CLARKSON — When the gate swung open and the steer stormed out, Kolton Krause knew he could rely on his team roping partner.
Bill Krause was quick to toss a lasso around the animal’s neck, but his son missed on an attempt to secure the steer’s hind legs.
It went down as an unscored run in the official standings, but that didn’t matter much to the father-son duo.
Bill was happy to be riding alongside his son.
“I’ve wanted to do this for quite a while with him and here we are — finally,” he said prior to their event Friday night at the Clarkson Rodeo.
Like his father, Kolton started roping at an early age, picking up belt buckles as a youngster lassoing dummies and riding a pony around age 5.
But he gave up the hobby in high school to focus on basketball and football.
The decision didn’t bother his father, who grew up on a farm outside Columbus and gained his love for riding from his parents and grandparents.
“You’ve got to have that fun in school while you’re there,” Bill said. “These horses weren’t going anywhere.”
And they didn’t.
Kolton graduated from Clarkson High School and took a job as a mechanic with West Point Implement. The 19-year-old picked up a rope again and partnered with his father for a few team roping events over the winter in Grand Island.
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Friday night was his first appearance in the Clarkson Rodeo, even though they live within riding distance from the arena.
Bill’s been a regular at the local rodeo for several years. He’s been roping “forever” and competing off and on, including spending a full season on the rodeo tour.
He also rode bulls for a bit.
“My wife made me give that up,” said Bill, who drives a motor grader for Stanton County and trains racehorses.
The family owns four quarter horses and about a dozen thoroughbreds, making riding second nature to Kolton and his sister Kaitlyn, who is barrel racing this weekend in the National Barrel Horse Association Nebraska State Championship in Broken Bow.
Kolton said transitioning back into competitive roping after high school wasn’t too hard. He has a pretty simple game plan.
“Go out and have fun,” he said. “Don’t think too much of it.”
However, Kolton does admit that partnering with his father can make things more strenuous.
“There’s more pressure,” he said.
Bill and Kolton plan to hit a few more area events this summer as they hone their skills as a father-son team and get the younger Krause back into the swing of things.
“We’re going to get to where it’s just easy,” Bill said. “But I need to turn more cattle for him.”