Meet the Member Jake Hawkins

by Rodeo News

story by Michele Toberer

“Jake The Snake” Hawkins is a 21-year-old Goshen, Indiana cowboy that mainly has roping steers on his mind. One of the main things he loves about roping, is the family time he gets to spend with his parents and three younger siblings. “When I was younger, I had to make a choice between soccer and rodeo, and I liked that with rodeo I spent more time with my family, so stuck with it and have never regretted it. Later in high school, I played Lacrosse my sophomore and junior year and was one of the leading scorers on the team, but my senior year I decided to rodeo full-time as much as I could, and it’s been rodeo only since I graduated from Northridge High School in 2018.”
Jake’s dad, Jesse, a telecommunications engineer, started team roping when he was a teenager. His mom, Jennifer Hawkins sells parts for a rv company, Tiara, where Jake also works. His younger sister, Jillian, 18, and younger brother, Jaden, 13, both compete in rodeo and jackpots as well; and his youngest sister, Jensen, 2, is the family’s biggest cheerleader in the practice pen. “I get home from work and my dad will already be on the 4-wheeler pulling the roping sled for Jillian and Jaden and I’ll saddle a horse and jump in. We spend 4 to 5 days a week together trying new things and making each other laugh. I can’t thank my parents enough for giving me everything I could ever ask for. They are always there if I need a ride or someone to stay awake with me at 3 a.m. as I’m traveling from a rodeo. They’re pretty awesome about it all.”
Last year was Jake’s first year buying a Mid-States Rodeo Association card, and he won the 2019 MSRA Rookie Heeler title. He competed at the finals in Cloverdale, Indiana with his partner, David Windon, who also won the 2019 MSRA Rookie Header and Rookie Calf Roping titles. “David and I competed together in the NLBRA and won the world champion team roping titles in 2018 at their finals. “We decided to join the MSRA and see if we could win the rookie titles. Our first couple rodeos we didn’t have much luck, but things started clicking and we became a pretty tough team together.”
Jake started out as a header. “My dad was a dominant heeler, so I asked him to teach me and I’ve been hooked on heeling ever since. The header starts the clock, but the heeler makes the money. The heeler has to catch to win anything.” Jake bought a 15-year-old sorrel gelding named Tango during the summer of 2018 and has found quite a bit of success with him. “He was a reining horse reject, and always does his job and does it right, so I can’t complain about that!”
After high school, Jake attended Ivy Tech Community College and earned his associate degree in accounting. He is hoping for an opportunity to use his degree in a future endeavor. His main goal now is to go to Las Vegas, Nevada for the World Series Team Roping Finals in December and make some bank in the #12 or #13 jackpots there. He’d also like to continue competing in the MSRA. “The MSRA is very coordinated with all of their ventures and rodeos. They post on schedule and run their rodeos as they say they will do it. They’re very inclusive of everyone. If you get a flat on the road, they’ll move you to slack or send someone to help you. The people of the MSRA have just been great.”
Looking up to professionals like Joseph Harrison serves as great inspiration to Jake. “All his horses look good and have nice stops. He knows everything there is about the sport of heeling and he’s just one of those upstanding guys that does his job every time, and you aspire to be like him. I’d like to train my own horses and compete on them at a top level. It has always been a dream of mine to be one of the leading guys in the world.”

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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