He has been swinging a rope since he was in diapers. She has been training for months to keep herself in top shape. But in the four months since the …
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He has been swinging a rope since he was in diapers. She has been training for months to keep herself in top shape.
But in the four months since the families of 11-year-old Clyde Bolejack and 13-year-old Hope Anderson decided the two should pair up for the Little Britches rodeo, no one predicted they would walk away as world champions.
Yet that’s exactly what they did.
Bolejack and Anderson took home the national ribbon roping title July 28, when they tied for first place to share the world championship with Yampa brothers Eric and Jace Logan in a sport that is nothing if not a team effort.
The effort begins with Bolejack at the gate on horseback and Anderson in the middle of the arena on foot. At the moment a calf is released, near Bolejack, his job is to pursue and rope that calf.
Concurrently, Anderson’s job is to run like the wind, retrieve the ribbon tied to the calf’s tail, take it back to the starting gate and beat the clock at the same time .
Their fastest time at the Little Britches competition was 12.93 seconds.
“I think the adrenaline rush of being so close to winning really made me run as fast as I possibly could,” Anderson said. “It was amazing, actually. It was the right feeling.”
Anderson, who is going into the eighth grade, grew up in Castle Rock and lives in Larkspur. Bolejack is going to be a sixth-grader this year and lives on the same Elbert ranch where his father, Diamond Bolejack, grew up.
The two met through their families, which have been participating and competing in rodeo events since before their world champions were born. At this year’s Douglas County Fair, Anderson is showing a 4-H market goat and a working ranch horse and entering gymkhana and roping competitions.
Bolejack is participating in goat tying and family team roping, his favorite sport. Even though ribbon roping is running a close second.
“It was so much fun (with Anderson),” Bolejack said. “When the announcer said ‘we have a new leader’ I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know I was roping that fast and she was running that fast. I guess God was there with us.”
Bolejack thinks he started roping from the time he could balance and hold the rope at the same time. He doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t have a rope in his hands. His mother, Paula Bolejack, remembers he was about 18 months old when he first learned to swing a rope.
He and Anderson are already getting geared up for the 2013 ribbon roping competition.
“You can rope just about anything,” he said.
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