story by Claire Vincent Millie Frey is the 18 year old daughter of Winston and Cindy Frey from Mowata, Louisiana. She is a senior at […]
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Meet the Member Alyssa Gary
story by Claire Vincent
“My biggest accomplishment is not winning a big title or breaking an arena record, however those are things I am very blessed to have done, but my biggest accomplishment is simply overcoming myself.”
Alyssa Gary is the 15 year old daughter of Chad and Debbie Gary from Lake Charles, Louisiana. She is a sophomore at Iowa High School, and enjoys hanging out with her friends when she is not in the practice pen or at a rodeo. Alyssa is a first generation cowgirl. Her mom, Debbie, had horses in high school and throughout college, but she never rodeoed. She studied horsemanship techniques for many years, and her love for horses was passed down to Alyssa. Alyssa had miniature ponies when she was little and would ride them non stop. Unlike her mom, she wanted to go fast all the time. Alyssa’s cousin, Kaile Corley, was a barrel racer, and Alyssa wanted to be just like her. When she was seven years old she started running barrels and poles on her first horse, Shakey.
Now, Alyssa competes in barrels, poles, and goat tying. Her favorite event is goat tying because she believes it reflects your talent as an individual, not just your horse. She says she lives for the feeling of satisfaction after she makes a good run. When she throws her hands up and walks away from the goat knowing that everything she has worked on in the practice pen was for that exact moment. She looks up to all the McNeese State University goat tiers. Alyssa says these girls are not only the best goat tiers on the college level, but they are supportive and encouraging to everyone, not just their teammates. “They are always willing to lend a helping hand and cheer me on when I need it most. I hope that one day I can be just like them inside and outside the arena.”
When Alyssa was in middle school she was never the state champion, and she didn’t even consider herself one of the top goat tiers. She practiced hard, but always felt like she was failing. She said, “I would have a great practice then go to the rodeo and sike myself out and tell myself I couldn’t do it.” Before her freshman year she realized it didn’t matter how good of a practice she would have, or how good of a horse she rode. What mattered was what she thought about herself. Alyssa thinks that truly being confident in herself was the game changer for her, and since then she feels that she can handle whatever is thrown at her.
Alyssa didn’t know anything about goat tying when she started rodeoing, and is thankful for Charlene Carson and her granddaughter, Kaylee Cormier. They took Alyssa in and taught her the basics of goat tying to everything she now knows today. Charlene high school rodeoed and goat tied from 1958-1961, and she continued goat tying throughout college. Kaylee is a third generation goat tier, a three-time Louisiana High School Rodeo Association State Champion goat tier, and two- time IFYR champion goat tier.
Alyssa has been a member of the Louisiana High School Rodeo Association since she was in sixth grade. She says, “There are many reasons why I love the LHSRA, but one of them is because of all the friends I have made through this association. I truly believe the LHSRA is preparing me for my college rodeo career.” After high school, Alyssa plans to attend McNeese State University, and continue goat tying at a college level.