Story by Sarah Naron
ALTO – For Alto High School senior Kolt Dement, the rodeo is a way of life.
“My whole family did it when I was little,” said the 18-year-old bareback rider. “I’ve been on saddle horses since I was two. It’s just kind of been in my blood ever since I was little-bitty.”
Dement’s first rodeo experience was as an eighth-grade student participating in the Texas Junior High Rodeo Association (TJHRA) State Finals in Gonzales.
“I just kind of went from there,” he said. “I just wanted to do it from then on.”
Throughout his rodeo career, Dement has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments, many of them at the state and national levels.
“Some of my biggest accomplishments are winning the Texas High School Rodeo State Finals last year as a junior,” Dement said. “Then, I won the CPRA (Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association) Finals in Angleton. I placed second at the NRA Finals in Shreveport.”
Among Dement’s earlier accomplishments are winning the titles of Heartland Youth Bareback Riding Champion in Mounds, OK and Texas Founders Invitational Champion Bareback Rider, both awards which he netted in 2016.
Dement went on to be named Region V Bareback Riding Champion for 2016-2017 and also qualified for the Texas High School Rodeo Association (THSRA) finals on the state and national levels.
In the 2017-2018 season, Dement once again took home the honor of Region V Bareback Riding Champion, as well as the title of THSRA Reserve State Champion Bareback Rider. He finished the season as one of the top 10 National THSRA qualifiers.
Dement was the THSRA State Champion for 2018-2019 and a top 10 THSRA national qualifer. He earned a number of honors in 2019, including CPRA Rookie of the Year – Texas; CPRA Finals Average Winner – Texas; CPRA Finals Champion Bareback Rider – Texas; and CPRA High Marked Ride of the Finals – Texas. He also set a CPRA record for earnings in a single season and was named the 2019 United Professional Rodeo Association (UPRA) Reserve Champion Bareback Rider – Texas.
Other awards received by Dement in 2019 were the title of Louisiana Rodeo Cowboy Association (LRCA) Reserve Champion Bareback Rider and LRCA High Marked Ride of the Finals.
Dement is currently in the top 10 of the PRCA’s Texas circuit.
While Dement is passionate about rodeo, he admitted the sport does have its obstacles.
“The biggest challenge is getting up and down the road, the late nights, having to go so far and having to do the drive right to the next place and only getting, like, four hours of sleep,” he laughed.
However, being a bareback rider provides a rush that Dement undoubtedly wouldn’t trade for anything.
“When you jump off one and everybody’s on their feet, screaming – that’s what makes me extremely excited,” he said.”
When he’s not busy with rodeo, Dement enjoys outdoor activities such as duck hunting and hog hunting.
After graduating from AHS, Dement plans to attend Panola College in Carthage and major in ranch management.