Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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stories by Magie Downare-Nevius
McKinnon, Wyo., resident, Garrett Potter, has taken control of his third-year with the UJHSRA and has qualified for his third state finals in all four of his events. Reaching positions within the tie-down roping, chute dogging, goat tying and team roping, Garrett is currently ranked among the top 15 in the all-around standings. “He just loves it all. He spends many hours practicing and ropes most nights ‘til after dark,” mom said. “He really loves that he gets to team rope with our neighbor, his cousin and his best friend, Brayden.”
Spending much of his time working the family ranch has enhanced additional interests in raising goats. The 14-year-old cowboy has become a miniature stock contractor, where he holds goat roping events and has even built his own arena. The hobby has brought on his FFA project, where he will produce a goat roping at the UHSRA state finals, along with the county fair. “It is a way for him to earn money and he seems to really enjoy it. Garrett will also supply the goats for the goat tying at a junior rodeo in Manila,” mom said.
The middle child of nine kids, Garrett has the opportunity to rodeo with his older brother (Cameron, senior), who is a UHSRA competitor. “The two had wanted to team rope together, just like their older brothers did, but they will miss the chance by one year,” mom said. The support of their parents (Mike and Sheri) has allowed the family to appreciate the sport. “We try to do it all as a family, so use much of our free time, from our ranching responsibilities, to enjoy rodeoing,” Sheri said.
Attending eighth grade in Manila, Utah, Garrett’s passion also extend to basketball. “He loves it and wants to play for the NBA someday. He is the only boy from his class to play and his past experience has given him the opportunity to play all positions,” Sheri said. While the straight-A student-athlete is aiming for a National qualification, his long-range goals also lean toward a showing at the WNFR.
Thirteen-year-old, Colton Carter, is working his first year with the piggin’ string and has climbed into the top 20 of the state standings. A third-year member of the UJHSRA, Colton also competes in the team roping and ribbon roping, but is a former state qualifying breakaway roper. “He went to the finals last year in the team roping and breakaway roping, but I think that the tie-down has leaped to his favorite event,” mom said. As Colton struggles with asthma, his mom says that it is sometimes difficult for him to tie-down. “He is determined not to let that stop him from enjoying what he loves to do,” she said. Colton has taken to the event on his old pal “Brown”, a 27-year-old that he learned to rope on and hopes to continue to do his events throughout high school.
While Colton’s parents (Amy and Jeron) both grew up with horses and wanted to compete at the high school level, neither had the opportunity to do so, but Jeron, a former bareback rider, was able to compete at the amateur level for approximately five years. With rodeo on their minds, Colton’s older sister (Shaylyn, 16) paved the path and qualified for Nationals as the UHSRA reserve barrel racing champion last year, but also competes in the pole bending and goat tying. “With his older sister rodeoing, it just seemed natural for Colton to continue,” Amy said. In addition, his younger sister (Kylee, 11) competes within the 5th and Under age group in the same events as their older sister.
The eighth grader at Juab Jr. High has decided that his priorities are to stick with rodeoing. “Most times are spent in the arena, but he also enjoys hunting and camping,” Amy said. “He goes after big game, but is not particular. He likes hunting deer, elk and buffalo, pretty much anything that he can draw a tag in.”
Starting out in the UBKRI rodeos in Randlett and the 5th and Under age division, KC Holmes has progressed to a third-year membership, where he takes to the arena as a quadruple event contender in the tie-down roping, chute dogging, team roping and ribbon roping. His experience as a rodeo-athlete has led the 14-year-old cowboy to his third state qualification and is also the Cinch All Star chute dogger. “I am aiming for Nationals and am currently leading the standings in the chute dogging,” he said.
Getting started through family ties, KC’s dad (Kevin) is a former high school competitor and continues to rope and his mom (KayDe) is a former two-time National high school qualifier. While KC’s parents are his foundation of support, he says that his biggest rodeo influence has been his older brother (DJ), who is an active UHSRA all-around cowboy. “DJ definitely helps me out a lot,” KC said. While the brother duo shares their calf roping horse, “Buckskin”, a 10-year-old gelding, KC also uses Kevin’s horse, “Tuff”, a 7-year-old bay roan, to wrap up his additional events. “KC is his grandpa’s right hand man. If he needs anything done on the ranch, farming, changing sprinklers, mechanic work, tagging calves, getting a cow in, or moving cows, KC is right there for him,” KayDe included.
An eighth grader at Vernal Jr. High, KC keeps his academic standards at a high in order to do what he loves most, but extends his interests to hunting, fishing and trapping. “I like to hunt big game and I trap bobcats,” he said. With a mind always set on rodeoing, KC says that he sells the bobcat hides and uses the money to buy ropes with. “At the rodeos, I’m not sure there are very few judges who don’t know KC, even if it isn’t his club’s rodeo or even a junior high rodeo. He is down helping pull the barrier, sort cattle or just helping where ever they need it and he is usually having fun and creating fun doing it. When he is at the high school rodeos, he pushes his brothers cattle, usually 20 to 30 others will ask him and he will jump right in and do it. KC has a great and quick humor, he is very caring and charismatic and once you have met him, you usually won’t forget him,” said KayDe.