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Meet the Member Bella Dronett
Bella Dronett knows a lot of very interesting things about animals. And that’s a good thing, as the thirteen-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Louisiana Junior High School Rodeo Association, plans on being a zoologist when she grows up.
But for right now, she deals mostly with horses (in rodeo) and pigs (in 4-H).
She is a barrel racer, pole bender and goat tyer who prefers poles more than anything. Her pole horse is a bay named Charlie Brown, who the family has owned for three years. Her goat tying horse’s name is Lightning. Lightning, a black and white paint, lost the vision in his right eye last September. It hasn’t really affected him much, Bella says. But if you approach him from the back, and especially from the right side, a person needs to clap or he’ll flinch.
Her barrel horse, a ten-year-old gray, is named Possum. He’s young and enthusiastic but easily spooked. He’s growing out of his fears somewhat, but new surroundings, tarps, and even the overhead roll-down door scares him. “That (door) really gets him,” Bella says. “You go to roll one of those down, and he’s all curled up into a little bitty ball, freaking out.”
Of her horses, Charlie Brown is her favorite. All three were trained by Stacey Elaise Martin, who is also Bella’s coach.
Bella is an eighth grade student at First Baptist Christian Academy in Moss Bluff, La. The academy only goes through eighth grade, so she’ll go to a different school next year, and she’s ready. “I’m ready for new scenery,” she says. The decision hasn’t been made, but she’s leaning towards Sam Houston High School in Moss Bluff, for three reasons: it’s close to her home, it has chemistry class, and it has a 4-H agriculture program.
Bella’s heart became set on being a zoologist when she was five years old. Her parents took her on vacation to Discovery Cove in Orlando, Fla., where she was able to swim with the dolphins and the sting rays. It was amazing, she said. Visitors to the cove are given fish to feed the sting rays, and the rays slide up your legs to get the fish. “It was the creepiest thing for a five year old,” Bella remembers, “but it was kind of cool.”
To work with dolphins and whales, which is her dream, she knows she must major in zoology and probably get her doctorate. She plans on attending LSU or a college in Wisconsin. She also realizes a doctorate will involve a total of eight years of schooling after high school, but she doesn’t mind. It’s “only about eight years,” she says, lightheartedly. “I’ve made it this far.”
Bella has qualified for the state finals both years of her junior high rodeo career, and last year, finished the year in third place in the poles. She went on to the National Junior High Finals Rodeo last year.
She is the daughter of Angie and Chazz Dronett. The family lives in Moss Bluff, La.