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 Christiansen
David and Dorothy Haskell are parents to a competitive and determined rodeo athlete, Branham Haskell. He is their second oldest of five children, the others being Cassy, Brit, Savannah and Luke. Branham and his family spend a lot of time together on the rodeo road, and when they aren’t roping or riding they enjoy evenings spent together at the movies, dinner, or relaxing at home. The family hails from Payson, Utah. The close community of neighbors, numerous friends, and good weather make it a good and happy place to live.
Branham attends Salem Hills High School, where his favorite classes are his woodshop classes. He enjoys the challenge of using his hands to create and design. Building things with his carpentry skills is a fun pastime.
The eighteen-year-old senior used to spend his time on a field or court, but when he was in seventh grade, he decided to try his hand at rodeo. This may be partly because his dad has been a roper for years, and his sister was involved in rodeo. After competing in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association, Branham continued to the high school league. His younger brother, Brit, is also his team roping partner, making the sport a family affair. Branham’s parents are his heroes. They are great examples and provide him with the opportunity to enjoy rodeo. He feels that his family is really his biggest support system. After high school, Branham is planning on an LDS Mission. After that he wants to study medicine, maybe becoming a radiologist. He plans to continue rodeoing through college.
Branham competes in the team roping, tiedown roping, and now the boys cutting. His favorite is the tiedown roping. He knows that there are many different parts that must fit together to have a good run, and he enjoys challenging himself competing in the fast-paced event.
He competes on two geldings. Little Joe is his tiedown horse, but Branham recently started cutting on him, too. Branham turns steers for his brother on a horse named Levi. He practices calf roping and team roping almost every day and hopes that this year his hard work will take him to the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Last year he competed at the Silver State International Rodeo in the team roping and calf roping, and this year he is high enough in the standing to hopefully take the next step to Nationals. He recently won his first saddle at a roping and has won a few high school rodeos this year. His favorite part of rodeo, outside of competing, is hanging out with his friends and family between events. High school rodeo has taught him to be competitive and maintain a good attitude. Not every run is going to be a winner and every winning run won’t last, but if you keep a good attitude you’ll find success.
He couldn’t live without his Dr. Pepper or Fruit-by-the-Foot. His buddies like to “keep it 90” and say “Dale Yeah” with Dale Brisby, even though they aren’t rough stock riders. All jokes aside, if Branham could give advice to a rodeo rookie, he would tell them to practice as hard as they can, take care of their horses, and remember everyone who got you to where you are. These principles of hard work, responsibility, and gratitude are just a few of the many learned on the rodeo road.
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