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 […]
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Meet the Member Burke Pallesen
story by Riata Christiansen
Burke Pallesen could be described as a die-hard rodeo cowboy. The 17-Year-old lives on a ranch in small town Manilla, Utah. As a family, they run about 220 head of cattle and Burke and his brother Tanner spend a lot of time ranching. Burke has set a goal to help their ranch get to the point they can run 1500 head of cattle and wants to keep ranching his whole life. When the cowboy isn’t ranching, he is rodeoing.
He competes in the tie down roping and team roping, the latter being his favorite. Though he can and has roped both ends, this year he will be heading for Cooper Bennett from the Spikers rodeo club. The senior heads on a horse named Diesel that his brother trained. His calf horse is a 10-Year-old named Gun Smoke.
Burke grew up rodeoing and his dad rodeoed before him. He hopes to continue rodeoing and to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo when he starts rodeoing professionally. Every practice he will rope 6-8 tie down calves and then 15-20 head of team roping steers before he goes in the barn to rope and tie the dummy. His greatest motivation comes from his dad, Donald. His father dedicates a lot of time and effort to helping him improve. He is there at practice to critique, coach, and keep Burke on the track to success.
Along with rodeo, he plays basketball and is a member of the National FFA Organization, through which he has shown steers. He says he has a hidden talent for bowling and he couldn’t live without horses and rodeoing.
Burke’s favorite Utah High School Rodeo is state finals because of the atmosphere. The sense of achievement combined with the sense of dreams still being worked for creates a very unique environment at state finals. Besides competing, he says his favorite part of the rodeo is the rodeo family. Utah has a tightly knit rodeo community, where everyone has one another’s backs and help is just a phone call away. The biggest setback or obstacle Burke had was when his brother got his thumb cut off while team roping. After that accident, Burke didn’t want to rope for about a year, but now he couldn’t imagine his life without competitive roping.
This year his goal is to qualify for the National High School Finals Rodeo in both of his events. His competitive nature is reflected in his motto, “If you’re not first, you’re last.”