Meet the Member Eli Woodyard
story by Jet Toberer Second-generation team roper, Eli Woodyard, of small town Max Meadows, Virginia, has been roping since he was 8 years old, and […]
story by Magie Downare-Nevius
Quickly progressing in the sport of rodeo, Junior Southern Rodeo Association cowgirl, Addison Pitts has proved that dedication to the arena has guided her to success. The 7-year-old double-event contestant is on her way to the JrSRA Finals, having risen to a rank of second in the PeeWee division all-around standings with close to $1,000 won in 10 season rodeos. “She has come such a long way. Last year was her first year with the JrSRA and she started off getting led around the patterns, but by the end of the season, she was competing by herself and finished third in the barrels and fourth in the poles,” Addison’s mom, Missy, said.
Mounted on her 7-year-old sorrel gelding (“Zig-Zag”), whom she named and has been riding since her start at four years old, Addison has accomplished her second finals qualification seeded first in the pole bending, along with a second place position in the barrel racing. “They are a great team and are learning and growing together,” Missy said.
For the Stony Point, N.C., resident, horse racing with the clock seemed an inevitable happening and it all began with her mom. Missy, a 15-year National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) competitor, has passed on her love for equine and speed, but is on a temporary break to raise her babies and start over with a new colt. “From the moment Addison sat on her first horse, I knew that she had a special talent. However, she is very humble and doesn’t check the results or times, but is more interested in just having fun,” Missy said. The encouragement chain extends to her dad (Mike), who doesn’t compete, but offers his support. In addition, Addison has had the inspiration of her stepsister (Krista Norman, 21), who is also a NBHA competitor and is working on a new colt to compete with. “Krista is a big influence for Addison. She takes her to the rodeos and has never missed Addison in competition,” Missy said. Getting the same opportunity, Addison is able to pass down the family passion to her younger sister (Rayna, 2), who is starting to ride and loves it.
A second grader at Sharon Elementary, Addison is an active member of her church youth group and is a former member of a competitive dance team, but decided to take a break from the extracurricular activity to focus on rodeo. “The JrSRA is the perfect place for Addison to get her start. The whole atmosphere is great as it is a very family oriented and welcoming association. While everyone loves the competition, they still make it all about the kids. You just can’t beat a rodeo family,” Missy said.
As Addison went in to the 2015 season holding the hopes of improving her ability and times, the ongoing accomplishment has shown the way to the JrSRA finale. “She wants to go in and have fun, do her best and hopefully that will lead to a few wins,” Missy said.
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