Breakaway breakout: Moffat County’s Kinlie Brennise signs with Weatherford College rodeo, preps for spring season
While some high school seniors may not have their future charted out, Moffat County High School’s Kinlie Brennise has known for well over a year where she was planning to pursue her secondary education.
But, it wasn’t until the past week that the Northwest Colorado cowgirl made it official.
Kinlie signed her letter of intent Monday, March 25 to join the rodeo team for Texas’s Weatherford College, where she will matriculate, rope and ride this fall.
The school, about one hour outside of the Dallas metro area, is where she’s been planning to attend for more than a year after a tour of the campus. Her older brother, Kasen, signed with Weatherford’s rodeo program last spring to specialize in tie down roping.
“I’m really excited to be back with him and do the sport I love,” she said. “I love the area down there, and the competition is definitely tough. It’s pretty much the toughest region in college rodeo. If you want to be the best, you’ve gotta compete with the best.”
While the Brennise family was on an extended road trip through the Lone Star State for Kinlie’s signing, they also attended several jackpot roping events and watched Kasen gain a new belt buckle with a win in the tie down at a rodeo hosted by Sweetwater’s Ranger College.
Kinlie noted the warmer weather down south is a plus for rodeo competitors.
“When you’re down there, even in the winter, there’s pretty much always something going on, so you can always stay sharp,” she said.
During college, Kinlie said she will likely specialize in breakaway roping, goat tying and barrel racing, dropping the pole bending event that is big at the middle school high school levels but not later.
While she and Kasen were a regular team roping duo for much of their childhood, she will wait and see if her sibling would prefer to rope with someone else in the fall.
“He’s been down there and met a lot of people he might want to go with,” she said. “Team roping’s not my favorite, so if he finds somebody who wants to work harder at it, that wouldn’t bother me at all.”
Kinlie said she will study business and cosmetology at the school, having an abundance of credits in the latter from Colorado Northwestern Community College. However, she was unable to finish the CNCC cosmetology program when she opted to play basketball for MCHS, ending her senior season playing in the All-State game hosted by Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports.
Kinlie finished the fall season with Colorado State High School Rodeo Association the leader in girls all-around rankings, and she sits at the top of the list in breakaway points, plus in the top five in poles, barrels and goats.
If all goes well as the spring season gets going — beginning April 13 in Golden — she stands to be a champion in at least one event once the state finals come around — taking place Memorial Day weekend in Craig — with the potential to represent Colorado in all four at the nationals in July in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Last year’s state event saw her as all-around points champ and reserve champion in barrels and breakaway, though the weekend was overshadowed by her brother having a close call with an accident in the arena.
This year, she’s gunning to finish her time in high school with as many triumphs as possible.
“I’ve been working hard now that basketball’s over, my horse has been working good, and we’ll see how it all plays out,” she said. “I would really feel accomplished finishing high school with that breakaway title.”