story by Lindsay Humphrey Pistol was the horse that taught Spring Pennington to ride and he very likely built the foundation that her confidence stands […]
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Meet the Member Marco Juarez
story by Lily Weinacht
Marco Juarez rode six out of his eight bulls at the AJRA finals this summer and was named the 2017 AJRA World Champion Bull Rider in the 13-15 age division. This was the 14-year-old’s rookie year in the AJRA, joining the association after a friend encouraged him to enter in the spring. “I think it’s probably my favorite association out of all of them, and I really enjoyed it and made some friends,” says Marco, who lives in Anthony, New Mexico. “I won the year-end and the finals, and I felt really confident that I was going to win. I bucked off my short-go bull, but I was the only one (in my age group) that made it to the short-go.”
Marco’s dad rode bulls in open rodeos when he lived in Mexico, and Marco’s older brother started riding bulls as a senior in high school. “Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to do that,” says Marco. “I like the excitement. That moment of winning is probably my favorite thing. This year, I finished sixteenth in the world at the YBR finals, and I compete in the Navajo Nation Rodeos. We’re gone every weekend, and my parents, Rodrigo and Rebecca Juarez, and my brother, Daniel Juarez, go with me. They support me a lot, and my best friend, Chris McKenna, helps me. My dad helps me a lot with training; we train every day, and I have two horses I get on and four bucking barrels.” Marco’s bucking barrels range in function from stationary and spring barrels to ones that extend, all of which help him work on his form.
He rides his main horse, Buck, to work on his balance and leg strength. “I use a blanket with just the handle on my horse. I put a pipe down and jump it, and I’ll raise it higher and higher,” Marco explains. “I’m usually on my horse a lot, and the other days I’m on the barrels.” The Juarez family also has a variety of dogs, including Chihuahuas, a German Shepherd, and a boxer/pit bull mix.
A freshman at Mayfield High School, Marco is studying biology, but he enjoys all types of science. He also likes to play basketball, and his team, The Trojans, has their first game of the season in November. Once he’s home from school, Marco often grabs some food before going to work with his dad, who sells refrigeration and other dairy equipment and parts. “Then I’ll go practice until the sun goes down,” says Marco. “I like to hunt deer and elk , and I like deer jerky, but it’s really just all rodeo that we do. My dad tells me that my vacations are rodeos. I’m doing the AJRA rodeos next year, and the Navajo Nation Junior Bull Riders Association.
“In bull riding, I hope to be a world champion. I want to make it full time. I’ve met Sage Kimzey and Cody Jesus – I met Sage when he came down to a CBR in El Paso, Texas, and I know Cody because he goes to the Navajo Nation Rodeos a lot, so I talk to him. His advice is to keep hustling if I really want to do rodeo, and just keep going with it.”