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Meet the Member Mallee Jones
story by Terry Rhodes
Surround yourself with good people. People that know how to get you to your goals. That’s just what Mallee Jones has done. The 14-year-old freshman is at the beginning of a promising rodeo career and not only does she have the inspiration and talent to pursue and achieve her goals, but she seeks out the best in the business to mentor her and show her the right way. “Deb Christy trains horses and she got me started riding one of her horses. That has gotten me thinking how much I’d like to do that too. She’s a role model of mine.” In addition Mallee possesses a work ethic that keeps her striving for improvement. “I work hard and I keep a positive attitude. I’m not going to quit. I think these make me a better competitor and I do like to compete.” That work ethic and discipline carries over to her studies where she maintains straight A’s.
Mallee says that besides Deb, she has had a good deal of help with horses and barrel racing from Annie Hasselbalch and Sam Flannery. “They all have been there to help me anytime I needed help and I just really appreciate that of them.”
She is beginning her rookie year in Mid-States Rodeo Association and did so with the help and guidance from Deb. Mallee says, “She’s the one that got it all started for me. I really like being in the Mid-States Association because I can now compete against adults instead of kids. I look up to them (Mid-States members). For my first year in Mid-States I’m just competing in barrel racing but as I go on, I want to breakaway rope.”
Mallee grew up in a rodeo family and that set the wheels in motion for her to begin in the sport. “My parents both rodeoed so I have had it in the family. I compete in Little Britches Rodeo and I have just finished junior high rodeo. I’ll start in high rodeo this year Kansas because that’s closer than the high school in Nebraska”
To get that good run in the arena, Mallee starts outside the arena visualizing how she wants it all to play out. “I try to stay relaxed and I stay away from the gate until it’s my turn to run. It helps him stay calm and not get all amped up.”
A tipping point came for Mallee last year in the National Little Britches Finals. “In the second round I place fifth and it kind of told me that I am capable of doing more and I can hang with the big dogs. That was really cool to get that buckle.” Mallee is competing in this year’s Little Britches Finals in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, and goat tying.
Besides being a well trained barrel horse from Deb, Mallee’s competition horse has special place in her heart. “We have a really good bond and communicate well. Topper gives it his all every time and tries really hard for me. I use Topper in the big arenas with deep ground. I love him. I have a 5-year-old-mare, Maya that I ride too.” For pole bending, Mallee uses “Dyna” a horse owned by Suzanne Cromwell.
Mallee lives with her family just outside Wymore, Neb. Her parents are Mike and Kerri Jones and she has two sisters, Carley and Michaela. Goals for the future include lots of rodeo and one day the NFR.