story by Julie Carter Cowboying at the ranch comes natural for Trip Saulsberry, but the arena part of the job didn’t start until he was […]
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Meet the Member Peyton Stone
story by Lindsay King
When Mesilla Park, New Mexico, cowgirl Peyton Stone grows up she wants to be just like her mom Katie, a horse trainer. “My mom trains all of our colts for barrels now. She did not rodeo growing up, she jumped. She trains some jumpers now. I want to be just like her one day,” said the 12-year-old. Like any true barrel racer, Peyton loves the speed and precision of the event. “I’ve always been a barrel racer, it always has been and will be my favorite event. It is just fun for me.” The youngest of four siblings: Blake, 34, Kyle, 32, and Lauren, 15, Peyton started rodeo and her sister followed suite. “My dad Fred, also known as Scooter, grew up rodeoing and my mom grew up in the hunter jumper arena, we just started when we were little and haven’t stopped.”
Both of Peyton’s parents have been her biggest influences in rodeo. “Dad always makes sure I know what I am doing and helps with my horses at the back of the gate. Mom helps me a lot when we are practicing. She will ride some of my horses for me so I can focus on one event, whichever one we are working on that day.” Peyton competes in barrels, poles, goat tying and sometimes breakaway roping. “I have two horses right now: Smoke Please who we call Nash and SR Harvey’s Cowboy.” Her favorite of the two is her 14-year-old bay gelding Nash. “He didn’t know much when I first got him, we have grown together as a team and now we are doing really well.” Harvey is a seven-year-old bay gelding Peyton uses for barrels, poles and goats.
Every year Peyton competes at the Sherry Cervi Youth Championships. This year she placed second in the 1D average on Nash and 11th in the 2D on Harvey. “My proudest moment in rodeo so far was placing at the Sherry Cervi event against some really tough girls.” Peyton always looks forward to the big event because of the tough competition and getting to meet Sherry Cervi. Though Peyton has learned how to jump a little bit, she prefers the rodeo arena. She likes getting to explain rodeo to her seventh-grade classmates at Zea Middle School. “The weirdest thing I have had to explain is what the difference is between a steer and a bull.”
Out of all the NMJHSRA rodeos, Clovis is easily her favorite venue. “The arena is nice and big, so I can let my horses really stretch out and run harder than anywhere else.” Her next goal is to represent her state at nationals in her favorite event. “At state last year I was fifth in the barrels and won the short go in the pole bending. I won quite a few all-around titles in 2017 and I am hoping all that work will pay off at finals this year.” Peyton took home a saddle for winning novice pole bending and in 2016 for novice stake race at state 4-H.
As any true horsewoman does, Peyton wants to try her hand at other disciplines. “Working cow horse looks like a lot of fun. I like how they incorporate the cow work in with the big stops and spins.” When she is not practicing, Peyton can be found just riding her horses around or playing with her two dogs: a border collie named Lou and a dachshund named Lilbit. Her biggest dream is to meet Sarah Rose McDonald. “Even though her horse died she just kept going on other horses. She is one of the people I look up to the most.” Each time Peyton enters an arena she keeps in mind that she is not competing against other people, only the clock.