Jimmi Jo Montera loves to rope. “We started riding when we were three and roping when we were four,” she shared of her childhood with […]
Kenny & Mary Ann Brown
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Kenny and Mary Ann Brown, who have known each other since they were 15, have been at the National Finals Team Roping every year. They travel all over the east coast to the ropings. “Their commitment is a strong one. They don’t miss them back there – from Florida to Memphis,” said USTRC President, Kirk Bray. Kenny and Mary Ann traveled 22 hours to attend the National Finals Team Roping, held the end of October in Oklahoma City.
“We stop about every six to eight hours, and walk the horses for half an hour, and make sure they have water,” said Kenny. “They are troopers, they are on the trail so much its second nature.”
The couple spends their days roping. “We practice, eat lunch, practice, eat dinner,” admits Mary Anne. They haul four horses all spring and summer, and by fall they sell the practice cattle and any trading horses and head to Sarasota, Fla, to the JJJ Ranch.
Kenny Brown grew up 50 miles from Washington, in Keedysville, Maryland. “My dad, Kenny Brown, Sr., had a rodeo company (Triple K Rodeo Company), and raced horses,” he said. He grew up in the horse business along with his two brothers, Kevin and Keith. He tried rough stock, and after breaking a few bones, gave it up. He also steer wrestled a bit. He was also a member of the American Pro Rodeo Association, which his father helped start. “My ARA card number is 39 and I won the APRA 15 times. My ARA card number is 39.” Kenny worked in New York City, where he had a precious metal refinery in 1987. “I was around jewelry people and there has to be a process to recover the gold out of the dirt so I opened a refinery to do that.” He sold it ten years later and has concentrated on team roping ever since. The #6 Elite Heeler won the First Frontier Circuit six times, four heeling and two heading, the last time in 2001. He makes his living now trading rope horses and putting on roping schools. He ropes in the USTRC ropings, traveling at least five hours to get to a roping. “Johnny Johnson with JX2 has most of the ropings on the east coast and we go to all of his. His ropings are really good and they are customer friendly.”
Mary Ann was born in Ohio, and spent summers on the family ranch in Montana. “I’ve rodeoed since I was in Little Britches,” said the #4 Elite. “I then went on junior rodeos, then high school. I qualified all four years of high school to the National High School Finals – from 1985-88.” She entered all the events and continued working on her dad’s ranch in Idaho after high school. Mary Ann went to the USTRC Finals this past October leading the Cruel Girl Standings, which is a huge accomplishment for someone who lives on the east Coast. They put the miles on a Dodge one ton and pull an Elite living quarters, 12’ short wall. “We lived in a 6’ short wall before that – we were on the road for three months – we lived in that for 12 years,” said Mary Ann, adding, “we are best friends and we love what we are doing. That’s the only way it would work I think.”
Since Kenny has rodeoed his whole life, he has developed an eye for a good rope horse. “I’ve sold several horses that end up at the NFR and USTRC Finals. If you don’t have a great horse, you don’t win.” The Head Horse and Heel Horse of the Year for First Frontier Circuit came from Lightning B. “We find them, fix a few things, and sell them.” He has built his reputation up to people that buy on his word. “Most horses I buy I’ll watch at two or three ropings and then see if they are for sale.”
Their goals for the future are to move somewhere warm and closer to the ropings, and eliminate the 22 hour drive to Oklahoma City for the USTRC Finals. “We’ve been looking for property around Stephenville,” said Kenny. “It’s central for all the ropings we go to and I know a lot of people. We’ll still head to Florida for a few months – it’s such a great facility and great people.”
For this year, they have a pen full of longhorns that they purchase from a local rancher that raises them, and they are settled into the routine of practice, eat, sleep, and practice. “I love it,” admits Mary Anne. “Anything to do with my horse, I love.”
“It’s addiction with a capital A – they need a roper rehab,” concludes Kenny. “There’s nothing else I’d rather do.”
A special thank you to our sponsors: Cactus Ropes, Coats Saddlery and Lubrysin.