Meet the Member Zoey Cline
story by Lindsay Humphrey No stranger to junior high nationals, Zoey Cline from Corona, New Mexico, is optimistic she can make a third appearance on […]
by Kyle Eustice
Born in Roswell, New Mexico, 14-year-old Clate Harwell was raised on a ranch in Dunken, New Mexico, but splits his time between there and Artesia, New Mexico. Along with father Cody, mother Becky and older sister Kaitlyn, he’s been into rodeo since he was old enough to ride. Currently an eighth grade student at Artesia Junior High School, Clate is an honor student with a 4.1 GPA and a member of the National Junior Honor Society with dreams to study at Texas Tech University, as well as a member of the NMJHSRA.
“I’ve been in the New Mexico Junior High School Rodeo Association since 6th grade,” said Clate. “I’ve also been a member of the Eddy County Junior Rodeo Association since I was in leadline.”
Clate participates in several rodeo events, including calf roping, ribbon roping, goat tying, chute dogging, and team roping, but his favorite is calf roping.
“I like it the best because I like my calf roping horses,” said Clate. “My favorite horse is Pris. We tie-down rope and team rope together. I won my state Champion Breakaway on her last year and she won the AQHA Boys Horse of the Year. She is my favorite because she has always done her best for me.”
Clate has many role models he can look to when he needs guidance. His father still ropes and trains the family’s horses, and his sister Kaitlyn is involved in high school rodeo. Even Clate’s mother assists with practice and the secretarial work needed to enter each competition, which has paid off.
“My biggest accomplishment so far is when I won the State Champion Breakaway title last year,” said Clate. “I was nervous during competition because the other contestants were tough and a lot was at stake. I only won it by one point. This earned me a trip to Lebanon, Tennessee last summer to compete at Junior High National Finals. I was ninth place in the first go round out of all the breakaway ropers.”
During the rodeo seasons, Clate travels about three weekends a month and practices three to four times a week, whether it be simply roping dummies or goats. Currently, he also plays football and runs track for the Artesia Junior High School Bulldogs, but is focused on the future at the same time.
“My goals are to hopefully win nationals, compete in the NMHSRA and then to compete on the Texas Tech Rodeo Team,” said Clate.
While he enjoys the adrenaline rush he gets from the time he nods his head before the flag drops to the actual competition, watching his friends compete and succeed is really what makes it appealing.
“I think it takes good sportsmanship, hard work and determination,” said Clate. “These are important because you have to be a good sport. You aren’t going to win every time and you have to be proud of your friends when they do good. It takes hard work to be able to be the best at your event and to be able to win. You have to be very determined to reach your goal in order to achieve it.”
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