After nominating to the World Champions Rodeo Alliance’s Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ), college student and business owner Kinlie Brennise has climbed the Rodeo Corpus Christi leaderboard into the top five breakaway ropers.
Currently boasting 2,155 points and sitting fourth on the Rodeo Corpus Christi Leaderboard, the Craig, Colorado’s ropers’ biggest boost came from nominating an average victory at the Three Star Memorial Open Invitational Breakaway Roping Feb. 18, where she earned $11,562.
22-year-old Brennise is a college student, rodeo athlete and salon owner in Stephenville, Texas, with plenty on her plate. The Breakaway Roping Journal caught up with her to learn more about her past and journey to the top.
The Breakaway Roping Journal: What was growing up like for you? Did you grow up in rodeo?
Kinlie Brennise: My parents both grew up rodeoing. My dad Scott was more into it than my mom, Sheila. My dad trained team roping horses and got us into roping. From a young age we were doing clinics and getting lessons from anyone we could. But as me and my siblings grew up, my mom really had a drive for us to compete.
I started with (The National Little Britches Rodeo Association), then junior high rodeo, then high school and college rodeo. I college rodeoed for two years at Weatherford College and now I’m in my second year at Tarleton State University. I am a senior this year and I’m getting my degree in marketing.
BRJ: Has breakaway always been your focus?
KB: I’ve always been a big barrel racer, but my good barrel horse got hurt about a year ago, so I’ve been focusing on roping more since.
Now, I don’t even know if I want to get back into the barrels now. My brother Kasen ropes too so we get to practice together, and I have enough horses to do it. Right now, I think it’s easier to focus on one event.
BRJ: What do you love about breakaway?
KB: It’s challenging every day and it’s a lot on you as a rider. You have to put in the work, and that’s what you’ll get out of it. If I don’t rope every day, it shows for sure. I feel like it’s equal between you and your horse putting in the work.
BRJ: What are some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
KB: I would say my reaching has been a challenge. I’ve really been opening up my swing to reach and have a longer range and take my shot.
Aside from that, I own a salon named Luxury Aesthetics and also go to school. So, time management is a big thing for me so that I can allow myself time to rope every day.
BRJ: Who is the top horse in your string?
KB: I’ve stolen my brother, Kasen’s good horse, Rio. Kasen’s been working a lot, so I’ve gotten to ride Rio. I’ve had him for six months now and he’s my favorite one to rope on. He’s the one I rode at the Three Star Memorial, and we bought him from Justin Maass.
BRJ: What advice would you give someone who’s wanting to rodeo more?
KB: Start small, set goals and go for it. Keep at it, and remember you get out of it what you put in to it.
BRJ: How’d you get involved with the WCRA?
KB: I started nominating for the WCRA in the fall of last year and I love it. I even decided not to do The American and focus on the WCRA because I really like their points and nomination system.
I appreciate how flexible they are and how everyone is included. You can get points anywhere you go, which is really handy for me because I am usually at a college rodeo one day and a jackpot the next.
The WCRA’s system lets athletes nominate events spanning from jackpots to professional rodeos. Riders garner points in ropings they were already competing in, creating a “double dip” opportunity to earn an invitation to one of the WCRA’s Triple Crown Events.
Competitors can simply select the event they wish to compete at and pay a small nomination fee proportionate to the size and payout of the event, then they earn points both on the VRQ leaderboard (which pays out a cash bonus for playing at the end of the year) maintain eligibility for weekly VRQ bonuses and nominate for specific Triple Crown of Rodeo (the BIG events) majors throughout the year.
If they manage to win three Triple Crown of Rodeo events in a row (that pay out in preliminary rounds and a minimum of $15,000 for the big win at each) they unlock the $1 million bonus that bareback rider R.C. Landingham captured at the Cowtown Christmas Championships back in December 2022.
Check out the 2023-24 WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo event schedule here.