Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Shayla Gourdine
story by Riata Christiansen
Shayla Gourdine is a hard working and high aiming cowgirl. The 17 year old started working with horses at a young age used to compete in the horse 4-H. She got her first barrel horse around eight or nine years old, and has competed in rodeo ever since. Her dad can be accredited with helping her get into rodeo, as he has team roped since he was younger.
The senior goes to Lehi High School in her home town. The city of Lehi is one of the fastest growing areas in the state, and there are houses being built left and right. Although the growth can be alarming, Shayla likes the people and atmosphere of Lehi. This year in high school she is working towards her associates degree and she hopes to finish that degree at UVU. Next, she would like to attend Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. There she would like to study to become an Equine Veterinarian, or something along those lines. She feels that her experience with horses would give her an advantage and she could excel in that line of work while still doing something she enjoys.
Shayla competes in barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. Her favorite and most successful event is the goat tying. Her favorite run was the Heber City spring rodeo, where she tied a six second goat run. Her favorite rodeo, though, is state finals. She loves being able to spend a whole week with all the best contestants in the best place. Her favorite aspect of rodeo besides competing is spending time around the people and being part of such an amazing sport.
Shayla is the second of four children. Her older sister is twenty, and is expecting a baby very soon. Shayla also has a younger brother who will be 8 years old in October and a younger sister who is 14 years old. Besides rodeoing together, they all take an annual trip to Lake Powell, a highlight of the summer. Mom, Michelle, and dad, Jason, are both very supportive of Shayla and her rodeo. Her mom tells her to always remember who she is, and what she stands for. Her dad is her hero, and is always there to cheer on her victories and help her past her defeats. Besides paying her entry fees, he keeps her working hard to be a better competitor.
The typical practice starts with working barrel horses. Shayla practices with Emalee Dubois, who is also a talented rodeo athlete. After exercising barrel horses, they get on their breakaway horses and rope some calves. They finish up with a couple hours of flanking and tying goats. This everyday routine helps the girls to hone their skills and has helped them become as competitive as they are. This year, Shayla’s goal is to become the state champion goat tier and to make it to the National High School Finals Rodeo. Despite a recent accident that led to the loss of her goat horse, Shayla still has big dreams and enough heart to achieve them.