Meet the Member Laura Lambert
story by Lindsay Humphrey By definition, Laura Lambert was born into rodeo. Both her parents competed professionally; her dad, Dale Motley, primarily in calf roping […]
story by Lindsay King
Rarely do parents get the privilege of hearing their kids’ name called for a barrel run right after their own. For Jami Johnson and her parents, John and Ann Bassett, this will now be a regular occurrence. “I joined the NSPRA because my parents are members and it is a fun association for people to continue doing a sport they have done their entire lives,” said the Alto, New Mexico, cowgirl. This is Jami’s first year of eligibility in the NSPRA, she joined later in the year so has not attended many events yet. “From what I have seen so far, the competition is tough but it is still laid back. My favorite part is the close comradery between the contestants.” Jami is looking forward to several events in Arizona next year, her home state and where her parents still live.
Jami grew up competing in everything she could in junior and high school rodeos along with her two siblings, who were all six years apart. “Growing up if we were not at a junior rodeo one weekend then we were at a high school one and if we were not doing that we were at a horse race.” John trained world champion racing Quarter Horses until his recent retirement to get back to team roping. “After my grandpa, Joe Bassett, died, my dad planned to put all the horses in claiming races and be done with it, but he never did. It is probably what kept him from pro rodeoing but he trained many world, futurity and derby champions.”
Jami took her senior year of high school off rodeo to focus on basketball. She was the first girl in her school to score over 1,000 points. “I played college ball in California but ended up getting married and having my oldest son, Tyler . I have my associates degree but I would like to go back and get a teaching degree so I can coach basketball.” Jami coached girls basketball for about six years before her two youngest boys, Burley, 9, and Bassett, 7, were born. “My first season coaching in Arizona I was named All-Region Coach of the Year. It is something I would like to get back to in the next few years.”
Right now Jami spends her time keeping track of Burley and Bassett, taking them to their numerous activities and serving on the parent committees at both of their schools. “Burley and I are taking golf lessons together right now. Both boys are mostly interested in sports and not really rodeo at all.” Jami’s husband, Mike, is a farrier, mostly for race horses. “He is one of the only farriers who put shoes on both the Kentucky Derby and All-American Futurity winners in the same year. He not only keeps my horses sound and ready to go, he is my emotional and financial support also.”
Her parents are both NSPRA world champions, something Jami is looking to pursue in the near future. “My mom and I are in different age groups for the barrels, so I told her it would be pretty neat if we both try and win the world together. It is definitely unique to share a hobby with my parents and to compete alongside them.” The sport of rodeo is something Jami was born into and plans to continue as long as she can. As her boys get older she hopes to start going to more NSPRA events. “I love competing; I am a passionate rodeo athlete. Luckily, there is no age limit in rodeo.” The comradery and friendships in rodeo are easily the best part of the sport for her. “Many of our closest friends are cowboys and cowgirls who rodeo.”
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