Dedication to rodeo perfection leads Paola cowgirl to all-around championship
By Frank J. Buchman
"Wait a minute, please, I have to watch this calf run."
That sincere dedication leaves no doubt why Timber Allenbrand, 14, Paola, is a rodeo champion.
"I don't rope until tomorrow, but we came early to watch the cattle," explained Allenbrand, while sounds of a Duncan, Okla., roping competition echoed in the background.
"I love the people. I love to rope. I love to go to rodeos. It's been a blast all year," evaluated Allenbrand, who claimed the United Rodeo Association All-Around Championship, beating cowboys and cowgirls, some four times her age.
"We'd go to junior high, and high school, rodeos, load up and go to a URA rodeo the next day, and be back for an evening performance, and then maybe two rodeos the next day," Allenbrand reminisced. "It's just crazy, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
While roping might seem reflected most in her conversation, there's little this cowgirl can't do. She competes and wins in breakaway roping, barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying.
Leading her effort in URA arenas was a yearend first place in barrel racing. "I was having trouble roping the past few months," contended Allenbrand, who claimed ninth in yearend breakaway standings.
But, in the fall run of the Kansas High School Association competitions, her first season on that circuit after claiming numerous Junior High titles the three previous years, Allenbrand won some in all of her events, and is in contention for year-end awards there, too, if the spring circuit goes as planned.
Many essential factors play into such a successful young career, but Allenbrand is anxious to first credit her mom, Trisha Allenbrand, for being the major contributor.
"She's a super woman," the cowgirl recognized appreciatively, adding that her Mom named her after hearing the unique moniker at a rodeo.
"Besides being my Mom, she's my coach, my trainer, my exercise girl and my best friend. Mom runs a business, is terrifically busy, but we always make time for practice, and get to just about every rodeo and jackpot," Allenbrand acknowledged.
Following in her mother's horsemanship skills, and appreciation for the sport of rodeo, Allenbrand said, "I was riding horses when I was three, and I started roping when I was eight."
Living on acreage with an outdoor arena near Hillsdale Reservoir in Miami County, Allenbrand is home-schooled. "It works out good with the webcast classes, so I can get my studying done, then go practice, and not have to miss school, when I compete at the rodeos," she insisted.
"Thank goodness for arena lights. We keep calves and goats for practice, when weather permits, but during the winter, we're fortunate to have friends who let us use their indoor arenas and stock," Allenbrand appreciated.
Even with her abilities, strict training regimen and coaching-bar-none, Allenbrand is emphatic, "I have really been blessed with outstanding horses. None of this is possible without my horses."
Interestingly, "We only ride mares. They have so much heart," Allenbrand declared. "We never have any problem with them acting up."
Many highly successful barrel racers ride older horses, but Allenbrand rode a seven-year-old bay to her title. "This is only my second year with Layla. We've been blessed together," Allenbrand critiqued.
"I got Layla from Jeanne Anderson at White City, and she's just really came on," Allenbrand continued. "She's really become a great pole bending horse, too."
The champion's Number One rope horse is an 11-year-old sorrel called J-Lo. Another sorrel called Cracker is mounted for goat tying.
"We also haul Blondie, a sorrel all-around horse, for back-up," Allenbrand commented.
While winning in four events, it's not necessary to further prove her cowgirl abilities, but Allenbrand is considering adding cutting competition to her resume. "I've been working on the details to get a horse, but it hasn't all come together yet," she said.
Being so dedicated to roping, one might think Allenbrand would enter the team roping, too. "I have done some team roping, been to some jackpots, but I'm just not interested in competing at rodeos in that event," she related.
Calculating all of her winnings would take some time, although Allenbrand isn't concerned about that. "I have won four saddles this year, but I really don't have any idea or care how many trophy saddles I have, or the number of buckles.
"I have to keep focused on what I'm doing now, not dwell on what's happened. There's another rodeo every week, and that's what matters," the champion contended.
It's some time off, but Allenbrand said, "I am going to go to college, hopefully on a rodeo scholarship. I plan to have a career that is flexible enough for me to keep on the rodeo circuit. When I turn 18, I want to go professional and compete in the Women's Professional Rodeo Association."
Timber Allenbrand, Paola, shows her winning all-around cowgirl ability in breakaway roping at the United Rodeo Association competition in Maxwell, Iowa, riding her 11-year-old sorrel mare, J-Lo. (Photo courtesy of TF Event Photography.)