Four Chasek brothers look to leave their mark in final event together
By The Voice News - June 6, 2018
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Photos by Stephanie Miller
From left, Justin, Ty, Jennifer, Shawn, Lane and Jake Chasek pose for a family photo at Fillingham’s Pond on May 12 during Ty’s graduation party.
MITCHELL – Ty Chasek of Mitchell is heading to his final high school rodeo this week in Hastings.
Ty has qualified for state each of the past three years and is planning to continue doing rodeo this fall at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Ty, 18, will be competing in tie-down roping, team roping and steer wrestling as he tries to earn his first trip to the National High School rodeo to be held in Rock Springs, Wyo.
“It’s hard to see them grow up and move on,” mother Jennifer said of Ty’s final state rodeo. “I hope he has success at state and qualifies for nationals.”
Ty qualified for nationals back in junior high. So have his younger brothers Lane, 17, and Jake and Justin, 16.
All of them are also competing in Hastings this week.
“The twins excel at calf roping and really enjoy it,” Jennifer said. “Ty loves bull dogging and team roping, he is a header. Lane loves to heel steers in the team roping. The older two do calf roping, but they do not enjoy it as much as team roping. And the twins team rope, but do better at and enjoy calf roping more.”
Jake and Justin, who just completed their freshman year at Mitchell High School, are making their first trip to the high school state rodeo.
“Rodeoing has been in the boys’ blood from a young age, as they started when they were 4 or 5 years old,” Jennifer said. “My husband Shawn used to do ranch rodeos but with hauling the kids around, he has backed off.”
The Chaseks live on a farm seven miles north of Mitchell. Shawn works on the farm while Jennifer is a nurse at Regional West Medical Center.
“Ranching has helped them with the rodeo,” Jennifer said. “They have been riding since they could walk, and have had multiple horses through the years, starting out on ponies. Growing up they were Shawn’s right hand men, helping with everything from branding to moving cattle and calving.
“Now Ty works for a feedlot north of Scottsbluff, Lane and Jake work for Bryan Palm north of Mitchell and Justin stays home to help his Dad through the summer. They a very handy in all areas of ranch work and are very hard working boys that get bored easily if they have any down time.”
As the boys’ interest in rodeos grew, Shawn and Jennifer added rodeo facilities at their ranch.
“We have an arena with steers and calves at our house where we practice,” Jennifer said. “Sometimes it’s a competition, other times they are helping each other out with tips and pointers. Sometimes Ty and Lane go over to Clayton Symons’ house to practice team roping.”
Before the Chasek boys got to high school, they competed in a junior high series that holds its state competition each May in Broken Bow.
Last year, twins Justin and Jake made the junior high national finals held in Lebanon, Tenn. It’s a two round with short go for top 20 rodeo with kids from all 50 states including Australia and Canada. Justin ended up fourth in the world, winning a $200 scholarship and buckles.
The fall part of the high school rodeo series began in August and lasted into September. The spring part of the series got underway at the end of March and concludes with state for those who make it.
“The rodeos are based on a point system, 10-1 points for 1st-10th place,” Jennifer said. “They take the top 30 contestants to state based on the points they earn through the season.”
To finish in the top 30, it helps to attend as many rodeos as possible during the season.
“It is every weekend when the season is going,” Jennifer said. “Lane played high school football last fall, which put us to the rodeo very late due to the drive and leaving after the games. But we made it work. The twins would probably run track, but it would conflict with rodeo, and in that situation, rodeo would come first, so they just stick to it. They all wrestle, and that season does not cross over with rodeo, so that’s good. Doing this sport puts a lot of other things on the back burner between the practice we put in, travel time, being gone every weekend, and working to cover costs.”
A typical rodeo weekend for the Chaseks involves living out of a special travel trailer.
“We load up everything needed, including saddles, tack, horses, clothes and food into our living quarters horse trailer,” Jennifer said. “This trailer has living quarters in the front, beds, kitchen, bathroom. The back half is the horse compartment which is big enough to house all the horses we haul. We usually leave Friday afternoon as 95 percent of the rodeos we attend are four to six hours away in eastern Nebraska, so it takes awhile to get there.
“Once we arrive, we set up camp including horse pens, we feed the horses and settle down. Rodeo takes place on Saturday/Sunday. Then the whole process in reverse Sunday afternoon or evening. We fix meals at the trailer, and hang with friends through the weekend. Rodeos typically start at 8-9, and go till mid afternoon.”
While rodeo weekends are a lot of work, Jennifer said she wouldn’t mind doing it again in July for Nationals.
“Placing in the top four is the goal for all of the boys at State,” Jennifer said.
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