Meet our Tinker Tin Team Rider: Kathryn Varian

The Next Generation of the American Cowgirl!

Tinker Tin has sponsored this talented cowgirl for two years now, and we couldn't be prouder to have her represent our brand inside and outside of the arena. You might be wondering how Tinker Tin Trailer Co. and a rodeo cowgirl might go hand in hand, so we thought we would just let one of our favorite historical cowgirls do the explaining. In the words of one of Dale Evers,

“Cowgirl is an attitude. Cowgirl is a pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands. They speak up. They defend the things they hold dear. A cowgirl might be a rancher, or a barrel racer, or a bull rider, or an actress. But she’s just as likely to be a checker at the local Winn Dixie, a full-time mother, a banker, an attorney, or an astronaut.”

This 17-year-old cowgirl fits the Tinker Tin bill to a T with her pioneer spirit and fearless pursuit of success inside the arena and outside of it! Kathryn grew up in Parkfield, Ca. A tiny ranching community with a population of just 18 people. Growing up on her family’s working cattle ranch, the V6, she doesn’t just use her western skills at rodeos but puts them to work on the family ranch as well. In Kathryn's own words, ‘I have been rodeoing since I was three years old and my feet didn't reach past the saddle pad’.

Her years of hard work and dedication for her sport has paid off. Kathryn is currently a junior in high school and has already qualified for the National High School Rodeo Finals twice in pole bending. She has traveled all over the US, competing against the top rodeo athletes in the nation and ended up placing 10th at Nationals two years ago. With that level of talent we’d be willing to bet John Wayne himself probably wouldn’t challenge her on horseback (if he were still with us, God rest his soul)!

Check out the Q&A below to learn more about Kathryn!

Q: What events do you compete in?

A: I compete in every girl event. I do barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, team roping, and cutting. 

Q: What is your favorite thing about rodeo?

A: My favorite thing about rodeo is the process: from training horses and spending hour after hour in the practice pen to the rush of adrenaline when I rope a calf. I love it when I figure out something that's wrong, even if its slight, because it makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere.

Q: What are your favorite events?

A: I absolutely love pole bending because my mare Mizzy is as good as they get. When she is making a good run, it feels like we're flying. I also really love breakaway because nothing beats the feeling of roping a calf and hearing the snap of your rope as it breaks away. 

Q: Can you tell me about your favorite horse?

A: Mizzy is an incredible 21-year-old mare that has been born and raised on our ranch. My sister Lauren trained her at the age of nine and rode her for her entire high school career. When she graduated, my dad thought I ought to keep her in the rodeo circuit so as a sixth grader I jumped to a whole new level of a horse. Mizzy can do anything. I breakaway rope, goat tie, run poles, and run barrels on her. She also rides out on the trail and is super great to brand on. She's a once in a lifetime kind of horse and I'm very blessed to be able to ride her.

In the eighth grade my incredible mare Mizzy took me to Des Monies, Iowa for the Junior High School Rodeo National Finals in the pole bending. Then freshman year came and I ended up second in the state on her in the poles and went on to be 10th in the nation at the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR). Sophomore year I ended up the state champion pole bender and went back to nationals.

Q:  What are your proudest rodeo accomplishments to date?

A: In the last few years I have had some pretty great successes. My freshman year I was second in the state in the poles, then went on to be 10th in the nation, and then my sophomore year I won the state in poles. I also won the CHSRA District 7 all around in the 8th grade and was WCJRA all around cowgirl in 2013 and 2016. 


Q: What has it been like growing up on your family’s working cattle ranch?

A: There is such a huge variety of things I get to do on the ranch. I meet thousands of people a year that come to our ranch for tourism, get to gather cattle with the entire Varian family, have an unlimited amount of land to hike on, and get to spend my days surrounded by horses... every cowgirl's dream. On top of this, I am taught a range of skills that come along with life on a ranch that I could never learn anywhere else.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the western way of living?

A: The western lifestyle is the only way of living that is a sport, an occupation, and a style. If you're a carpenter, you wouldn't wear your toolbelt to the bar or spend your Sunday building a house just for fun.

Q: How do you plan to keep the western heritage alive? 

A: I want to educate people about the western life through tourism on the ranch. The closer people are to the land and the livestock, like we are, the more people will love and understand it. 

Q: What are some of your hobbies outside of rodeo?

A: I go to high school in Paso Robles and am currently on the Crimson Newsmagazine staff as a journalist. Crimson has taken me across the nation multiple times and has opened up a whole other world to me. It has showed me how powerful the press can be, even if it is just a high school publication.

Q: What makes you proud to be part of team Tinker Tin?

A: Tinker Tin is an inspiration to me because it shows the power of the entrepreneurial spirit. I hope to one day emulate this lifestyle in the western world.  

Stay tuned to see how our favorite cowgirl does this year!