Katie Houck and Katie Bennett stoping the clock at a 6.4, to take home the win in the team in the team roping at Cheyenne, Wy.
The University of Wyoming Rodeo Team takes home a win with the women team in Cheyenne, Wy, this weekend. Winning with a 12-point lead over the Sheridan Community College women team.
However, two main players in this big win was Katie Houck from Oak Harbor, Wa, and Katie Bennett from Chico, Ca. The team competed together in the team roping and took home the win on Sunday stoping the clock at 6.4.
“We had a really solid run, with a consistent steer. I managed to give a good handle for my heeler so she could catch in the corner. It was just like we’ve been practicing at home. It’s really special for me because my mom and dad flew out to see me this weekend.” Said Houck.
“We knew we just had to go out there and make a clean run. My horse ran real fast and gave me my shot. I couldn’t have asked for a better time and place for it all to come together.” Says Bennett.
Katie Houck rides a twenty year old bay gelding who she’s been roping on for close to five years. “He’s a great horse and he’s very calm and consistent when it comes to the big pressure runs.
Both girls were recruited to be on the rodeo team by Beau Clark, who is the head coach at the University. “They are two really determined young girls with a future ahead of them. I am just lucky the decided to come to rodeo for us. Both of them put in the hours and practice every day and it shows.” Says Clark.
Clark specializes in helping his team ropers and calf ropers. Beau made it to the Nation finals rodeo in the team roping in 2017, just prior to accepting a job working for the University of Wyoming.
“Moving here from Washington was hard. I had no friends, no family, nothing. But, Laramie is a special town with great people in it. It wasn’t long before I made a lot of friends on the rodeo team and that made the transition a lot smoother. We practice every day all day long together so its just a big family at the end of the day.” Explains Houck.
Houck and Bennett are both first year students at University of Wyoming. Both are majoring in agriculture business with concentrations in farm and ranch management. Houck is set to graduate in the Spring of 2021, with Bennett following close behind in Winter of 2021.
Bennet is a 3rd generation rancher who is aspiring to return home to manage her family ranch out of Chico. She would like to train and breed horses as well as continuing to grow her families cattle herd. Rodeoing will not stop for her after college either “I would like to pursue the team roping and break away in the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association.” says Bennet
Houck would like to pursue a career in sales particularly in the cattle industry. “I would like to do some marketing and sales for ranches and bull production ranches.” says Houck. She would like to move back to the west coast to pursue her future there.
The girls team is currently leading the rocky mountain region and if it continues will be going to the College National Finals Rodeo.
For the mens team they are currently sitting second in the region with a sixteen point difference between them and the first place team. Laramie County Community College is the current leading team for the mens team. However, the University of Wyoming had to have three men sit out there first two rodeos so this may change in the next rodeos.
The College National Finals Rodeo is hosted in Casper, Wy, in July and brings in close to 500 plus college rodeo athletes from across the nation to compete for the National title in ten different events.
Both girls will rope in Colorado State University’s rodeo in the Spring together. Then continue on to Laramie, Gillette, Rock Springs, Casper and Lamar for more rodeos to try and salsify their spot at the College National Finals Rodeo.
Only two teams will continue to the College National Finals Rodeo from the Rocky Mountain region. They will also allow the top three contestants in each event to continue to the College National Finals Rodeo.
Last Year the University of Wyoming had a full team for the men and the women. They were very successful at the College National Finals Rodeo with two national champions. One was a senior named Kelsey Lensegraph in the Goat Tying. As well as Jake Fulton with a win in the Steer Wrestling.
To follow University of Wyoming’s rodeo team more closely check out their page at http://www.uwyo.edu/rodeo/ . To keep up with the rocky mountain rodeo association more use their page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Nonprofit-Organization/Central-Rocky-Mountain-Region-NIRA-189987371874778/ .