Do you know someone who serves as an FFA chapter secretary? Someone involved in FBLA? A STUCO representative at the school? What about an NHS officer and class secretary? Do you know the president of your state high school rodeo association? Can you name someone who trains horses and has qualified for both the NJHFR and the NHSFR?
If you’ve ever met Casey Adams from Junction City, Kan., the answer is yes to all of the above. She’s all of these things — and more.
“I’ve always been obsessed with horses,” explains Adams. “My first horse was a pony that would throw me off now and then. Since then I’ve moved on to better horses and more competitive events.” The competition has come from all over. The horses come from home. Casey’s family owns and operates Adams’ Quarter Horses.
“We’ve got 30 plus horses at the house right now,” explains Adams. This is without counting their Future Fortunes, Inc. stallion, Perks Firewater Flint, who’s now standing at Running C Performance Horses in Loveland, Okla.
Great horses, a supportive family, and the desire to be successful in everything has helped Adams to accomplish a lot in a short period of time.
As a senior at Chapman High School in Chapman, Kan., Adams maintains a 4.0 GPA and is ranked among the top four in her class. “My favorite subject in school is math,” says Casey. It’s a good thing, because she’s taking Calculus and Physics this year, both of which require an above average aptitude for this type of thinking. Adams has remained an above average student her whole career, earning a 4.0 all through high school.
She intends to put her critical thinking skills to use in the near future. “I’ve been accepted to Kansas State University,” she mentions. “I plan to enter the School of Leadership Studies in the fall.” While at K-State, she’ll also pursue a minor in Business. After earning her undergraduate degree, Casey has plans to continue her education. “I may apply to law school,” she says.
Texas Tech University is one school she mentions as an option. “Tech has one of the top three Law programs in the country and they also have one of the best rodeo programs too.” The school would be a good fit for this cowgirl who can rope and ride with the best of them.
“I qualified for nationals in breakaway roping in both junior high and high school,” explains Adams. “I also qualified in the team roping last year with my partner, Cooper Martin.” While the duo experienced some tough luck in the team roping, Adams was able to secure a top 25 finish in the breakaway roping at the “World’s Largest Rodeo.”
Adam’s other roping partners include Ike and Tonic.
“Ike’s a 17-year-old bay horse that I’ve had for nine or 10 years,” reports Casey. “I used to run on him, but now I just rope off him.” He’s made each of the three trips to nationals with Adams.
With college rodeo on the horizon and Ike’s days numbered, Adams is training the next generation. “Tonic is a 4-year-old roan that’s coming along pretty well,” says Casey. When asked about the colt’s name, she offers this. “I’m not quite sure where it came from really. I believe I was on a plane to Indiana and someone behind me ordered a tonic and it stuck.” The horse has talent according to Casey. She adds, “I’ve won a couple open rodeos on him already.”
There are always other horses in training and they get plenty of opportunities to learn during Casey’s numerous practice sessions. “I try to ride every day,” she says. “If there’s a rodeo coming up, I’ll usually run around 15 calves or steers at a time. I’ll use one of the colts first and progress through the runs, starting slow and then getting faster. I’ll move to Ike for two good runs, then back to the younger horse and slow it down for the final couple calves or steers.” She continues, “If there’s not a rodeo coming up right away, I’ll just rope off the colts — following the same plan according to what they need. At this point, the practice is more for them than me.”
Adams is never alone in the practice pen. She shares the arena with her dad, Buddy, younger sister, Kylie (10) and little brother, Trey (9). “I rope with my dad in the USTRC,” says Casey. The two have qualified for the USTRC National Finals together. She goes on, “Kylie is the barrel racer in the family.” Trey also rodeos, but according to his oldest sister, “He’s the ultimate redneck. He’s maybe more into hunting and fishing right now. He’ll probably be on Duck Dynasty someday.”
Casey’s mom, Suzan, is the Kansas High School Rodeo Association (KHSRA) State Secretary and also the creator of a new website designed to help youth rodeo athletes advance to the next level.
