Cavender’s Team Merrin Frost
Merrin Frost lives ten miles south of Lawrence, Kansas, in Baldwin City. She has always had horses, chickens, dogs, and all the animals that come […]
“Ever since I was a kid I’ve ridden horses and worked on a ranch, and I wanted to do the sport of rodeo because it involves horses and cowboying,” says Benny Proffitt. “I got into rodeoing when I was a little kid and I just loved it, and I’ve stayed after it and made it something I love to do. I always have goals and dreams and try to pursue them.”
The 18-year-old from Canadian, Texas is an all around cowboy, from bursting out of the chutes in the saddle bronc riding to racing the clock in the tie-down roping, team roping, and steer wrestling. “The bronc riding is definitely my favorite—it gives me the biggest adrenaline rush and is kind of the wildest event I do, but I really like them all. Anything with a horse I enjoy.”
Benny’s rodeo resumé grows with each season, from winning national all-around cowboy at the NJHFR in 2019, to qualifying for the Texas High School Rodeo Finals four times with several titles, winning the 2021 Junior NFR in saddle bronc, and winning reserve in the saddle bronc at the 2022 Junior Patriot. “I just really enjoy it—it’s the sport I love the most. I try to accomplish my goals and do the best I can, and have fun while I’m doing it.” He’s qualified for the NHSFR twice in saddle bronc riding, and winning the national title remains his chief goal as he finishes his high school rodeo career. “It’s always good competition when you’re competing against the whole nation and some more. The older you get, everybody just keeps getting better and better, so it’s always tough no matter what age you are in the sport of rodeo.
“I look up to my parents (Jarrett and Shyla Proffitt) a lot. I couldn’t do anything without them,” Benny adds. “And there have been tons of people who have helped me along the way, so many I couldn’t name them all, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Everybody is always willing to help you.” Benny’s parents and 13-year-old brother, Rankin, come to all of Benny’s rodeos that they can, while Rankin competes in ranch rodeos.
One supporter of Benny’s high school rodeo career in particular is Cavender’s, who invited Benny to join their youth rodeo team his freshman year. “It’s been really good to be on that team. They take all these young rodeo athletes and promote them and sponsor them, and teach them how to work with a team. They come to rodeos and support us, and every year they have a team summit in Tyler, Texas where we all meet up. They’ve taught us how to prepare ourselves for the next steps of our lives as we pursue the rodeo world.”
When he’s not on the road, Benny divides his time between working on his family’s cattle ranch, practicing his events, and training horses. “I ride a bunch of outside horses and start colts, but mainly I ride our family horses. I start them as colts and then ranch on them for a while, then take them to the arena and rope on them. Anything you do with a horse can help you with your events in rodeo. Just being around horses and trying to be a horseman all my life has helped me.”
Benny rides a variety of horses in his roping events, but depends on his mare Sandy for steer wrestling. “A few other guys borrow her and steer wrestle on her too. As soon as I started bulldogging I started riding her. We’ve always had her and she has a motor. She took to it and loves it.”
A recent graduate of Canadian High School, Benny is attending Clarendon College on a rodeo scholarship this fall. He plans to get a two-year certification in welding while competing on the rodeo team. “I’ll do all of my events, and I might pick up another event or two. I’ve always done it all,” says Benny. “I’m working on going to state finals and doing the best I can, and hopefully going to the National High School Finals and doing the best I can there. And I’ll rodeo all summer and do amateur rodeos. After a few years in college hopefully I’ll be ready to move on to the pros and get after them.”
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