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Meet the Member Emma Magee
story by Lily Weinacht
Emma Magee made her debut in the horse world in the cutting pen at 6 years old. Two years ago, she decided to rodeo like her dad, who rode roughstock, and took her skills to the CJHSRA. The 13-year-old from Byers, Colorado, now competes in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, and ribbon roping as the runner, while she’s keeping her cutting skills in her back pocket for high school. “In cutting, there’s a big focus on balance, and that helps a lot in barrel racing. The cow control helped me with breakaway and reading the cattle, and my horsemanship,” says Emma. “We help one of my friends, Shyanna Reeves, with cutting. She’s borrowing one of our horses, and my dad keeps my good cutting horse in shape for when I start high school rodeo.”
Of her four events, breakaway is Emma’s favorite, and she finished fifth in the state after the finals. She has several buckles from cutting, and last year Emma won the year-end breakaway roping in the LBYA, along with a breastcollar in the CJHSRA for winning the short go in breakaway. “I really want to win the saddles, and do my best, and get the rewards and prizes,” says Emma, who also enjoys riding her Hoverboard between performances. “It’s a big thrill when you have really nice runs.”
Along with the CJHSRA, she competes in the CJRA and does the Young Guns rodeo series in Kansas during the winter. “I mostly practice Tuesdays through Thursdays and give my horses Mondays off. We have an outdoor arena and a track with a Heel-O-Matic sled, and if it’s snowy and rainy, I go to my grandma’s indoor arena. My dad, Greg, rides the four-wheeler and pulls the dummy sled for me, and he helps me a lot with barrels and poles. My mom, Heather, videos my runs at rodeos and cooks for everybody. I also look up to my cousins Audra Lockhart and Kyle Magee. They encourage me a lot in breakaway. Kyle fights bulls and Audra won the all-around at the College Finals in 2004.”
Arky is Emma’s breakaway horse, and she rides Lexi in pole bending and JJ in barrel racing. “I like Arky a lot because he has a prancy attitude and he’s always happy. JJ is just goofy, and Lexi is fast and furious and always wants to win.” The family also has several dogs, and the newest addition to the family, Gus, is a Hangin Tree Cowdog bred in Texas.
Emma doesn’t have to go far from her animals since she’s homeschooled, doing all of her classes online. “I’ve been doing it a semester, and I like it because I don’t have to miss school when I go to rodeos. I can just bring my laptop with me and work from there, or get everything done by Thursday.” Emma is entering eighth grade this fall and enjoys English, and she also plays volleyball in the fall. She used to play softball, but prefers to watch local baseball games these days.
One of her favorite CJHSRA rodeos is Eagle, where she competed for the first time last fall. “I did really good there, and they have really pretty fairgrounds with a river behind it. I want to rope consistent times every weekend until the CJRA finals, and rope good there. I also want to have a good fall season at CJHSRA rodeos, and this November, I want to do good at the Jr. NFR Qualifier in Guthrie.”