Passion for service, rodeo

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sarah Post
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

Have you ever been so passionate about something that no matter what else is going on in life you continue to make time for it and pursue it? That is exactly the case for Chief Master Sgt. David Teets, 90th Mission Support Group Superintendent and Master Sgt. Jenniffer Teets, 90th Comptroller Squadron Senior Enlisted Leader, with their passion for rodeo. 

Jenniffer Teets’ passion for horses and the sport of rodeo started when she was young. She grew up with nine horses, was involved in 4H and competed in halter shows and barrel racing from ages four to nine. However, her parents were both in the Air Force and her family had to sell the horses during a move and Jenniffer Teets’ rodeo hobby had to be put on pause. David Teets was quite the opposite, as his passion for rodeo came much later in life. 

About 15 years ago, Jenniffer Teets decided to simultaneously un-pause her passion while kicking off David Teets’ passion for it by asking for a horse for her birthday. During their time at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, the Teets bought their first horse, named Star, which launched their rodeo journey together. 

“I have always wanted to get back into barrel racing,” said Jenniffer Teets. “After we got Star, David started YouTubing everything horses, and he found roping and was like, ‘I want this’!” 

Since the start of their journey in San Antonio, The Teets have had to find a balance between their passion for the sport and their careers in the Air Force. Between the two of them, they have been deployed and have had to move to a new duty station five times, all while continuing to take care of their animals. 

“PCSing with our kids is much easier than with our rodeo partners,” said Jenniffer. “We rely on word of mouth for finding the best care, and most of the time we don’t know anyone in the area we are going to, so finding a trustworthy source for feed and veterinary care can be challenging. Then we also have to find safe arenas, determine how and where we can practice and our animals have to adjust to the new climates and elevation as well. Many things go into considering the safety of our horses.”  

Their fifth PCS put the Teets family back at F.E. Warren Air Force Base for a second time. Here they continue to participate in rodeo activities in the local area as well as across the country. Since arriving in July, they have competed in two large rodeos, including the 2022 Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association rodeo in Topeka, Kansas. 

PAFRA events are geared toward past and current U.S. servicemembers from around the world, and the Teets’ service in the Air Force is what allowed them to compete. During the competition, Jenniffer competed in barrel racing and breakaway roping, while David competed in men’s all-around. 

David’s events for men’s all-around consisted of calf roping, team roping, chute dogging and steer wrestling. He performed well in chute dogging, earning 6th place out of 35, as well as a second place overall in steer wrestling. At the end of the three-day rodeo, David was named the PAFRA Steer Wrestling Reserve Champion for 2022. 

Jenniffer placed third in barrel racing on the first night of the rodeo, but an injury to her horse kept her out of the finals for that event. She won two rounds of breakaway roping during the competition, which earned her the PAFRA World Champion Breakaway Champion title for 2022. Jenniffer’s score in both of these events earned her the 2022 PAFRA All-Around Cowgirl title as well. 

“I love rodeo because it has made me grow in ways I never imagined,” said Jenniffer Teets. “In this last PAFRA World Championship finals, I had to dig deep. I had to shut out the crowd and not think about the pressure of catching my third calf that earned me the Breakaway Champion title.” 

Jenniffer and David Teets will continue their rodeo journey next year in the local Cheyenne area and further away. As of now, they have six large rodeo events planned in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.