Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Members Tie-Down Ropers
stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Because of his brother’s influence, Kason Burgess got his start in rodeo.
Kason always liked to ride and help out on the ranch, but it was his big brother Lane, who passed away three years ago in an auto accident, who got him started. “He’s the one who got me into rodeoing,” Kason said.
Now the Utah High School Rodeo Association member is a tie-down roper and team roper who heels for Dayson Chambers.
Kason, who lives in St. George, completed his high school requirements in December and is working forty-plus hours a week as an electrician’s apprentice. He’s glad to be done with school a semester early, because even with overtime, he has more time to exercise horses and rope.
He’s spent some of his earnings on a stock trailer, and is now saving up for a second pickup. The pickup he now drives, his brother’s 1998 Dodge 2500, will be saved for just running around town and on weekends, and the new truck, when he gets it, will be used as a work truck.
This fall, Kason plans on attending Dixie Applied Technology College and getting his commercial electrician’s license.
Kason has qualified for state finals the last three years in both events, and went to the National High School Finals his freshman year, in the heeling. He has competed at Silver State the last two years.
He is the son of Sheila Burgess and Wally Burgess.
Brayden Rinderknecht is a roper in the Utah High School Rodeo Association.
The seventeen year old cowboy lives in Howell, Utah, just northwest of Tremonton, and between his two events of tie-down and team roping, considers tie-down his strength.
For the tie-down, he rides a twelve year old sorrel named Lucas. The horse was purchased as a yearling, and Brayden has headed off of him as well. He’s a “pretty sweet dude,” Brayden says. It took about two weeks to get the horse trained to head. “He’s really smart, and he has a really good personality.”
For the heading, he rides a fourteen year old gray named Snowflake, purchased from Brayden’s grandpa ten years ago.
Brayden is a senior at Bear River High School, where the best part of school is the friends he’s made. He spends the last two hours of each school day doing his internship with National Finals Rodeo steer wrestler and leather worker Baylor Roche. Brayden enjoys it a lot, and helps with making belts, headstalls, and chaps.
Brayden is a member of FFA and loves to hunt and fish.
After high school, he will take a two year mission trip then hopes to attend helicopter flight school.
He has competed at state finals in 2014 and 2015 in both events, and competed at Silver State in 2015.
He has a younger brother, Coleden, who is his heeler, and an older sister, Sarie. He is the son of Thad and Mati Rinderknecht.
Gates Hadley is the 2015 Utah High School Rodeo Association Tie-down Roping champion.
The Ogden, Utah cowboy also team ropes, and of his two events, prefers the tie-down.
For the tie-down, he rides two horses, both eleven years old: Joe Dirt, a gray horse, and a sorrel named Jaguar. Joe Dirt was raised and trained by Gates and his dad. His heel horse is a bay named Jack.
Gates is a senior at Fremont High School. He attends community college as well, and is working on machining classes, which he enjoys. Depending on how many classes he takes each semester, he could attain his machining degree in a year and a half.
For fun, Gates likes to hunt mule deer and watch football. The Denver Broncos are his favorite team, and he likes to watch their backup quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Gates has finished every year of his high school rodeo career in the top ten in the state for the tie-down, and in the top twenty in the team roping. He qualified for Nationals last year and in sixth and eighth grade. He heels for Taylor Boren.
He has an older sister, McKale, who did very well in high school rodeo.
He is the son of Sid and Wendy Hadley.