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Happy Trails with Dawni O'Bryan: Hank, Why Do You Drink?


By Dawni O'Bryan

September 19, 2023

If you have followed my writing at all, you have noticed that I often refer to songs. I do have a job and don’t just sit around listening to music all day. But I believe we all like songs that we can relate to. Now, if you go back a few years there was a song that was sung by Hank Williams, Jr. that contained the lyrics, “Hank, why do you drink?” It goes on to ask other “whys”, as well. Anyway, his answers to the questions are “It’s a family tradition.” I am not saying his family traditions are upstanding and may not be things that you want to pass on to the next generation. However, I would like to relate this to the questions that sometimes arise concerning rodeo and the horse world. “Why do you do that? It is so expensive?” “You mean you pay entry fees and often get no money back?” “You practice for hours and sometimes get a no time or no score? Why do it?” Well, for me and my household, a large part of it is family tradition. My grandfather was a rodeo announcer and competitor, my dad was a professional calf roper and a national champion steer wrestler, my mom secretaried hundreds of rodeos and timed the National Finals Rodeo in 1960, my aunt was a professional barrel racer, my cousins are team ropers, other cousins are barrel racers, my second cousins now compete, my sister competes, my children compete, and my husband and I enter up. I figure I have over 15 kinfolk still competing in gymkhanas, jackpots, and rodeos. The late Norman, Marilyn, and Scott White and Don Hammons were all horsemen of great repute. Sounds like family tradition to me. Of course, a lot of my kin don’t compete, but all know the majesty of a well-bred horse performing athletic maneuvers.

Speaking of tradition, the Kiowa County Fair was held September 3rd-9th in Eads, CO and it did not disappoint as a reunion is inevitable. I saw and talked to folks I haven’t seen in years. It is just such a great atmosphere for rekindling friendships, sharing old stories, and enjoying the barbecue, rodeo, and other animal competitions. The home-ec building was also impressive with crafts and culinary items.

The amateur rodeo that was sanctioned by the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association and the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association saw good numbers entered in all events. The open team roping saw Lamar Community College cowboys, OT Edwards and Jason Simmons, win 2nd with a time of 5.4 seconds and garner $972 each, and an additional $100 for fast time of the performances. Hartman cowboy, Cole Dorenkamp, teamed up with Jesse Jolly of Agate, for 4th place with a time of 5.7 seconds and $597 each. In the 40/40 team roping, Darren Ridley of Las Animas won first place with Mike Weir of Garden City, with a time of 6.8 seconds and $464 each. Jayla Reed of Wiley roped with Tony O’Neal of Colby for a third-place finish with a time of 8.6 seconds and $232.

The ranch rodeo was held Friday night of the fair. Meier Cattle Company took top honors with 257.10, Brent Ranch was second-257.71, Kelly Trucking was third-262.49, and Hatchett Ranch was fourth-282.8. The ranch bronc riding was won by Dakota Canfield with a score of 84 points. Kyle Hampton was second with a score of 81 points. The county team roping results were unavailable.

Garden City played host to the high school and junior high rodeo athletes on September 9th and 10th at the Finney County Fairgrounds. In the high school division, the Saturday performance saw Garrett Novotny and Jaytyn Hash win 3rd in the team roping with a time of 9.06 seconds. Sunday had Zoie Ginter of Kim win 6th in the barrels and Aryn Michaelis of Lakin win 7th. Ginter was also 6th in the breakaway roping, while Hash was 3rd in the tie down, and Cooper Dorenkamp of Granada was second in the steer wrestling. In the junior high division, Briley Seufer of Holly was 4th in the breakaway, 4th in the barrel racing, and 6th in the pole bending. Reagan Weatherred of Lakin was 3rd in barrels, 1st in poles, 1st in breakaway, and 1st in goat tying. Kai Calkins of Lakin won the poles on Sunday. Hudson Crane of Springfield was 8th in the boys’ breakaway on Sunday.

What are some of your good family traditions?

Happy Trails.