JJ Hunt watches rodeos from the best seat in the house. That’s because the Ridgeview, S.D. cowboy is in the arena as a pickup man. […]
Heidi, Jake, Cara and Cade Snell
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
When the Snells pack the rodeo trailer, the whole family goes along. The four Snell kids: Heidi, Jake, Cara, and Cade, are all members of the Northeast Junior Rodeo Association. They began their NJRA rodeo competition two years ago.
Heidi, the oldest, is eleven and competes in the barrels, poles, goats and breakaway. Barrel racing is her favorite event, and her barrel horse is a nineteen year old black mare named Hot Toddy. She also rides Hot Toddy for the pole bending. She is a sixth grade student at Cushing Middle School, where math and basketball are her favorite things. She is on the honor roll, and when she grows up, she’d like to be a professional barrel racer, like Sherry Cervi.
Jake, age ten, is a calf rider who occasionally breakaway ropes. One of his favorite moments was last year, when he got to ride calves at the same event where L.J. Jenkins and Ryan McConnel were riding bulls. Both bull riders autographed his chaps, and he had his picture taken with them. Jake broke his right femur last year tying goats at a rodeo. The rod was taken out in December, and he’s back to competition. He is a fourth grade student, and Fridays are a favorite day at school because the class plays dodge ball every Friday in P.E. When he grows up, he’d like to be a professional bull rider.
The next Snell child is Cara, age eight. She is a barrel racer who rides Bulldog, a nineteen year old chestnut who is also ridden by Heidi for the goat tying. Cara is the 2013 NJRA Barrel Racing champion and won a saddle for her efforts last year. She is in second grade, and enjoys math and dodge ball. When she grows up, she would like to be a large animal veterinarian. She enjoys the family’s pets: Sophie, Petey, Booger, Macy and Lucy (dogs), Sock and Sam (cats), and their donkeys, goats, miniature horse, and cows.
The youngest Snell child will begin his NJRA career this year. Cade is two and Heidi will lead line him through the flags. Cade loves to ride and likes to do whatever his older siblings are doing. He’ll get plenty of coaching from them.
Spud and Erin enjoy the NJRA and what rodeo does for their kids. “It’s something they really like,” Erin says. “They’re into it, and we know where they’re at, and what they’re doing. It’s better than them playing video games and running up and down the street.” The family lives in Cushing, Okla.