2021 Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Brenda Hensel served the Silver Spurs Riding Club for four decades

2021 Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Brenda Hensel served the Silver Spurs Riding Club for four decades

For over eight decades, members of the Silver Spurs Riding Club have worked year-round to coordinate rodeos to positively impact the community, alongside several generations of their family. The Clubs' foundation is built on sound values and morals, charitable contributions, and volunteerism. As a thank you for years of service, the Silver Spurs Riding Club Board of Directors celebrates long-time volunteers with the Coca-Cola Cowboy award and Women's Lifetime Achievement award each year. Honored as the 2021 Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Brenda Hensel served the club and the community for many decades before passing away in January 2021.

Brenda Hensel as a young girl sitting on her parents' car.

Brenda was born in Orlando, Florida, on January 4, 1953. A member of a pioneering Osceola County family, Brenda was surrounded by agriculture her entire life. Her parents, Cotton and Ginny Bauknight, farmed and ran cattle here and there. Proud to grow up amongst the orange groves in Kissimmee, Brenda loved everything the agriculture community had to offer, including the action-packed events and community camaraderie that came with the rodeo. Brenda’s brother, Jim Bauknight and his wife, Boo, influenced Brenda to join the Silver Spurs Riding Club and work alongside them. Brenda became a member of the Silver Spurs Riding Club in 1977, volunteering her time at the concession stand serving hamburgers and Coca-Cola to patrons. Her never-met-a-stranger attitude came in handy when she sold Silver Spurs Rodeo merchandise in the souvenir booth for several years. In the early 90s, her daughter Heather Hensel Hobbs started riding in the Quadrille. Brenda could be found operating the quadrille team’s snowcone stand, selling snowcones to fans who cheered loud and proud from the grandstand at the outdoor summer rodeo. The snowcones helped the team raise money for their famous satin shirts and traveling expenses. Being around the rodeo and with the people involved was Brenda’s element. Heather remembers the days of sitting in the old wooden arena stands, eating a hamburger and drinking a cold Coca-Cola, watching the senior quadrille team zip through lead your lady and the figure-eight pattern with her mom, a favorite part of the rodeo and a core memory for Heather.

Brenda Hensel at the Silver Spurs Rodeo

Once the old arena was torn down and the Silver Spurs Rodeo moved to an indoor arena in 2003, Brenda’s outgoing personality and love for the Silver Spurs Rodeo led her to fan-based volunteer positions. She greeted rodeo attendees in the lobby, passed out event programs, and was an usher during rodeo events, a job where she could share her contagious smile and love of the industry with everyone. As the Silver Spurs Riding Club welcomes visitors from all over for action-packed events, it’s important to remember the members and volunteers that dedicate their lives to making Osceola County’s longstanding tradition happen year after year. We’re honored to recognize Brenda Hensel as a 2021 Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment and loyalty to the Silver Spurs Riding Club for over four decades.