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Meet the Members Braasch Family
story by Michele Toberer
The Braasch family, of Rensselaer, Indiana, was excited to learn about the International Miniature Rodeo Association when they met Gus Haley of Rafter H Mini Broncs at a youth rodeo last season. Evan and Kossette Braasch started entering their 8-year-old son, Landon in the IMRA events, and couldn’t have had a better experience at the IMRA finals in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in January. “Landon rides mini bulls and mini broncs, and the experience we had at the finals was amazing. We didn’t know a lot of people, but we got out there and it was like a great big family. One of the main things we noticed was that when you come to these events it almost feels like you’re coming to a family reunion, and everyone is there to help, even if it’s their competitors.”
Landon has been competing at rodeos since he was 4, beginning with mutton busting and moving up to calf riding when he was 6 years old. He has already won a Reserve Champion Calf Rider title with the Indiana Junior Rodeo Association and was the 2018 Midwest Youth Rodeo Association Champion Bareback Mini Bronc Rider. Although he loves P.E. and reading anything about rodeo and horses, as a rising third grader at Rensselaer Elementary, his main thoughts revolve around riding rough stock. “Landon is a little bit of a daredevil, and he loves to be challenged, so he has found something that he really loves when it comes to riding at rodeos,” explained Kossette.
Besides Landon, Evan and Kossette have a 7-year-old daughter, Tenleigh, and 1-year-old son, Kelton. Kossette grew up surrounded by horses and has been riding since she was 2 years old. Evan began riding when he and Kossette married 10 years ago. The couple has had all the children riding on horses with them from the time they were very young, and even Kelton is already loving being led around on his little paint pony while Landon and Tenleigh are practicing. “Between my parents and my brother’s family, we have about 15 horses and we all love to go trail riding and camping with the horses when we have time.”
Tenleigh, a second grader at Rensselaer Elementary, was bitten by the rodeo bug herself, and she also loves getting on the mini broncs when she can. She’s already ridden several on exhibition at youth rodeos and plans to join in on the IMRA competition this coming season. “As a mom, it’s nerve-wracking to watch either of my kids ride at rodeos. But they’re not afraid at all, which is great. If they ever show a sign of not wanting to ride, we won’t. Tenleigh likes being behind the chutes with all the riders, and they all think it’s awesome that she’s riding. She’s a girly-girl who also loves to barrel race, but I think this is kind of the rebel side of her dad coming out in her.” Tenleigh plans to also enter barrel racing in the IMRA this season.
When the family heard a stock contractor was selling Landon’s favorite miniature bull, they decided to make him a part of the Braasch family. “Herf, is a Miniature Hereford bull and he’s like a big pet. He stays in the pasture with the horses and you can walk up and pet him, but Landon can still practice riding on him, which is nice.”
Kossette works for Markstone Trucking as a dispatcher, and Evan farms corn, beans, popcorn, and seed corn for the Hageman Group in Remington, Indiana. Landon already envisions making his living as a PBR bull rider one day. “We went to Las Vegas last year, and it sparked a dream in Landon’s mind. We love that he has these dreams, and the IMRA gives him a way to work towards his goals. I love the lessons that are instilled in our kids through rodeo.”
The Braasch family is very appreciative of Mike Latting and Keith Wooten for making everything possible, as well as their sponsors: Hall Trucking, AKH Trucking, Fishburn Trucking, Fishburn Service & Repair, and Windy Ridge Ag.