Meet the Member Logan Vander Hamm

by Rodeo News
Cowboy on horseback roping a steer in a rodeo arena.

story by Lindsay Humphrey

Going into the KJHSRA finals, Logan Vander Hamm wasn’t optimistic about his chances of making it to nationals in team roping. Logan and his partner, Steele Smith, just didn’t have the season they were hoping for. “Going into state, we were in 11th place,” said the 13-year-old from Ingalls, Kansas. “I think the nerves might have gotten to us a bit since it was our first season in junior high. For some reason we both just started catching, and we covered a lot of ground.” That proved to be the understatement of the year considering the duo won the short round and average to finish the year in fourth place for Kansas junior high. The pair barely punched their ticket for nationals but shook the dust off and saddled up for Perry, Georgia.
“It was a long drive to Georgia, but it wasn’t nearly as hot there as I expected it to be. We managed to draw three really good steers and get them all captured,” the seventh grader said. They were 7.2 on the first and 7.5 on the next. All they really needed to do in the short round was catch. “I knew the kid who had our steer in another round, and he gave me the inside scoop on him. We had to be faster than a 16.4 to win and we laid down a 6.9.” It was almost 2 in the morning before Logan and his partner were finally able to collect their first national title. But it wasn’t anything they weren’t used to since they can be found at a jackpot just about every weekend.
When Logan was preparing for state finals, he didn’t pick his usual mount. He took 13-year-old Puddin who’s a daughter of the legendary Peptoboonsmal. “I took Puddin to state finals because I could use her in both the breakaway and team roping. I didn’t expect to do well in the team roping so I left my normal roping horse at home.” Puddin was carrying an extra passenger at state. She’s due next spring with a foal by the family’s stud. “I’ll ride her for a bit this fall, but then we’ll kick her out to pasture around October.” Breeding, raising, breaking and training is something Logan’s family does on a regular basis. With a 15-head broodmare band, there’s always something that needs to be ridden or worked at home.
“I really like riding young horses because we have a lot of them. I usually ride two and three-year-olds and then we start roping on them when they’re about four. I like watching them learn and having patience with them because I don’t like to go fast. I like to work with horses at a slower pace and let them learn something.” Logan’s older brother, 16-year-old Jhett, also rides the family’s colts. He has a much different style than his younger brother. It’s a complimentary system that both challenges the colts while also giving them a brain break when they need it  all under the watchful eyes of Logan and Jhett’s parents, Scott and Melissa.
“My dad taught us how to rope and ride. He’s gone to a lot of roping clinics, so he can help us when we’re doing something wrong.” Logan also pays his compliments to the great horse flesh he’s been able to ride over the years. Most of them have been home grown, but not all. “It’s a lot of fun having all those young horses to ride. That’s made it easier to enjoy roping.” Swapping ends in the team roping is easily Logan’s favorite rodeo activity. He only ropes calves because he’s at the rodeos and decided it didn’t make sense not to. Logan knows he wouldn’t have become a national champion this summer without the help of both his parents. “My mom hauls us absolutely everywhere and I’m lucky that she takes care of the entering because that’s super confusing.”

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

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