Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Member Aubrey Gourdin
story by Kyle Eustice
Thirteen-year-old Aubrey Gourdin is eager to start 8th grade at Willow Creek Middle School in her hometown of Lehi, Utah. As the summer winds down to an end, she isn’t lamenting the fact that it’s over, rather she’s excited to begin a new chapter.
“It’s one step closer to being in high school,” said Aubrey. “I will be going to Lehi High School and joining the UHSRA.”
As a current member of the UJHSRA, she’s lived and breathed rodeo for the past three years, but got an early taste for it as a young child.
“I’ve done it my own life,” said Aubrey. “My dad used to team rope. He still rides horses, but he doesn’t rodeo anymore. That’s my job now [laughs].”
Her parents, Michelle and Jason, older sisters Jaylynn, 19, Shayla, 16, and brother Kyson, 6, have always been around horses, making it an easy choice to pick up the sport. Aubrey currently runs barrels, team ropes, ties goats, and does breakaway.
“I like all of it,” said Aubrey. “I like being with all of my friends and get to do the sport I love. I love horses and getting to compete.”
Both of her sisters participated in rodeo, as well, which prompted her to join the UJHSRA. Jaylnn and Shayla are both part of the RMPRA, and do breakaway and barrels. As mentors, they’ve both really helped Aubrey become a better competitor.
“Jaylnn doesn’t live with us anymore, but when she was here, I loved to practice with her,” explained Aubrey. “Now Shayla and I practice together every day. She tells me when I’m doing something wrong and helps me fix it. We get along pretty well. It really helps to have common interests.”
Although Aubrey hasn’t made it to the Nationals yet, she made it to state finals and finished in the top 15 last year in Heber, Utah. Her goal, however, is to eventually make it to the Nationals in Tennessee.
“If I can do that, I’ve accomplished what I worked so hard to get to,” said Aubrey. “I practice barrel horses for an hour every night, and goat tie and rope as often as I can.”
While rodeo takes up most of her time, she still loves hanging out with her friends when she can, roping dummies and running around the various rodeo events. She eventually wants to make it to the NFR in barrels, but in the meantime, she’s happy going to local rodeos with her family and friends.
“We travel all over Utah for rodeos,” said Aubrey. :My dad usually drives me and my mom likes to come to be our cheerleader. She’s my biggest supporter and my dad loves to come and be a part of the atmosphere, seeing his kids doing what they love.”