story by Michele Toberer Dale Davies has been blessed to live a life centered around horses and rodeo. Growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado as […]
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Meet the Member Dolli Lautaret
story by Lily Weinacht
Dolli Lautaret’s love for competition has taken her from the refinement of the show ring to the fast-paced thrills of the rodeo arena, from cross-country and stadium jumping to roping and barrel racing. Hailing from Kingman, Arizona, the 67-year-old horsewoman has garnered numerous titles and accomplishments in the rodeo world, particularly in the WPRA, as well as the GCPRA, NSPRA, and AWPRA. “I think sometimes competing is just in your DNA,” says Dolli. “Probably the best part of it is training so you can compete, and teaching the horse to dance. It gives you pride when you see your horse do well, or that a kid you taught is happy and their horse is happy. It’s riding and training, but I’d still ride even if I didn’t compete.”
Originally from Middlesboro, Kentucky, Dolli and her family roved the United States and internationally with her dad, who was in the United States Air Force. Dolli did gymkhanas with her first pony, and when her family spent several years in Germany in the mid-1960s, she trained for three-day eventing—cross-country, dressage, and stadium jumping. “I trained five or six horses while I was there. Even though I do run barrels, all my horses are trained for dressage, because that’s the basis of everything,” says Dolli, who also competed and won in fox hunting. “To me, it’s the best way to condition and train your horse.”
Dolli’s family moved back to the United States when she was 17, and she attended college, studying home economics and art. She met her husband, Darrell, at school, which he attended on a rodeo scholarship, competing in bull riding and tie-down roping. At the time, Dolli was entering hunter/jumper shows, and she even tried her hand at barrel racing at a college rodeo. One of the horses she and Darrell shared was equally comfortable in the jumping ring as the roping box.
Dolli and Darrell moved to Arizona for a business opportunity in 1976 and she joined the GCPRA soon after. “It’s at least 30 years that we’ve been doing their rodeos. We run barrels, but we also team rope and breakaway rope. They have a numbered system in the team roping, so my daughter, Jolee, and I could rope together, and Darrell could rope. We could all go together, and that made it enjoyable.” Dolli has qualified for the GCPRA finals numerous times and is a two-time GCPRA All-Around champion. She won the incentive team roping in 2001, followed by winning year-end titles in the barrel racing several times, most recently in 2017, along with the finals breakaway in 2008. Jolee won the barrel racing in the GCPRA in 2007. “She didn’t get interested in rodeo until her junior year of high school, and then she high school rodeoed,” Dolli recalls. “Her senior year she was the reserve all-around champion, and the all-around champion was Sherry Cervi.”
Jolee followed closely in her mother’s bootprints after that, both of them competing in the WPRA, which Dolli joined in 1981, and in 2007, she was the WPRA World Champion Heeler. Between the two of them, they have nearly three dozen Turquoise Circuit Finals qualifications and two dozen WPRA Women’s World Finals qualifications. Jolee competed at the WNFR from 2002–2004, and Dolli made a number of Jolee’s western shirts for the occasion. Jolee and her husband, Allen, a PRCA rodeo judge, live just five minutes from Dolli and Darrell. Mother and daughter ride together often and are longtime travel partners. Darrell doesn’t travel with them as frequently since retiring from roping several years ago, but not before he and Jolee competed together and placed in the team roping at the 2001 Turquoise Circuit Finals. “We’re very supportive of each other in what we do, and we’re a very tight-knit family in a good way,” says Dolli.
She trains all of their horses. Rosebud, or Rose, is her main horse this season, followed closely by Daisy and Mayday, and a younger mare they call Baby. Dolli, who has taught years of riding lessons and put on several clinics with Jolee, puts a strong emphasis on training her horses to be quiet but strong. “We’re wanting to get our youngest two horses to where they’ll be competitive next year, and then there’s always the goal of making the Grand Canyon finals and the circuit finals,” Dolli finishes. “In the summer, we go up into Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Idaho, and we’ve gone as far as Kissimmee (Florida) and Atlanta. We like the competition, and Jolee and I don’t mind the travel.”