story by Lindsay Humphrey “Not a lot of people know that I have a step-dad,” said 17-year-old Savannah Wilson from Midland, Texas. “He came into […]
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Meet the Member Allison Vaughn
story by Lily Weinacht
Rodeo has been called Allison Vaughn’s second job, next to school, yet for the 13 year old from Christoval, Texas, her passion for the sport makes the work a joy, if it can be called work at all. The Vaughn family runs a ranch and cow/calf operation, and Allison was on horseback at an early age. She started her rodeo career by competing in local playdays before entering youth and 4-H rodeos, and eventually, the AJRA, which she’s competed in since 2010. She is the 2016 AJRA World Goat Tying Champion in the 9 – 12 age division, while she won the World Pole Bending and Reserve World Goat Tying Champion titles in 2015. “I was confident at the finals because we put a lot of work in beforehand,” Allison says. Her dad, Mike Vaughn, coaches Allison in her events, and jokingly refers to himself as her stable boy. He grew up riding, but Allison is the first of her family to rodeo. “It was a learning curve for me coaching her, because the AJRA has some of the best athletes in the state,” Mike says. “It’s been very rewarding and challenging for both of us, especially for Allison to learn the work ethic it takes to compete with those girls. She’s honored to be in that elite class of young women.”
Allison competes in pole bending, goat tying, ribbon roping, barrel racing, and breakaway roping, doing many of the same events in the TJHRA Region 2. “Breakaway is my favorite, because you never know what’s going to happen, or what draw you’re going to get, and it really relies on what you put into it,” she explains. “I look up to my dad and my mom, Sheryl Vaughn. They’re always positive, and they do everything for me and help me pursue my dream and career in rodeo. Rodeo is like a second family for me, and it’s all I want to do!” Allison has also met professional athletes including Sherry Cervi and Fred Whitfield, and attended numerous clinics with Martha Josey and Lynn Smith.
Allison competes on three horses, and she’s retiring Rocky, the gelding that helped her clinch her goat tying title. “He’s good at his job, but he’s stubborn! Now I’m goat tying on Prairie, a black mare we’ve had for five years. All she wants to do is eat, but she’s consistent and we love her. Lucky is my roping horse, and he’s only 13 hands, but I’ve never seen a little horse run so fast in my life! Thumper is my sorrel barrel and pole horse, and he’s a big baby, so he needs lots of attention.” The family also has three dogs, Opal, Belle, and Lucy, who is known for escaping the trailer and visiting the families at AJRA rodeos.
School starts as early as six in the morning for Allison – who lives 25 miles from town – beginning with athletics. Her basketball team went undefeated last year and won districts, while her cross country and track teams also won districts in 2015. She enjoys science, and is a member of the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL) oral reading team. Any other time is spent swimming, hunting and fishing with her dad, or shopping with her mom, though rodeo practice comes first.
One of Allison’s favorite Bible verses is Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ “I never leave without a positive attitude and good sportsmanship, no matter what happens at the end of the day,” she finishes. “I qualified for the TJHRA state finals in poles and goats this summer, but my goal is to make it to the NJHFR, win the all-around in the AJRA, and someday, make it to the WNFR.”