Story by Ruth Nicolaus Because of his parents, Scott and Jenee Holub, and his granddad, George Rachau, Dillin Holub is involved in the sport he […]
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Meet the Member Dusti Stockton
story by Lily Weinacht
Dusti Stockton is the APRA’s 2015 Breakaway Roping Rookie of the Year. The 15 year old from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., went into the finals with $2,300 and the confidence of an athlete who’s been rodeoing for three-quarters of her life. She finished second in the year-end breakaway standings, and is currently sitting fourth this season.
The fifth generation of Stocktons to rodeo, Dusti entered her first rodeo at the age of five, competing on one of her mom’s barrel horses. Her mom, Jody Stockton, was rodeoing when she was Dusti’s age, and won the barrel racing at the 2014 PRCA First Frontier Circuit Finals, while Dusti’s dad, Roger Stockton, has a substantial résumé with both the IPRA and PRCA. He’s qualified for the First Frontier Circuit Finals in bull riding, team roping, and tie-down roping, and won the finals several times in both his roping events. Today, he’s a timed event and roughstock judge, while he continues to team rope in the PRCA.
Writing her own rodeo history, Dusti breakaway ropes and barrel races in the APRA and New York State High School Rodeo Association. She also team ropes, heeling for her dad on occasion, but names breakaway as her favorite. “My sister, Alicia, has always roped, and I’ve always tried to be as good as her in that event,” Dusti explains. “She’s always been my role model. Alicia pro rodeos now – she won Guymon last year – and she lives in Stephenville, Texas, so I fly out and visit her.” Further inspiration comes from professional roper Casey Cox, who rodeos out of Florida in the winter and stays with the Stocktons in the summer. “He roped with my uncle, Carmine Nastri, and this year he’ll be roping with my dad,” says Dusti. “He’s helped me out a lot with my roping, and if I don’t travel with my dad, I go with Casey, or Emily Arnold. There a good bunch of people you can go with around here.”
Dusti’s breakaway horse for the last seven years, Joker, carried her to the APRA finals, but when he passed away over the winter from colic, Dusti started roping off Rip, a horse her dad started. The newest addition to the Stockton barn is Ice Man, a horse from Dusti’s sister that she’ll rope off of this year. With roping calves on hand, Dusti ropes daily, often with Casey, and enters rodeos around the area in the evenings. She started homeschool in sixth grade to have more flexibility for practice, and she’ll be a junior this fall.
Since Dusti’s dad works seven days a week as an outrider at the Saratoga Racetrack, the Stocktons use their summers to rodeo close to home or go to the beach. “I really like the APRA’s Attica rodeo. It’s a really good production and it’s put on very well,” says Dusti. “There’s a beach right by the Painted Pony Rodeo, so if we go up there for the day, we’ll also go to the beach. And we go to the Saratoga racetrack – it’s pretty fun to watch!”
Dusti is planning to enter enough rodeos in high school next year to qualify for the NHSFR in Gillette, Wyo. “I went to the Junior High Nationals in Iowa in 2014, and I had a lot of fun,” she says. “I’ve never made the finals in barrels – I’ve always roped – so this year, I want to make the APRA finals in the barrel racing.”