Meet the Member: Grayce Baxter
Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
story by Riata Cummings
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, Ani English is a senior at Arbor View High School. She enjoys her math and science courses, and she is hoping to attend veterinary school upon graduation, starting with her prerequisite classes at Snow College. Part of her motivation for choosing veterinary medicine is that she has grown up in a “medical family with a few nurses.” Ani is the daughter of Karen and Mel English. Her blended family includes nine siblings; Blake, Justin, Breanna, Jessica, Cassie, Brandon, Rachel, JP and Riley.
The family wasn’t always a rodeo family; they used to spend most of their time playing sports and riding dirt bikes. However, Brandon became interested in horses and rodeo and the younger siblings soon followed. Ani began competing when she was in 7th grade. She loves that rodeo “has a friendly and sportsmanlike” environment and that “there is just a little bit of a rush to everything.” She also loves that rodeo gives her the opportunity to “communicate with the animals and learn to be a team with them.”
Ani competes in the pole bending, goat tying and breakaway roping. Her favorite event is the pole bending, thanks to her horse, Priscilla. “I have had my horse since my freshman year. She gives it everything she has, and I just get such an adrenaline rush when we make a run. I put my heart and soul into every run and having a horse that puts her heart and soul into it makes it so thrilling.” Priscilla is an 18-year-old mare and a “sweetheart who loves people and attention.” Ani’s other rodeo mounts include Amigo, a gentle gelding breakaway horse with a preference for Ani, and Ginger, a go-with-the-flow horse Ani borrows from Allisa Mecham for the goat tying.
Ani has qualified for state finals several times in her career, and she is working towards qualifying this year. She practices six days a week, working poles and goats Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and breakaway Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Rodeo has taught her that “if you want something you have to be willing to work really hard for it. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth the work.” Ani lives by the Lane Frost quote, “Faith to me is lots of determination, hard work, faith in myself and in God.” The quote reminds her that “faith is so much more than just believing in something you can’t see yet. You have to work to have faith and you have to work to keep it, and then you have to believe in yourself and trust in God, who is just waiting to help you.”
One of Ani’s greatest strengths is her patience. “Life teaches you to be patient, even when some people don’t deserve it. Rodeo teaches you to be patient with yourself and be calm. You have to give it the time you need.” When Ani was a beginner rider, she had an accident and hit her head on some concrete. Although she physically recovered from the incident, it took time to rebuild her confidence with horses and riding. “Every time I get on, I can feel my confidence returning. I lost a lot of confidence, and I have had to work hard to get it back. Horses aren’t easy, and they can feel what you feel, so you have to patient with yourself.” Ani would like rodeo rookies to know that “the most important thing is, even if you fall, you have to get back up and keep going. Never quit or give up on your dreams.”
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