story by Siri Stevens Erika Chartrand was raised in Montreal Canada and came south to attend college. “My dad said I could go as long […]
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Meet the Member Megan Burbidge
story by Lily Weinacht
“My parents grew up in rodeo, and ever since I can remember, I’ve been on the back of a horse,” says Megan Burbidge. The 20-year-old RMPRA breakaway roper started competing by the time she was four and went on to compete in junior high and high school rodeo for Utah. She went to the NJHFR twice in the breakaway roping, and her senior year, won the Silver State International Rodeo in the goat tying, along with reserve all-around. Megan, who hails from Elwood, Utah, joined the RMPRA shortly after finishing high school, and last year, she won Santaquin and placed second at Tooele and Alpine. “Most of their rodeos are within a few hours, and I travel with good people,” she says. “I really like going over their Fourth of July run – they’re all really good rodeos to go to.”
Megan’s main goal for the season is winning the RMPRA in the breakaway. She qualified for the finals for the first time last year, and also college rodeoed for two years at South Plains College in Texas, breakaway roping and goat tying. “I like goat tying best. When I was little, I didn’t like it because it was a lot of work, but the harder you work at it, the more it pays off. You can’t buy a goat horse and be good at goat tying. I like that breakaway is fast, and in the matter of two seconds, you can win so much money,” she adds. “It’s taught me a lot of life lessons, too. Rodeo is a pretty humbling sport – you learn you’re not always going to win, and even if you do, you still have to be humble about it. You’re competing against some of your best friends, but you’re still cheering for them.” She especially looks up to her parents, Trisha and Eric Burbidge. “I couldn’t do it without them. They’ve made sure I’ve had all I ever needed and supported me wherever I wanted to go, and the girls I travel with keep me up all the time. Even when it’s tough, they’re right there to keep you going.”
The other half of Megan’s team are her horses. Her main horse in the breakaway is a 16-year-old mare, Tara, who was born and raised on the Burbidge’s farm. “My brother roped on her in high school, and when I was a freshman I started roping on her. She’s never had a bad day, and she’s always just honest. My goat tying horse is Bay. I got her as a yearling and trained her to do goat tying, and I can rope off her too.” Megan also never leaves without her two Toy Australian Shepherds.
She is attending Eastern New Mexico University this fall, where she’ll continue to rodeo and finish her degree in Ag. education. Megan’s ultimate goal is to become a professor. During the summer, she helps on the family farm with everything from baling and loading hay to watering. “I go jackpotting a little bit, and I go to almost every Rocky Mountain rodeo there is on weekends,” she says. Her younger brother, Chase, also rodeos, competing in the IHSRA, and their older brother, Nick, rodeoed in high school.
Megan uses any free time to ride horses in the morning or evening, and another one of her goals is qualifying for the CNFR. “Rodeo is kind of a way of life – I would be lost without it,” she says. “My motivation is looking forward to the next rodeo. You’ll always hit some slumps, but I like working hard and knowing it will pay off.”