story by Lillian Landreth “I love the competition and you meet so many more people through rodeo than other sports. Those are the top two […]
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Meet the Member: Taylor Hanson
story by Lily Weinacht
Taylor Hanson of Belle Fourche, S.D., won the pole bending for the second consecutive year during the 2015 Fall High School Showcase Extravaganza. And though she also won the pole bending in 2014 in the junior high division, the 15-year-old’s favorite event is barrel racing. “I want to rodeo professionally someday, and I know it’s the only women’s event in the NFR, and I’ve had some really nice horses for barrels,” Taylor explains. “There’s a lot of speed and action going on in that event, so you’ve got to be quick!” Taylor also competes in breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping as a header, and ribbon roping in the NLBRA, and she recently started rodeoing in the SDRA.
Growing up on her family’s ranch, many of Taylor’s memories have horses in them, from helping work cows to when she started rodeoing at four or five. She made it to the short-go in poles during the SDHSRA finals last spring, as well as the short-go of the NLBFR, also in poles. “High school rodeo is a lot more competitive than junior high was for me – you have to be more prepared,” says Taylor. “I like to see my friends and hang out with my family at our rodeos, and I’ve always had a love for horses.”
Taylor’s mom competed in high school rodeo growing up, and she frequently meets Taylor in the practice pen after school to saddle horses and coach. “Mom will ride with me and help me keep the horses exercised – she helps me a lot,” says Taylor. “I also look up to Cami Bauer. I bought a horse from her when I was younger, and ever since, she’s helped me out and taught me drills to help my horse make better barrel turns.”
The Hanson family makes their home just outside of Belle Fourche. Taylor’s 18-year-old sister, Jordan, is a high school senior, and she also competes in the SDHSRA in pole bending, with plans to pursue medical school. Their parents are Jason and Annie Hanson. The rest of the family comes in the form of three dogs, a cat, and seven horses. “My pole horse is Fergie,” Taylor describes. “She’s 12 and she’s really cool. I used to do barrels on her as well, but now my younger horse, Buddha, is running really good. I think she’s going to be a cool horse. I team rope on a palomino, Sassy, and since I lost my breakaway and goat tying horse last year, the Engesser and Grubb families have been letting me use their horses.” Additionally, Taylor is training a young bay roan, Ms. Daisy, whom she plans to futurity on in barrels.
During the week, Taylor can be found at Belle Fourche High School. A sophomore, her favorite subject this year is Algebra II. “It’s a lot easier for me than science or English, plus my mom is my math teacher and my dad is an engineer, so I have good genes for it!” This time of year, Taylor plays basketball on her school’s team, the Belle Fourche Broncs, and she is considering running track this spring.
“If I have some free time, I’ll go to the movies or go bowling with my friends, and my family and I enjoy soaking in our hot tub, but mostly I’m with my horses,” says Taylor. “I’d like to qualify for state in all of my events and make Nationals in at least one of them, and I’d like to college rodeo,” she says of her goals. “I want to thank Cami Bauer, Rebecca Gilley, and Terri Kissack for their help, and Jay Mattson for helping me in team roping. And thanks, too, to the Grubbs, Engessers, and my family for giving me the great horses I have!”