after everything that’s happened this year,” said Wyatt’s mom, Sarah. “They’ve paid his entry fees, hauled him to rodeos and been there for him behind the chutes. You just have to keep living life and I wanted to make sure he could keep competing.”
Trevin Prieb has been one of Wyatt’s main contributors to his success this year. “I go over and practice with Trevin during the week. That’s really the only time I can practice, but when I’m there I learn a lot.” Wyatt has five other siblings – Quentin, 21, Silas, 19, Asa, 17, Levi, 11, and 9-year-old Jovey. Everyone still at home, the youngest four, rodeo all year round together. Jovey is the one responsible for the family getting into horses in the first place. “I didn’t know how big horses were until I got up next to one because I had only seen them on tv. The first time I got on one it was intimidating.” Wyatt proved he’s gritty when he got bucked off during his second ride and simply hopped back on.
Late into the spring season, Wyatt was leading the chute dogging in the KJHSRA ranks. His goal was to get every steer on the ground and remain consistent. At state finals, Wyatt laid all three of his steers flat. He won the short go and was reserve champion for the year. “My mom always says: ‘don’t give up, you just have to keep living.’” Wyatt’s clung to this advice as he’s competed in his final junior high season. Even though he plans to take up steer wrestling in high school, it might not be until Wyatt is a sophomore. He wants more time to get acquainted with the event from the back of a horse. Wyatt can rest easy knowing his friends from junior high will be waiting for him in high school. “I really like competing in the junior highs because I’ve met new friends and I get to see them at the rodeos. And I get to travel around the state.”
When Wyatt isn’t traveling to his favorite places in the state – Dodge City and Garden City – he’s taking care of his massive herd of chickens at home. “We bought a few chickens when we moved out here and that became my chore. We kept getting more chickens and then some of the hens would sit on their eggs until they hatched.” Wyatt’s herd is now 90 strong, but there are quite a few roosters. He still ends up collecting several dozen eggs a day and sells them to friends and neighbors.
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