Interview by Sam Campbell It was a hot July evening as the cowboy’s rolled into Elmore County Rodeo in Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho. Everyone was in […]
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WSRRA 2019 All Around Cowboy TeJay Fenster
Interview by Naomi Loomis, WSRRA
[ “Don’t be afraid to go after what you wanna do or who you wanna be, but don’t be afraid to face the consequence”- Lane Frost ]
The above quote fits this 2019 Western States Ranch Rodeo Association All Around Cowboy to a “t”. I sat down with this cowboy and we talked life and what does All Around Cowboy means to him.
TeJay Fenster is a ranch-raised cowboy from Casper, Wyoming. He worked for Frank Shepperson through high school Rodeo has always been a big part of his family. Tejay know makes his home in Nebraska, where he has a colt starting business called Screw ‘Em Up Right Quarter Horses. He has been with the U Cross Ranch north of Hyannis, Nebraska. “I learned a lot about rodeoing from my late dad Tony,” TeJay says. “My mother, Melissa and my stepdad, Jim have always help where they can. They want to see me be great at what I love to do and for that kind of support I can’t thank them enough.” TeJay also has a brother Ty that is also works for the U Cross. “We are 13 months apart to the day,” TeJay says.
Along with being a full-time cowboy, TeJay also likes to hunt and fish, knock a golf ball around occasionally. “I am terrible at though,” he says! “I mostly rodeo and/or start colts in my free time,” he says. “I’m Hyannis most eligible bachelor,” he states!!
On a little more serious note, we talked about what All Around Cowboy means to Tejay. Being an All-Around cowboy takes skills, horsemanship, knowledge of cattle and horses and takes abilities to handle all that in a situation. “To win the all-around title means more than a world title. I went in to 2019 with one goal in mind and that was to win the world in the ranch broncs. I fell short of my main goal and had not even thought of the All- Around. When they announced my name as the All-Around champion, I was shocked,” he states. You see, in the WSRRA All- Around cowboy is the highest placing contestant qualified in the national finals in two events. TeJay competed in the ranch broncs and was on the Screw ‘Em Up Right Quarter Horses team; TJ Camblin is my bronc riding traveling partner who runs a place in Burlington,Wyoming and Dyllon Nipper works for True Ranches in Wheatland Wyoming. They had to find a 4th last minute. “My good bronc riding buddy and a heck of a good hand, Talon Colby come through for us in a big way,” states TeJay. In the 2019 WSRRA Ranch Bronc standings, Tejay ended his year 2nd in the world and at the conclusion of the 2019 WSRRA NFR he ended up 3rd in the world.
I am sure that you have heard this statement before, a horse can make or break you. TeJay talks about his horse that placed him as a All-Around Cowboy; “I took my good grey horse “Buford” to the finals this year. I got him in a trade as a 3-year-old. The people that I got him from thought he would buck because he was Hancock bred. He is 10 now and my go to pick up horse, ranch horse and bridle horse. He has a great big motor, but he is always there if you need to lean on him.”
As a WSRRA ranch rodeo producer, I have really gotten to know TeJay. We have all grown into a rodeo family and I am glad that TeJay is among us. We talked about when he started ranch rodeoing, “I guess it was probably 2012, I started getting on ranch broncs for teams. Half of them did not know that I could rope but they needed bronc rider so I would get called. I think it was my rookie year in WSRRA, 2015, that I entered Bridgeport with a team. I believe the team consisted of Ray Newtson, Cole Jesse, and Ty Fenster. It was kind of an eye opener. It takes a lot more effort to step off a bronc and climb on your ranch rodeo horse and perform to the level your team expects.”
Like all sports and activities, ranch rodeoing, and ranch broncs have some challenges, TeJay tells me about his. “The most challenging part is juggling between the two. Get on last in a section in the bronc riding and then be 1st or 2nd team out is hard. You must get the adrenaline pushed down and settle so you can just go out and rope like you do every day on the ranch. Takes a little practice but it is worth it.”
2020 obviously looks a little different in the ranch rodeo world but that has not stopped cowboys’ goals and dreams. “My goal first and foremost is to win the world in the ranch bronc riding. I have got a long road ahead of that but if I ride to the level, I expect of myself its attainable. As always, I want to get a team to finals. I have a black horse I would like to show in cow horse event. Also, I would like to make the short round at the national finals as a team. The pandemic has definitely changed things, but they are not out of reach. Just must keep your nose to the grindstone.”
As a writer, one of my favorite questions to ask in an interview is What are five things you take with you on the rodeo trail. I always love to hear what folks take when them. Here are TeJays:
1. Bronc saddle
3. My hanging tree Dog
4. Cell phone
5. Traveling pards lol
As we ended are chat, I asked TeJay one last question about who his heroes are, “I have so many heroes I look up to and for different reasons. I want to thank each and every one that has taken time to help and teach me along the way. My dad was a major influence though I lost him when I was young. The one thing that stands out to me the most with him was Try. Win, lose, or draw doesn’t matter so long as you try your guts out.”
TeJay would like to add, “A huge thanks to the WSRRA. Without this great association I cannot say where I would be. Great events for good money and prizes. With a bunch of guys that treat you like family. What more could you ask for as a competitor?”
On behalf of the WSRRA, congratulations on being the 2019 WSRRA All-Around Cowboy.