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Meet the Member Jake Orris
story by Kyle Eustice
Originally from Bosque, N.M.,14-year-old Jake Orris joined the NMJRHS when he was in the sixth grade, but before that, he was doing small rodeos around his hometown. His grandfather Bob Orris and father Danny Orris have both been into rodeo since he was born. His older sister Lyndsey, 15, is also heavily involved in rodeo and participates in team roping, goat tying and breakaway. Their mother, Monica, has also been a staunch supporter of her children’s ambitions.
“I love that my parents and sister are so supportive of my rodeo career,” said Jake. “My sister and I team rope together so we can practice every day. My parents have always liked it and encouraged me to do my best. They take me whereever I need to go.”
These days, they spend a lot of time driving from event to event. Jake is currently doing calf roping, team roping, goat tying, ribbon roping, and chute dogging.
“My favorite is either calf roping or team roping, but with calf roping, it takes an athlete to do it,” said Jake. “It takes a lot of practice, hard work and dedication.”
That dedication has manifested itself in Jake making it to the Junior High National Finals in Lebanon, Tenn. this year and the year before.
“I didn’t do that well because I missed one of my calves,” admitted Jake. “But it was still exciting. I felt it was an accomplishment just being there.”
Jake hopes to win a gold buckle at the NFR one day. He has a practice arena at his house, where he has five horses and over a dozen calves. He also practices with his coach since 4th grade Jerry Kimsey at least three days a week.
“Spider Monkey is my calf horse,” said Jake. “That name came with him.”
Every morning, Jake wakes up early to feed the animals and clean the pens. Unlike most teenagers, he actually doesn’t mind the hard work.
“I actually like doing it,” said Jake. “It’s just part of the job.”
After he’s done with his chores, he usually practices roping on a dummy, but during the school year, he has to find a way to balance all of his responsibilities. As a former student at St. Mary’s in Belen, he just graduated from the 8th grade and is entering Belen High School as a freshman in the fall.
“I’m really excited about going to high school,” said Jake. “It’s going to be tough, but I just have to work hard at it. There’s going to be a lot more competition and people that rope well. The boys are older, too, and have more experience than I do.”
Despite these changes, Jake is ready to tackle them. He travels every weekend, participates in 4-H Rodeo, goes to local jackpots, and is constantly polishing his craft.
“You have to be dedicated,” said Jake. “All the hard work will pay off.”
In the winter when rodeo events aren’t happening, he likes to hunt and fish. He loves sunflower seeds, hanging out with his friends and music by bands like Roosevelt Road. He hopes to go to college one day, as well.
“I want to study business so I can work with my dad,” said Jake. “We have a big property and it’s like a farm. We grow our own hay and take care of our animals.”
His favorite quote is: “If you’re not first, you’re last,” something he always keeps at the forefront of his mind, especially when it comes to rodeo.
“I just try to do my best,” said Jake. “Rodeo is everything to me.”