story by Jet Toberer Second-generation team roper, Eli Woodyard, of small town Max Meadows, Virginia, has been roping since he was 8 years old, and […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Megan Yankee
story by Kyle Eusitce
Bethlehem, N.C. resident Megan Yankee is normally a spry 14 year old, but the North Carolina Connections Academy freshman is recovering from a recent cold, although it won’t keep her down for long. She has rodeo events to attend, horses to feed and friends to meet, a testament to her resilient personality.
Megan started riding horses when she was 4 years old. Her father Chris took her on a pony ride when she was only two years old and her grandmother had horses. She immediately fell in love with horses and anything having to do with them.
Now entering her third year in the JRSRA, Megan has been working on barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, and goat tying. She made it to the national JRSRA Rodeo Finals for barrel racing this year in Lebanon, Tennessee, but didn’t realize her horse’s hocks were bad. They got in two good runs, but her horse was slower than usual. It hasn’t deter her, however, and she came out of it with a considerably mature attitude.
“I was pretty disappointed,” admitted Megan. “But my friend did really well. I was really proud of her. It just made me more determined.”
Megan practices nearly every day. In addition to the JRSRA, she is about to start her third year in the NCHSRA and her first in the high school division.
“I’m super excited,” said Megan. “I was voted in as secretary so I will meet a lot of new people.”
Even when she broke her pinky finger riding her friend’s horse, according to her father, she “cowboy’ed up” and still finished all of her events. Behind her feisty demeanor, hides a huge heart. She recently saved up her allowance to rescue an Australian Shepard from a shelter, who she named Kyle. She has a total of two dogs, one cat, a guinea pig, and is hoping for a goat. “I’ve named all of my animals after movie characters,” said Megan. “I love movies. Kyle was named after a character in Despicable Me.”
Megan’s mom, Kristy, is on the JRSRA board and she does marketing for the NCHSRA. Her parents are incredibly supportive of Megan’s rodeo career. Her older brother Brian, 26, has watched her improve steadily over the years, as well.
In the future, Megan wants to become a large animal veterinarian, making it clear she’s very passionate about animals and isn’t afraid of working hard. Whatever obstacles appear in her way, including her dyslexia, she tackles them no matter how difficult.
“She has dyslexia and has a tough time with written expressions, but her reasoning skills are off the charts,” said Kristy. “Only six percent of people have her type of dyslexia. She has problems with reading and she’s used to people criticizing her, but it helps her to keep going and to overcome obstacles, so she can keep moving forward.”
For now, she’s focused on rodeo, playing soccer, getting ready for the new school year, and having fun with her friends. She will be doing all of the JRSRA events and her goal is to simply “win everything.” In the meantime, she’ll be tracking down chicken nuggets—her favorite food—listening to country and hip-hop music, and putting her love of animals and rodeo first.