RodeoRecruting.com allows high school and junior college rodeo contestants with a desire to advance to the next level do just that. Athletes are able to post their profiles on the site, allowing them to be seen by college rodeo coaches from across the country.
Casey was the first to sign up. “If you want to move to the next level you have to put yourself out there,” she explains. Years of experience and a mile long list of accomplishments made it difficult for her to decide what to include and what to leave out, but she offers this advice. “If you plan to rodeo at the next level, it’s better to start the process sooner rather than later.” Good advice from someone who’s right in the middle of the transition. “Most college coaches start recruiting in your junior and senior year and some even as early as your freshman year.” According to Casey, “It’s OK to create a profile early, even if you don’t have the same experience as others or if you don’t have a ton of accomplishments yet. The coaches are interested to see how you progress. As you add things, they will notice.” Profiles can be created at www.RodeoRecruiting.com.
Adams has additional advice for those looking to succeed. “Recruiters for anything, sports or academics, are looking for someone well rounded. There are lots of ways to accomplish this. You can start by being active in your church and joining clubs at school. You can gain work experience by getting a job or volunteering too.” She cautions that things should be done for the right reasons. According to Casey, each experience and accomplishment should be analyzed and the things learned applied toward improving for the future.
Actions speak louder than words and Adams is a prime example. Her involvement in church, school, business and community related endeavors has helped her develop many talents, not just one. When asked what she considers her biggest accomplishment, she points to one outside the arena. “I was a national finalist for the FFA Agricultural Proficiency Award last year,” she explains.
This award program honors those who, through a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), exhibit skills they can apply toward future careers. Casey was recognized for her entrepreneurial spirit in putting together a business plan for breeding, raising and training 13 quarter horses on her ranch. According to Adams, “We were judged on every aspect of our proposal. We were questioned on our resume, proposal and on every aspect of our plan.” Adams adds, “It was pretty intense.”
Intensity is a common trait in Casey’s family. “My grandpa is a driven businessman and I have a lot of respect for him,” she says. She’s referring to Bob Kramer, who has achieved success in operations ranging from wholesale automotive supplies to rawhide pets products. Another role model is Casey’s aunt. She adds, “My Aunt Jodi (Kramer) created an organization that helps those stricken with breast cancer pay for radiation treatments. She’s always trying to find a way to help others.” The company’s been in existence for three years and is now thriving thanks to generous sponsorships and important endorsements, including one from race car driver Danica Patrick. Casey’s grandma, Sandra Kramer, was also a business woman, owning and operating her own travel company.
Adams thrives as well, thanks in part to gracious sponsorships and important endorsements. “I have some fantastic sponsors,” she says. A major sponsor is 6 Shooter, an apparel company. According to Adams, “6 Shooter produces clothing with unique materials and cool graphics.” The company is endorsed as the official performance apparel of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR).
Casey’s also appreciative of others who have contributed to her success in and outside of the arena, “Everybody says this, but I’m thankful first of all for my parents,” she says. “It takes a lot of time and effort to haul us kids around. I feel that they have helped make me a better person. They’ve given me a lot of responsibilities and it has helped me learn to prepare for rodeo and for the future.”
Adams also mentions Tad Larsen. “He’s a great guy,” she says. “He’s helped me a lot and has been a positive influence through both good and tough times. If things don’t go well, he just says, ‘We’ll get ’em next time.’ ” Tad, and wife Gayle, contribute also by allowing Casey to use his indoor barn in the winter and during inclement weather.
Finally, Adams sends thanks to all the rodeo moms in the KSHRA and everywhere else. These ladies are my second Moms when I’m away from home. They come from all different backgrounds. Some have no prior experience with rodeo and for others — that’s all they’ve done. I’ve been able to learn life lessons from all of them.”
Compliments are extended all around by the well-rounded, Kansas cowgirl. ❖
“Everybody says this, but I’m thankful first of all for my parents. It takes a lot of time and effort to haul us kids around. I feel that they have helped make me a better person. They’ve given me a lot of responsibilities and it has helped me learn to prepare for rodeo and for the future.”
~ Casey Adams