Chasing the Rodeo

In the brisk of autumn weekends, Trevor Hartshorn can often be found entertaining the youngest customers of his grandparents pumpkin patch just outside of Rapid City. Warmly greeting the kids, keeping an eye while they play in the sandbox, and mentoring – in his own shy, understated way. And when his great grandmother Mary Jane is in town, he’ll find time between chores on the farm, homework and high school, and a grueling rodeo schedule, to sit and “just visit.”

Even as Trevor Hartshorn becomes ‘the guy to beat’ on rodeo circuits across the country and his career in the sport promises ever more success, this young cowboy prioritizes hard work, self-improvement, and family. Which, perhaps, is the quality that truly makes him so amazing.

“It’s just who he is,” his mother Jennifer Hartshorn divulges.

A freshman at Custer High School, Trevor genuinely enjoys his academic work and loves basketball; he’s been playing since the 4th grade (in part because the season compliments the rodeo circuit so beautifully). No small feat given that the family spends nearly every weekend from March to October competing in one rodeo organization or another; 4-H, High School Rodeo, and the National Little Britches Rodeo Association.

That diligent effort, combined with his natural talent and dedication to improvement saw him qualify for the 2017 World Championships and seeking a win in his event; Flag Racing. It was a heart-breaking, split-second defeat when he missed the title by a fraction of an inch that year as his fingers just brushed passed the flag. Trevor took it hard… in the privacy of the family trailer.

“If I had $1 for every time Dad said ‘Shake it off,’…” Trevor trails off, grinning. And shake it off he did, returning for the 2018 World Championships this past summer, earning several prize buckles and spurs for his placement in the Team Roping competition (with partner Landry Haugen), Ribbon Roping event (with partner Gabe Glines) and Steer Bareback riding among others. The big win, though, was a $1,000 scholarship to the educational institution of his choice and the prize saddle for his Champion World Junior Boy Flag Race title.

When pressed on his future goals, Trevor dutifully acknowledges college is the right path, and one he intends to take. But, he confides, that intention does not eclipse his ultimate goal to earn the All Around World Champion title in the Little Britches Rodeo Association before taking his rodeo career to the professional level. With several wins in the first few weeks of this year’s season he is well on his way. Along with his team event partners Gabe and Landry, astride his horse Friday, and with his entire family behind him, Trevor Hartshorn is certainly positioned to become one of the big names in Professional Rodeo.

Even against the backdrop of his success though, his humility, work ethic, and family values still stand out most of all. “He’s tough and hardworking… he’s just an amazing kid,” Grandma Donna affirms, her eyes misting with pride. We couldn’t agree more.


words Jaclyn Lanae

photos Jesse Brown Nelson