Meet the Member Gentry Godbey
story by Ruth Nicolaus Gentry Godbey has a bright, sparkly personality. The cowgirl, a Colorado Junior High School Rodeo member, is upbeat, positive, and a […]
story by Lily Weinacht
This is Waitley Sharon’s rookie year in the CJHSRA, and the 12 year old from Ordway, Colorado, is currently leading the boys goat tying and saddle bronc steer riding. He also competes in breakaway roping and team roping, heading for Coy Evans. Waitley started his career with mutton busting when he was three and moved up to other events when he was 6. “Both my parents rope, and both my grandpas, Dick Sharon and Gail Allen, rodeoed. I love the sport and being able to share Christ with other people, whether it’s behind the roughstock chutes or the roping chutes.”
Waitley has won several saddles and buckles, as well as a set of spurs for finishing third in the CJRA goat tying year-end last season. He enjoys roping off his champion saddles won at local rodeos like the La Junta Kids Rodeo and Race Meet, and he’s also passionate about storing up buckles in heaven. “One of my favorite verses is, ‘Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.’ Buckles and saddles collect dust, but faith never does.”
During rodeo season, Waitley, who is the oldest of five boys, practices every day. Their parents, Trent and Lindy Sharon, are always in the arena with them, and on Sunday afternoons, they go to their grandparents’ arena where Waitley practices his steer riding. He and his brother Traven rope together in the CJRA, and their brother Stockton did a CJRA rodeo this year and local rodeos with Cayhill. McCallen is the youngest, and he enjoys sitting on the horses. “I look up to my parents for taking me to rodeos and practicing with me every day, and getting up at 6:30 to go rope. Missy (Allen) Kuhn is my aunt, and she used to high school and CJRA rodeo. My rookie year in the CJRA she helped me out a bunch. Junior high rodeo has been a lot of fun, and it’s been fun driving through the mountains with my family.”
The Sharons often haul three horses, and Waitley and Stockton share a horse, Abe, in the team roping and goat tying. “My breakaway and goat tying horse is Superman, and I like him a lot. He’s small and a lot of fun to rope on, and he comes across the line clean.” Waitley’s head horse is John, a 14-year-old gelding the family bought from Buzzy Thorpe—PRCA roper Wesley Thorpe’s grandpa—while they were in Texas for five years at the RA Brown Ranch. “I really like where we live—we have a little grow yard where we start calves,” Waitley adds. “I help my dad a lot by pulling calves and doctoring and helping him work them. What’s fun about rodeo is that we get the weekend off to go play. Normally I read while we drive and play card games with my brothers. I really like reading Ben Green books about horse trading, and the Bible.” Waitley and his brothers are homeschooled, and they also do their studies while they’re in the truck. “I’m in seventh grade, and I like history and anything about fighting. We were studying the Revolutionary War, and now we’re learning about America working on their laws and Congress.”
After school is finished, Waitley helps his dad or spends time on the bucking barrel, or he does groundwork tying goats and roping the dummy. “Rodeo is slowing down, so now I’m wrestling. I’ve been doing it four years, and it’s got a lot of discipline like rodeo.” One of Waitley’s rodeo goals is to compete at the WNFR in tie-down roping and saddle bronc riding someday, and this season, he’s working toward a state title in one of his events. “I want to go to the rodeos and have fun, go my hardest, and compete to the best of my abilities.”
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