ProFile: Kaycee Hollingback

by Siri Stevens

2020 AMERICAN Breakaway Champion

Kaycee Hollingback’s $100,000 win at the American “was God’s timing,” said the 20-year-old sophomore at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. “I’d been to a couple qualifiers and got close, but never made it. Mom and dad encouraged me to try for a spot at the last qualifier and they loaned me the money to enter.” She went to the Last Chance qualifier, the day before the Semi Finals, and made it in two spots. “I made it back on one of them to the top 40, like 17th.” Then she got to run in the perfs and made that cut and the rest is history. She made the two hour drive back and forth from Durant because she was fitting in class and two jobs with the competition. Kaycee is studying Elementary Education and works one day a week at the Durant stockyards and two days a week at J. Price Energy services. She has no intention of changing anything she’s doing after her win. “I told my parents to put the money somewhere I can’t touch it.”
Kaycee came up the rodeo ranks starting at 7 years old. She started roping when she was ten, winning the Oklahoma State Goat Tying in junior high and winning the state in the high school in goats in 2016 and breakaway in 2017. She went on to college rodeo for SEOSU under the leadership of Christi Braudick. “I trailered her back and forth to the Semi Finals,” said Christi, who also qualified for the Semi Finals. “It was a long journey for us. I was so stoked she made it through. She is a hard worker and so deserving of this. When she won, I started crying because of how much she really deserved it.”
The college is now shut for the remainder of the year, and the students continuing with online studies only. “I always take my Spring Break to help my dad (Jerald) work cows,” Kaycee said. “We work cows for the place my dad works for; running cows through the chute and ear notch and work the calves. I try to cheat and be the only one on horseback, but that doesn’t always work.”
Kaycee is riding a horse she got from a girl she college rodeoed with last year. “I was looking for a practice horse and I tried him and liked him. In the practice pen, I could catch almost all of them, but at a rodeo I couldn’t catch anything.” The duo finally clicked in August. “At six, he’s like having a toddler around all the time – he has a lot of personality. He’s not bad, but he doesn’t like being by himself, so you have to have a buddy with him. He was so different at scoring and everything – I wasn’t use to it.”
The pair definitely clicked at The American. “It was awesome – it was perfect for my adrenaline – I like going to bigger places like that – it pumps me up.” Kaycee remembers dreaming of roping for that much money and that big a stage when she was a kid. “My mom (Virginia) is an English teacher and I remember a writing project in school about something you predicted would happen in the future and my paper was about how breakaway roping will be part of the NFR.”
For now, she’s at home practicing with her younger brother, Tanner, and enjoying some family time.

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