Behind the Chutes: Katie Doll |

Behind the Chutes: Katie Doll

"Rodeo is a lot of fun when you’re surrounded by people who love it as much as you do," said college competitor Katie Doll. Photo courtesy Katie Doll

Age: 20

Family: Dad Doug, mom Janet, sister Stacy, brother Clint and sister-in-law Kelli.

Hometown: My hometown is Buffalo, S.D.

School: I went to a country school in Reva, S.D., until third grade, then to Buffalo for the rest of elementary, junior high and high school. Now I attend Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., and I just finished my sophomore year, pursuing a degree in English Education.

Rodeo events: In high school rodeo I did cattle cutting, team roping, pole bending, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. Now, in college I compete in goats, breakaway, and team roping with my cousin Sam Olson.

What is your future in the sport of rodeo? I plan to continue rodeoing in the SDRA and NRCA circuits. I hope to keep introducing young kids to the sport and training horses.

What is your ultimate goal as you continue competing in rodeos? My ultimate goal for rodeo is to do better every time and keep a positive image for rodeo. Too many people misinterpret the sport and I want to make it clear we are blessed to be doing something like this with our animals, that it’s not cruelty. It’s something I never want to take for granted because it’s a privilege.

Favorite aspect of rodeo: Like a lot of contestants, I really enjoy the people you create friendships with. It becomes a rodeo family and everyone is looking out for you and cheering you on.

Best rodeo memory: My best memories will forever be when my Dad, Paul Sundermann, and Kent Clarke danced on the barrels at the state high school rodeo my Junior year. These men were keeping the mood light and having fun. That’s what it’s all about!

Notable achievements in the sport: I am a two-time NHSFR qualifier, NRCA and SDRA qualifier.

Tell us about your horse: I have a goat/heel horse I started when I was in sixth grade and he’s still getting me through college. His name is Gus and he loves to be cuddled and the occasional piece of cake. We have definitely had our misunderstandings, but he’s taught me more than any other horse.

The other horse I haul is my brother’s haze horse from way back and now I breakaway on her. We call her Philadelphia Bay, ironically she’s a bay, and she’s been very good to me.

Have you attended any rodeo schools? If so, which ones? I attended a Ty Tuff clinic when I was first learning how to tie, but a lot of my education on the sport has come from friends and family.

Role models/mentors: My dad and brother rope and understand horses really well, so they have always been the most influential people on me. They have started a lot of horses I ride and they help me a lot with young ones I’m starting. My sister is also a big influence on me because we travel together most summers and our attitudes wear off on each other, so we work on being positive. Also, during school this year I kept horses and practiced at Jerry Golliher’s and he helped me immensely with my roping. He would come to practice and string the barrier for us and he would always be smiling or laughing. Rodeo is a lot of fun when you’re surrounded by people who love it as much as you do.

What do you like to do when you’re not competing? I like playing intramurals in college, mostly volleyball and basketball. I like being on the ranch and all that entails, going to the brandings at the neighbors, hanging with friends and family, opening chutes for doggers on Tuesday, and I also like to read.

What’s playing on your iPod/radio? Sail by Awolnation just came on my iTunes when I read this question. Ha!

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