Story by Ruth Nicolaus Because of his parents, Scott and Jenee Holub, and his granddad, George Rachau, Dillin Holub is involved in the sport he […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Hannah Kennedy
story by Lily Weinacht
APRA member Hannah Kennedy joined the association in 2012 and qualified for the finals that year in breakaway roping, but barrel racing is where her passion truly lies. The 23-year-old from Argyle, New York, qualified for the finals for the second time last season, this time in the barrel racing, where she placed fourth in the second round. “It’s a good venue, and the committee for the AFR goes above and beyond,” says Hannah. “They put on a dinner for all the contestants, and it’s a good time.”
The daughter of a bull rider and a barrel racer, Hannah started running barrels at an early age and entered her first rodeo by the time she was 10. She competed in open rodeos and a year of high school rodeo for New York before buying her cards with the APRA and WPRA. This year she’s adding the IPRA to her lineup. “It’s kind of an addiction at this point,” she says with a laugh. “I really like going down the road. Last year I went with Jodi Matthews and her son Kasen, and Karlee Benincasa and my little sister, Carly. No matter where we go, we have a good time, and the competition part of it is good. I live in a good area for it too. We have 3 rodeos weekly within 45 minutes of my house.
“Barrel racing is definitely what I’m most passionate about in comparison to other events. It’s a good adrenaline rush and it’s nice to have a good horse, but mainly just the speed of it all. I always look at Lisa Lockhart as a good inspiration,” she adds. “She has a very positive attitude and is always good to her animals, and she’s been a champion for a while.” Hannah rides her mom’s 17-year-old mare, Sunshine, and has a second mare, Tia, who is 18. “We’ve owned Sunshine since she was 3 years old and my mom has done everything on her. She’s really consistent and she’s got a ton of heart. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big pen or little pen, she’ll try her best. I had gotten Tia last year, and one of my first checks from last year came from her. I’m not as consistent with her as I am with Sunshine, but she’s cute and she has a lot of personality.” Hannah also has a Yorkie named Cali that she describes as 6 pounds of pure sassiness, and Hannah’s parents, Bill and Krista Kennedy, keep beef cows and some roping cattle in the summer for Hannah and Carly to rope.
“I live in a small town. I would joke that it has more animals than people, and it’s a dry town. It’s nice — everybody knows everybody, and it has that small-town camaraderie,” says Hannah. She’s studying early childhood education at SUNY Adirondack, and does house sitting and waitressing. “I’ll hopefully get my degree and go on to be a teacher.” She also started sewing arena shirts in the last few months and sold several. Hannah wore one of her handmade shirts for her debut at the First Frontier Circuit Finals last year, but admits she has a superstition about her shirts and will often wear the same one several months in a row.
“I’d like to get back to the AFR again this year, and the First Frontier Circuit Finals,” Hannah finishes, “and maybe someday the IFR.”