story by Lindsay Humphrey Deployments were never a good reason to keep a rope out of Val Baker’s hands during her time with the Air […]
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Meet the Member Jeanne Jolly
story by Lindsay King
“I have been addicted to rodeo since I was a small child, I can remember going to rodeos and never getting enough of it,” said New Castle, Colorado, cowgirl Jeanne Jolley. Her first trip around a rodeo arena was as a flag girl, showcasing the sponsors of each rodeo. “I tried cutting and reining, but I got hooked on barrels about 15 years ago and that is where my passion is.” Jeanne runs barrels in the NSPRA with her mentor, Cookie Pickens, who took her to a new level of competition. “I consider her my rodeo mom, she helped facilitate my growth as a competitor and I am fortunate to have someone so special in my life.”
This past year Jeanne lead her age division in points in the barrels going into the finals, winning both region two and three. Six weeks before finals her collar bone and neck were crushed when a horse fell on her. “When I ran at the finals I only rode with one hand, because the other one was strapped down. I could barely turn my neck because of the injury so I obviously didn’t win the finals, but I am coming back with a vengeance this year.” Jeanne is learning how to rope so she can start going for all all-around titles. “I might try breakaway or team roping. I have an addictive personality when it comes to rodeo. I can’t seem to get enough of it.”
The owner and operator of 4J Arena, Jeanne takes care of more than 50 horses at a time. “I used to be an ER nurse, but I always wanted to do this so one day I decided to go for it.” With an indoor and outdoor arena, 14 stalls, 10 paddocks, and hay fields, Jeanne has her hands full year-round. “We get a lot of snow up here in the mountains, we are right in the middle of ski country. I like to head south for the winter because it gets so cold.” Jeanne’s gypsy soul takes her to Arizona to compete as much as she can. “I have the best barn help, they hold down the fort when I am gone.” Giving back to the community is a big part of the operation, Jeanne hosts 4-H gymkhanas, fundraisers, private parties and jackpot events all year long.
Traversing up and down the western region for NSPRA and BBR events allowed Jeanne to spend time with her kids, Garrett, 21, and Rebecca, 17. “Garrett is at Mesa University now, but he used to play around with roping a little bit. My daughter is in her senior year of high school. She used to do the all-around events in the AQHA, the complete opposite of the rodeo world.” In her spare time, skiing, working out and baking keep Jeanne occupied. “Rodeo and horses are my favorite, I love to be surround by horses, those type of people and the world of rodeo, so that is where I spend most of my time.” Her favorite thing to do is walk outside and feed horses in her flip flops, explaining why she likes to head south in the winter.
This will be Jeanne’s third year in the NSPRA. “Last year was the first time I actually went down the road. I run in a lot of other associations, but the NSPRA is definitely my favorite.” The people truly make the association stand apart for Jeanne, keeping her on the road and in the saddle. “My favorite part of competing is going down the alley, feeling that power under me as we run full throttle into first. I love that sensation.”