story by Lindsay Humphrey No stranger to junior high nationals, Zoey Cline from Corona, New Mexico, is optimistic she can make a third appearance on […]
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Meet the Member McKinzee Shiver
story by Lindsay King
At only 11 years old, McKinzee Shiver from Stanley, New Mexico, hit rock bottom the day she hit the dirt during a typical goat tying run. “I was trying to be a show off and win it, but that did not go so well. I ended up breaking my left arm when I fell. I just kind of worked around the cast, against the doctor’s orders of course, because I still had 4-H rodeo to go to,” said the 14-year-old. “Goat tying is my favorite, I think I started when I was probably six. I picked it up really quick. And I like the feeling of running towards the goat after jumping off.” Laramie and Lynn Smith have been a big help in McKinzee’s goat tying career. As have her parents Jamey and Jada. “My parents have helped push me to work hard at it everyday and taken me to lots of clinics.” McKinzee also runs barrels, poles, breakaway ropes and heads in the team roping.
“My grandpa, Jimmy Corliss, had me on a horse before I was one. My love of horses and rodeo just blossomed from there.” Her grandpa Jimmy is easily McKinzee’s biggest influence in the sport. “He has always made sure I am the best person I can be both inside and out of the arena. He is always at the arena gate with me to make sure I am not nervous. He just has this easy way about him, he can talk to anyone.” Her grandparents don’t always get to go to rodeos, but McKinzee has the most fun at the events when they do. Sometimes her siblings, Barrett, 8, and Bristol, 6, will also go, but usually it is just McKinzee and her parents. “The best part about rodeo is having friends that are more than 20 miles away. I also like explaining what rodeo is to my friends at schools. Their eyes always get really wide when I am telling them something new about rodeo, it is fun.”
One of the most important parts of rodeo for McKinzee is having good sportsmanship, something her grandpa taught her. “It is hard to want people to do well when they have bad sportsmanship. I know that if I have a good attitude, I am going to do well. Both my grandpa and mom tell me this all the time.” This attitude helped McKinzee win the goat tying saddle in 4-H rodeo this past summer. “I placed third in the NMJHSRA goat tying last summer, sending me to nationals for the first time. I was winning it, but I buckled under pressure at the last minute. It was still an incredible experience.” Her proudest moment so far was getting a 7.9-second run in goats at Santa Fe last summer. “It showed me that all my hard work was paying off, but I also knew I still had room to grow from there.”
The Moriarty Middle School eighth grader also participates in horse and livestock judging through her FFA chapter. “History is my absolute favorite class at school. My teacher is enthusiastic about it. She is so passionate about what she does and that makes it easier to learn and participate in her class.” When McKinzee grows up she wants to go to college on a rodeo scholarship with dreams of competing at the NFR one day. She thinks she might become a doctor or veterinarian.
“The best part of every day is seeing my friends and family and getting to know them a little better each day. My friends are to thank for where I am today in rodeo, especially my best friend Kaitlyn Detweiller. But I also have to thank my grandparents and parents for all of their support and hauling me around all the time.”