Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Members: Byron Christansen, Jake Woodland
stories by Skylar Wright
12-year-old Byron Christansen from Emery, Utah, competes in bare back riding, breakaway roping, goat tying, saddle bronc, team roping, ribbon roping and bull riding. The sixth grader will be going to the Jr. High Nationals in bareback riding this year. “This is my rookie year and I hope to do well,” Byron said. He is sitting fourth going into nationals and his goal is to make it to nationals every year.
The youngster is following in his father’s rodeo footsteps. “My dad high school rodeoed and my siblings rodeo too,” he said. He has three older siblings and one younger sibling who all compete. Byron has been riding and competing since he was 5-years-old.
Outside the rodeo arena he is busy with baseball and wrestling. He is a five time little league wrestling champion. He enjoys hunting and being outside as well. “I miss a lot of school on Fridays but I get my homework early so I don’t miss anything.” He is no stranger to hard work and is thankful to have a dad as a wrestling coach and a mom who has allowed him to have a wrestling room in their home. He is most proud of his wrestling wins from Salt Lake Slam and Beehive Brawl.
Byron is the secretory for his school student council and received the presidential award for good grades. His parents are proud of what he has accomplished at such a young age.
When he has downtime he is outside riding horses, checking cattle and roping. “We have too many horses to count and we have around 130 head of cattle,” he said. Byron spending most of his summer break roping and riding horses.
He hopes to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo as many times as he can and become a large animal vet so he can still travel to rodeos.
Jake Woodland, the 8-year-old from Mona, Utah competes in breakaway roping, goat tying, ribbon roping and team roping. He has two siblings, an older brother who rodeos and a younger sister who is an ice skater.
He has been rodeoing for eight years and is following in his mother’s footsteps. His mom rodeoed as a kid and she now hauls Jake and his brother to all their rodeos. Jake started out his rodeo passion at the National Little Britches and then started rodeoing for the Utah Jr. High Rodeo Association.
The youngster stays busy outside of the rodeo arena by playing soccer and singing. “I sing with my dad on the way to rodeos and I’ve taken voice lessons for four years now,” he said. Jake sings the National Anthem at the local rodeos and at the Utah state finals.
He works hard at being the best inside and outside the arena. He serves as the president for the Utah Jr. High division and has recently won the short-go at their state finals in the goat tying.
He has plans of becoming a large animal vet and train horses. The family owns ten horses and he helps keep them in shape and ready to compete on. His goal is to make nationals and continue rodeoing.