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FHSU students show passion for hobby

4/21/2014

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University hosted its annual rodeo last weekend. More than 20 students competed in various activities, such as team roping and bareback riding.

Sam Tenpenny, senior, competes in goat tying, barrel racing, team and breakaway roping.

"We're out here every day practicing," she said. "It takes a lot of dedication to do it, especially since we're in one of the toughest regions of college rodeo. You have to put time and energy into it."

Tenpenny said her team practices up to four events each night in preparation for the rodeo.

"We've got a pretty full plate," she said.

Tenpenny has been involved in rodeos since she was 3 years old.

"My dad's father actually raised purebred quarter horses and they used to show those horses," she said. "My dad and my brothers got involved, so I just grew up around it."

She has been competing in college rodeo for four years.

"My favorite part is the camaraderie," Tenpenny said.

"This is one of the only sports where you have the people you're completing against in the box next to you. They are your toughest completion and your biggest fans."

Tenpenny said rodeo always will be an important part of her life.

"We've grown up with a lot of these kids since we were little," she said. "And to be here, on this level, it's a pretty cool deal."

Tenpenny team ropes with freshman Ross Armstrong.

"I grew up on a farm and my dad team roped, so I started at an early age," Armstrong said. "It's the only event I've ever done."

Senior Emma Skinner has been involved in riding since age 3 and started rodeos when she was 6 years old.

"I just love the thrill of going to rodeos," she said, "seeing everyone and all the competition."

Skinner competes in breakaway roping.

"I just started roping four years ago," she said.

Skinner tries to compete in all 10 college rodeos as well as several during the summer.