Residents of the Texas Panhandle likely know of the Boys Ranch Rodeo, the rodeo “where Cal Farley’s kids ride,” as the old saying goes. What they may not know is that some Boys Ranch residents also choose to compete in high school rodeo competition, testing their mettle against bucking broncs and more.
A first in Cal Farley’s history, Jonathan “Jonny” and Kadan, both 18, will represent Boys Ranch this weekend in the 2018 Wrangler Junior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. In a rousing send-off, the boys’ peers gathered Tuesday morning to wish them well as they and Cal Farley’s Director of Equine Riding & Rodeo Programming Mike Lowe headed off to Las Vegas for Saturday’s Junior NFR competition.
Jonny, an Amarillo native, will compete in bareback bronc riding, while Kadan, who calls Guymon, Okla., home, competes in saddle-bronc riding.
“It’s really special to me to be able to compete for Boys Ranch, and show the hard work we’ve put in every day and the hard work of the adults around us,” Kadan said.
The two young men have been training and competing together for four years at Boys Ranch.
“Kadan’s been with me every step of the way. Honestly, I don’t know where I’d be without him,” Jonny said.
The pair support each other in and outside the rodeo arena, pushing each other to give their best, as competitors and as individuals.
“We help each other and continue to form that bond that will last forever,” Kadan explained.
The boys’ trip to this competition is supported in part by the Boys Ranch Achievers Fund, a special fund created for unplanned successes like this, and by Cavender’s Boot City, which is outfitting each young man with top-shelf Western wear for the competition.
“This will definitely be the biggest rodeo I’ve ever been to, and the most expensive as well, but thank the Lord for Boys Ranch,” Jonny said.
The Lord, Boys Ranch – and its generous donors, Kadan pointed out.
“I wouldn’t be the man I am today without our donors’ help and commitment to Cal Farley’s,” he said.