Doc is a cowboy in every sense of the definition and imagination.
Many people dream of being a cowboy, but few succeed. Those who do are often limited to the extinct.
Almost immeasurable are Doc Hinck’s cowboy attributes.
He’s a champion rodeo rider, cowboy singer, cowboy movie star, fast-draw winner, top marksman, certainly has had his hand in Flint Hills cattle work, and the list goes on…
“All I’ve ever wanted to be was a cowboy. Ty Murray, Lane Frost, Chris LeDoux and even John Wayne were my heroes. I wanted to be like them,” exclaimed Hinck.
It would likely be impossible to really know which is closest to his heart: riding bucking bulls or singing cowboy songs.
“My dream and goal are to be a world champion all-around cowboy,” Hinck of Burlingame claimed.
Yet, hearing him belt out a cowboy song with rabid-enthusiasm before and after the rodeo make both seem equally important to his cowboy-lifestyle.
“I started out in mutton busting, when I was real young, and I was addicted to rodeo,” Hinck recalled.
Always having enjoyed riding horses, Hinck graduated to
steer riding, then climbed on his first bull, and continued forward competing in
high school, amateur and circuit rodeos, and now the Professional Rodeo Cowboys
Singing has almost-mimicked his “rodeoing” time-wise. “My grandma inspired me with her musical interests and abilities,” Hinck credited. “She listened to the old-time singers, Gene Autry, Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, and they’re the ones I soon liked the most, too.
“Of course, Chris LeDoux really rang my bell, because he was a champion rodeo rider and a top country singer at the same time. He’s my biggest inspiration,” Hinck admitted.
Although he has come out of the chute on a few bareback broncs, Hinck prefers bull riding at the present time with his first major championship coming at the George Paul Memorial Rodeo in Del Rio, Texas.
“That was a great day, and a bad day all at the same time. When I got off, that bull took me down and his head collided with mine,” Hinck remembered.
“It didn’t slow me for long. I’m still going,” he contended.
But, there have been more cowboy-bull wrecks, along with winning rides.
Competing at an average of a rodeo a week, Hinck has traveled throughout the country as far as Pendleton, Oregon, and across the Canadian border to the Calgary Stampede.
“I haven’t ridden at Cheyenne, but I will someday,” promised Hinck, who practices during any slack times on bulls owned by J.D. Hill at Eskridge.
Actually, Hinck verified, “I’d like to lose some weight and start riding broncs again. Winning an all-around championship with money in all three rough stock events would be nice.”
From singing in the shower, and as he rode his horse Bandit across the Flint Hills, Hinck graduated from Lebo High School in 2005, just about the same time he started singing professionally while accompanying himself on his guitar.
“I don’t know notes. I just play by ear, like many of the major entertainers,” commented Hinck, who also plays the harmonica.
Soon, musically-inclined-acquaintances joined, and Doc Hinck and The Rodeo Drifters band was formed.
“We did a Johnny Cash “Ring Of Fire” tribute over a wide part of the state and even on a cruise trip to the Bahamas,” Hinck related.
With band member changes, Doc Hinck and The New Rodeo Drifters is in high demand today for concerts, dances and celebrations.
“J.D. Stewart, a champion bareback rider, plays the acoustics guitar and is the band manager,” Hinck said.
Amanda Cordell is a backup singer and a major part of the shows. “She’s my inspiration to rodeo and sing,” Hinck admitted.
“I also write and recite poetry, and I’ve written some songs that are starting to have appeal,” Hinck added.
“What I really like is to compete at a rodeo and also entertain with the band like I did here at Burlingame,” he insisted. “Our Chris LeDoux Tribute really is appropriate for those events.”
At his hometown Santa Fe Trail Rodeo over the weekend, Hinck drew the black and white spotted bull called Pitchfork from the McKellips Rodeo Company.
“The bull has been to the United Rodeo Association Finals twice, and I had him twice last year,” Hinck said. “But, all of the bulls were quite fresh, as this was the first rodeo of the season.
“Pitchfork really blew out of the chute, belly-rolled, fishtailed and switched back left so hard that I went flying through the air. I felt bad, but there were no qualified bull rides out of 22 outs, so that was just a bit of consolation,” Hinck admitted.
With his band, Hinck performed cowboy songs before both rodeo performances and at dances later each evening.
While still in school, Hinck was contacted by Bill Kurtis to act in films produced for the History Channel. “I’ve usually portrayed a gunfighter or bank robber, and get shot a lot, but it’s been a great experience,” he commented.
Of course, his abilities with a revolver were an attribute to his acting career.“I was second in the nation in the two-gun quick-draw contest,” Hinck related.“I’ve done some mounted shooting and would like to again compete in those events.”
Not that there’s much spare time, Hinck also operates the Kansas Turkey Creek Outfitters with his dad, Jimmy Hinck. “We guide hunts for deer, turkey, waterfowl, even antelope, whatever season it is,” he described.
“I have been encouraging youngsters to become involved in the sport of rodeo, and I’m working with the Burlingame Saddle Club to start my own Youth Steer and Bull Riding School,” Hinck promised.“
Looking toward expanding his rodeo and singing careers, Hinck remains optimistic for both.
“Anything to do with the cowboy lifestyle, that’s where I’ll be,” Hinck guaranteed.
“Cowboy up and God bless,” he relayed.