Meet the Member: Dillin Holub
Story by Ruth Nicolaus Because of his parents, Scott and Jenee Holub, and his granddad, George Rachau, Dillin Holub is involved in the sport he […]
story by Lily Weinacht
“Rodeo is something I really can’t imagine my life without. A lot of what I do revolves around rodeo,” says Taylor Feldeisen. “I guess you could say it’s like a habit—it’s something I really enjoy and have a big passion for.” The 21-year-old breakaway roper from Olmstedville, New York, joined the APRA in 2013, and she qualified for the finals for the first time last year, placing third in the first round at AFR 40. “I’d never been to Atlantic City before, so I put in a lot of miles walking up and down the boardwalk. It was a great place to have the finals.”
The daughter of a steer wrestler, Taylor and her younger brother, Lane, grew up traveling with their parents, Mike and Renee, to rodeos. Taylor started competing in jackpots when she was 10, followed by junior high and high school rodeoing for New York. She qualified for the NJHFR and NHSFR every year, and had the opportunity to compete at the NJHFR in Gallup, New Mexico, in 2011. By the time she finished high school, she’d won a year-end buckle in each one of her events.
“My dad spent all his days off driving me to rodeos all over before I was old enough to drive, and my mom has always been the glue that held everything together while we were gone,” says Taylor. “She’s super supportive, especially keeping me on top of my mental game. The girls that I haul with—all the breakaway ropers—they’re really great. It’s tough competition up here and everybody keeps each other on top of their game. I really like how there are so many facets that go into breakaway roping, and when you get it right and everything clicks, it’s really rewarding.”
Taylor and her family have calves in the summer to rope, and she can usually find a family member, including her grandma, to run chutes for her. Until retiring the mare last season after AFR 40, Taylor rode her dad’s former hazing horse, Katty, her entire rodeo career. The mare is coming 30 this year. “When I was young, I kind of took her from my dad and started running barrels on her. She’s been a great all-around horse for me and has taught me all that I know. I owe it all to her. I have a new little mare, Jamma, and she reminds me quite a bit of my good mare, so I have high hopes for her. She needs quite a bit of work but she has a lot of potential.”
Outside of rodeo, Taylor is finishing her junior year at the University of Vermont in Burlington. “I’m studying animal science and looking to get my pre veterinary degree next year. I’m looking at applying to vet schools, or getting a master’s in nutrition, but I’m most interested in being a large-animal vet.” Taylor stays at school during the school year but goes home for the summer and travels to rodeos on the weekends. She jokes her hometown is so small that if a person blinks, they’ll miss it, but she loves the scenery and the rural setting. “We have a great sense of community, and it’s a really great place to grow up.” Taylor also enjoys hiking or going to the gym, and grew up playing basketball, field hockey, and softball. She even ski raced, and her brother is an avid alpine ski racer.
Rodeo has always been number one, however, and Taylor keeps up her roping on the dummy at school between rodeos. She also plans to buy her IPRA card this year and enter as many of their rodeos as possible. “I’d really like to get my new horse going this year,” she finishes, “and try and qualify for the AFR again.”
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