By: Julia Dondero
This year, Christmas was a little extra sweet for cousins Conley Kleinhans and Bray Fenoglio, who took home the title as the Cowtown Christmas Championship Division Youth Showcase Team Roping champions in Fort Worth, Texas on December 17. The duo roped sharp during the showcase and had their steer faced in 6.11 seconds to secure the title and take home the winning paycheck of $2,000.
Headlining the WCRA DY Team Roping is nothing new for the Nocona, Texas team, who broke onto the WCRA scene at Rodeo Corpus Christi 2022. Last year, the Texan team was the only Division Youth team to make it to the Semifinal round at Rodeo Corpus Christi and compete against world champions, including the 2022 Team Roping World Champions Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira. The team explained this moment was something they will never forget, as heeler Fenoglio explained “The opportunities and energy we have experienced at WCRA rodeos is truly unmatched.”
The opportunity to compete for large payouts and back into the same box as the greats are just a few of the reasons the team has continued to nominate their rodeos. Fenoglio further explained how the experience gained through the WCRA will aid him in taking his roping to the next level. His cousin, Kleinhans also added the payout opportunities have allowed the team to win large sums and to be able to continue to do what they love doing.
Family has been at the core of this duo’s success for their entire lives. From living close and having daily practices together, to family get-togethers, both cousins expressed the importance of their family’s support. Fenoglio also mentioned how the WCRA is an extension of this support system and has allowed the team to grow as a competitor. “In Fort Worth, the hospitality was incredible. From the media day and training to being able to compete at such a high level, it was a great experience.”
As of January 5, 2023 Kleinhans leads the heading leaderboard and Fenoglio currently sits in second place on the heeling leaderboard. Looking forward to the 2023 season, the team has high goals of continuing their success at the Cinch World Championship Junior Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma July 25-29. Kleinhans and Fenoglio simply stated, “We plan to continue to rope our best, win as much as possible and see what the year has in store for us.”