Meet the Member: Grayce Baxter
Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
story by Riata Cummings
Alyssa Hopper is a recent graduate of Stansbury HIgh School and resident of Tooele, Utah. The nineteen-year-old may be quiet, but she is a fierce competitor in the rodeo arena. She was just nine when she started competing in rodeo, and she was scared of the horses and the competition. Since then, rodeo has become a passion of hers and she now competes in barrel racing and pole bending. Her favorite is the barrel racing because of the indescribable feeling that comes from turning a barrel at full speed. She competes on a bay horse named Rocky, whom she acquired just last year.
During the latest season of the Utah High School Rodeo Association, she qualified for the state finals rodeo in pole bending. Her favorite rodeo during the season was the rodeo’s hosted in Hurricane, Utah, known as the Dixie Six. The weather is ideal for fast paced rodeos and the Association organizes a special dance for contestants known as Cowboy Prom.
Alyssa is oldest of three children, all of them adopted. Their parents are Robby and Julie Hopper, who strive to support their kids in all their endeavors. As a family they enjoy time in the outdoors; riding, hunting, fishing, or camping. Although Alyssa is on the shy side, she has an adventurous streak. She hopes to one day compete in the PRCA or other professional circuits, and would also like to become a brand inspector.
The movie Spirit contains a song by Bryan Adams entitled, “Here I Am”. For Alyssa, who grew up watching the movie, the lyrics, “here I am, this is me” strike a chord everytime. She hopes to leave a legacy of independence and individuality, and the song portrays her feelings.
High School rodeo has taught her many things, including the valuable lesson that everything is not about her. She would advise any rodeo athlete to remember that rodeo is a team effort and taking care of your horse should be your first priority. She has learned that, especially on rodeo days, her horses should eat before her and always receive the proper care. After all, what would rodeo be without our four legged friends?
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