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 […]
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Meet the Members Trey & Emma Watts
story by Lily Weinacht
Brother and sister Trey and Emma Watts are a year apart in age, yet they are of one mind when it comes to rodeoing. They come from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, home of the Little League Baseball World Series, but their focus has been rodeo since they were four or five. They worked their way through junior rodeos and now compete at the high school level, qualifying for the NHSFR multiple times, and most recently, punching their tickets for AFR 39. Trey, who just turned 18, qualified in the tie-down roping and saddle bronc riding, while Emma, 16, competed in the breakaway roping, just days after her cast was removed from her roping arm. “I broke it team roping in a fluke accident,” she says. “Now I have two plates and sixteen screws! I did mostly exercises leading up to the AFR, but I couldn’t practice until a few days before the finals.”
Emma is the 2016 PHSRA Breakaway Roping Champion, and she also competes in barrels and poles in high school rodeo. She and Trey both team rope, and occasionally rope together as a team. They each have multiple saddles and buckles to their names, and their dad, Jason, is a team roper, while their mom, Sherry, showed quarter horses growing up. “I wasn’t in the rodeo world when I met Jason, but we decided it was the route we wanted to take our kids early on,” Sherry explains. “Rodeo is much more of a family atmosphere, and we make sure they have the opportunities to do their best when they walk in the arena.”
“We live in a place where there’s not a lot of rodeos, and the APRA has given us the ability to go rodeo more often and compete against tougher competition, which will make us better,” Trey adds.
The brother and sister practice often, and the entire family pitches in, pulling roping dummies and running chutes. Trey originally started roping left-handed, but switched to using his right hand his freshman year. “I strive to be the best that I can be, and switching to my right hand provided a better future rodeo career. My roping was kind of slow after I switched, and I decided to give bronc riding a try since I’d always wanted to do roughstock.” Trey returned to roping a short time later, and placed twelfth in the nation in the tie-down roping at the 2016 NHSFR. “My main calf horse, Tucker, has been a game changer. We picked him up outside of Oklahoma City on our way to Nationals and I roped on him just a few times before we competed.” Emma competed at Nationals in breakaway and team roping on her horse, Yeller, and she and Trey plan to compete in the IFYR on their way to Nationals this summer, making the most of their 32 hour drive across the country.
The Watts family also has a horse leasing business for summer camps, which gives Trey and Emma the opportunity to ride a variety of horses. “I think learning to ride so many different horses has really helped me,” says Emma. “Yeller is my main rope horse – he makes breakaway fun for me – and we rotate horses for barrels depending on the day.”
The only two students from Hughesville High School that rodeo, Trey is a senior, and Emma is a junior. She particularly enjoys anatomy, and plans to become an equine chiropractor, while Trey enjoys his business development and management class. “Our biggest project has been creating a figurative business and running it,” he explains. They also used to play other sports like soccer and football, but decided to focus solely on rodeo this past year. Trey and Emma plan to college rodeo and continue competing in the APRA, and they want to make it to the short-rounds of both the IFYR and NHSFR before finishing high school rodeo.