ALVA, Okla. – Kaden Greenfield was just 3 years old when is father, Shawn, first made the National Finals Rodeo as one of the top 15 steer wrestlers in the PRCA.
“I was alive for all of his seven qualifications to the NFR, but the only one I remember was his last year when he finished second in the world,” Kaden Greenfield said, referring to the 2011 season. “It was a crazy experience.”
He was 11 years old at that NFR, and that time in his life is still reflected in his own rodeo career, which includes being a steer wrestler for Northwestern Oklahoma State University. In fact, Greenfield has done fairly well early in the Central Plains Region season.
This past weekend, he won the steer wrestling title at the Oklahoma State University rodeo in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Greenfield stopped the clock in 4.5 seconds to finish third in the opening round, then dominated the championship round with a 3.7-second run, which was half a second faster than second place. He moved up to sixth in the regional standings.
“It was pretty cool,” said Greenfield, a recent transfer from Blue Mountain Community College in his home state of Oregon. “It was my birthday Saturday during the short round.
“Ever since I got on a different horse, it’s been going really good.”
That horse change was created out of necessity. During the Southeastern Oklahoma State University rodeo the week before, Greenfield’s horse was injured during the opening round in Durant, Oklahoma. For the short round, he jumped on a horse owned by teammate Brent Woodward of Dupree, South Dakota, and won that round.
The Rangers had several other contestants find success in Stillwater. Team roping header Jadon Trimble of Coffeyville, Kansas, won the short round while roping with Shane Jenkins of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. The tandem finished third overall. Heeler Jaydon Laubhan of Follett, Texas, finished second overall while roping with Corbin Culley of Western Oklahoma State College; they placed third in the first round and tied for second in the short round. Header Kellen Alliston of Waynoka, Oklahoma, placed fourth in the opening round with a 6.5-second run with his partner, Dylan Collins of Pratt (Kansas) Community College.
The Northwestern women were paced by Jayden Jensen of Fallon, Nevada, who finished fifth in both the short round and average in breakaway roping.
Greenfield earned big points in Stillwater by riding Woodward’s horse and having Woodward haze. By having early-season, Greenfield hopes to stay on a roll for the rest of the campaign and advance to the College National Finals Rodeo for the second straight year; he qualified this past June while competing at Blue Mountain.
“I went to Blue Mountain because I wanted to stay close to home,” said Greenfield, 21, of Lakeview, Oregon. “My dad went there for two years, so I thought I’d better go there for a couple years.
“I came to Northwestern because I wanted to go somewhere that I could practice every day, and this sounded like the perfect place for what I wanted to do.”
He’s being coached by Northwestern alumnus Stockton Graves, who, like Shawn Greenfield, last competed in steer wrestling at the NFR in 2011. Graves just finished the 2021 regular season ninth in the world standings and will return to ProRodeo’s championship for the eighth time this coming December.
“Stockton just has the same mentality of my dad of being a winner,” Kaden Greenfield said. “I use my dad’s experiences as a way to motivate myself, knowing what he did. It’s great to have someone like him in my corner. Dad pushes me every time I practice to get better.”