story by Julie Carter Hailing from the Steer Wrestling capitol of the Navajo Nation, Crownpoint, NM, the 17-year-old Tsosie twins, Tyra and Tydon, have made […]
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Meet the Member Jorie Lynne Harwell
story by Kyle Eustice
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 17-year-old high school junior, Jorie Lynne Harwell, moved to Moriarty with her parents, Dawn and David Harwell, sister Bailey, 20, and brother Casey, 26. Located about 50 miles from the capital city of Santa Fe, Moriarty is small, but an ideal place to raise a family, focus on school and polish her rodeo skills, something Jorie has loved doing since she was a little girl.
“My parents raised us in rodeo,” said Jorie. “They gave me a choice when I was 3 or 4 to rodeo, so of course I decided to do it. I love the relationships you can form with your horses and the kind of stuff it can help you accomplish, like scholarships to college. Plus, you really have to be athletic to even do the sport.”
The Harwells currently have nine horses on their expansive property, where Jorie can practice pole bending, breakaway and barrel racing, her three main events. As a member of the NMHSRA, she’s focused on making it to finals in each category.
“My first horse was named Toby,” said Jorie. “I got a rush every time I would get on him. It was like watching a football game or playing it—you’re just in the moment, love the feeling and want to keep doing it.”
Beginning with goat tying, Jorie’s passion for the sport grew quickly and eventually, she tried her hand at barrels and poles, although she admits she can’t pick a favorite.
“I can’t be partial because that would make me pick a favorite horse,” explained Jorie. “So I want to keep them equal. I want to pursue barrels, poles and breakway equally so I have a chance at succeeding at all of them.”
Jorie currently rides four of the nine horses on her property—Tank, BB, Bitty and Chili. The other five are just horses they have turned out or are simply too young, while some belong to her sister, who also rides and was a former member of the NMHRSA.
“I joined my freshman year,” said Jorie. “My brother and sister were in it before me. I wanted to go to nationals. In the NMJHSRA, I rodeoed and made it to nationals two out of three years. I wanted another chance to make it to nationals, so I joined the high school rodeo.”
Jorie made it to a nationals in trap her freshman year and placed 4th in light rifle in Rock Springs, Wyoming, but her aspirations far surpass those mini-goals.
“I really want to go to nationals in all three event and win in one or two,” said Jorie. “At nationals my 8th grade year, my ribbon roping partner Stran Thompson and I won 5th, I got 21st in polebending, but they only take the top 20.”
It’s her perseverance and belief in herself that keeps her going. “You have to have a winning attitude,” said Jorie. “You have to be a good loser and do your best. Also, having a good connection with your horses and practicing all the time really helps. If you do your best every time, that’s all you can do. If anyone else beats you and you know you did your best, you did all you could.”
In the future, the aspiring civil engineer wants to get a scholarship to Texas Tech in rodeo, so it’s really important she does well until she graduates in 2018. Until then, she’s staying busy taking the necessary steps to get there. “In the mornings, I go out and feed my horses and just kind of tell them, ‘We got this’ and that I love them,” explained Jorie. “Right before I go in to the pen, I listen to music and pray. Having a deep connection with my horses and God really helps me.”