An Oklahoma cowgirl follows in her family’s footsteps of cutting championships.
For Kadee Belle Hall, cutting isn’t just a rodeo sport, but a way of life. She comes from a long line of notable cutters, such as her father, Shannon Hall, who has a decorated past as an Open cutting horse champion. Now, Hall has her own title: National High School Girls Cutting Champion.
Kadee Belle Hall with with Senorita Spoon.
Hall, who will be a senior at Velma-Alma High School this fall, has proven that, while high school may be ending soon, her competitive drive remains. Hall traveled to Gillette, Wyoming for the National High School Finals Rodeo in July to compete for a national title.
Hall competed in the reined cow horse, breakaway and barrel racing, but ultimately, cutting was her “sweet-spot” at this finals.
“I have shown cutting horses for a while now,” Hall said. “My horse is Senorita Spoon (owned by Billy Emerson). I have become very confident and comfortable on her. We know each other inside and out…I knew that she would give me 100%.”
Hall hasn’t always been as passionate about cutting as she is now. For a while, she gave up cutting to focus on school sports and other hobbies, but when her sister won a national title of her own, all of that changed.
“When my older sister, Whitney, won Nationals, I decided to start showing again.”
Hall’s sister, Whitney, is also an extremely decorated cutter. From showing in the National Cutting Horse Association in both Youth and Non-Professional classes, as well as competing in both high school and collegiate rodeo, Whitney has established herself as a strong competitor in the cutting and roping pens. Whitney helped Kadee Belle in her early cutting days.
“When we were young, she taught me how to cut my cows by using toy horses and cows,” Hall said. “She was never a nice cow. [Whitney] has always been there to encourage me…She is the first person I call after I show.”
While her sister’s guidance and encouragement has played a large factor in where she is today, Hall’s largest influence has been her father, Shannon.
“He is one of the best. He can make a horse do anything and they do it well,” Hall said.
There is no doubt that family ties have influenced Hall’s riding abilities, and they have also helped her learn to strategize and get through challenging situations inside and outside of the cutting pen. On the way to the National High School Finals Rodeo, Hall’s family stopped to honor a close family friend, Don Strain, at his funeral.
“Don was a hero to me,” Hall said. “He was a great friend. He always encouraged me. He told me at [Oklahoma State High School Rodeo Finals] that he would be at Nationals to watch me show. I put a ribbon on my back number to make sure he was there with me, and his wonderful wife, Kathy, came to watch me in the short-go, which made that moment extra special.”
With emotions running high and a last-hole draw in the final round, Hall was going to have to get her mental game prepared.
“I was dead last,” Hall said. “I knew I needed a 142 or better to win it. I tried to just calm down and go cut…When the buzzer went off, I felt so relieved.”
Hall was in shock when they announced her score of 145.5, and she knew that she was the National Champion.
“I had finally accomplished my dream…When I saw my dad, he was crying and I just couldn’t help it,” Hall said. “When I saw how proud he was, it made my whole day.”
Hall was instantly swarmed by reporters and friends offering congratulations. It hadn’t even sunken in what she had just accomplished.
Even with a huge title to her name, Hall has a rodeo motto that she is sticking to. It is advice that we could all take to heart.
“Always do your best, have fun and live with the results,” Hall said. “I went in to Nationals knowing that I could do it, but also knowing that, whatever is in God’s will, that is what I want to happen. Win, lose or draw.”
Hall doesn’t know exactly what’s next for her, but one thing she knows for sure is that she wants to continue to rodeo.
Rodeo is made easier with friends and family to support you through long weekends and performance slumps. Between her parents, sisters, friends and sponsors, Hall knows the importance of a support team in a sport like rodeo.
“Support systems are very important,” Hall said, “When…you kind of just want to quit, they are right there to pick you up and tell you to keep going. My freshman year, I didn’t even make it back to the short-go…my support system was there to…make me try again, and thankfully they did or I wouldn’t have been [back] there to win it.”
Hall wants to thank some of those members of her support team, such as her sponsors, OE Nutralics and Pioneer Cellular. She also wants to thank her friends and family for the encouragement and kind words. Lastly, she wants to thank Don Strain and Greg Welch for being her guardian angels and helping her accomplish her dreams.