story by Lindsay Humphrey Unlike many of her peers, 13-year-old Sage Putnam didn’t get her start with horses in rodeo. She did, however, always have […]
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Meet the Member Aubryn Garriott
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Extra time in the saddle is what Aubryn Garriott needed and that’s exactly what she got this spring rodeo season thanks to COVID-19. She was sitting 16th in the barrels in the KJHSRA after the fall run, but she made some giant leaps when they finally got to rodeo. “State finals was actually our first spring rodeo. I ended up fifth in the barrels and actually won the average,” said the Madison, Kansas, barrel racer and pole bender. This was the closest Aubryn had ever come to making it to nationals, and now she has her sights set on it for 2021 as a high school freshman. “We kept going to open rodeos this spring so we could stay sharp. I just got my horse (Ruby) last October and all this extra practice really helped me get with her before state finals.”
Online school was certainly an adjustment for Aubryn and her four siblings–Reece, 21, Chance, 18, and Hadley, 13. But the siblings got into a rhythm and used it to their advantage. “We get to practice together a lot. My brother (Chance) is always pushing me to ride my horse every day and helps me figure things out.” Aubryn’s dad, Shawn, is the coach behind the jockey. He grew up in rodeo and has helped Aubryn and her siblings figure out the finer details of their various events.
“Most barrel racers have their mom helping them, but my dad has helped me a lot. He’s always pushing me to be better and tells me the honest truth no matter if I do good or bad. I like having him there.” Staci, Aubryn’s mom, grew up around horses but not in rodeo. She’s part of both the pit crew and she’s the videographer. “My mom has always been there to support all of us, and dad has taught us a lot.” Aubryn got her first horse when she was 6 years old. She dabbled in local associations before stepping up to junior high in sixth grade. “We’ve always been involved in rodeo. When my dad thinks we’re ready we step up to bigger and bigger rodeos.”
Always involved in school sports, Aubryn perfected her time management skills in junior high. Not only does she rodeo all year, she also plays volleyball, basketball, and track. “The hardest part about rodeo is making time to practice. After we get home from sports practice, we usually ride. My dad really helps me find the time to get everything done.” Of course, Aubryn’s favorite sport of all is rodeo, but she’s also loved playing basketball since the fourth grade. “It’s pretty crazy for us all year, but I like doing sports and rodeo so we just find time for both.” Now a freshman at Olpe High School, Aubryn’s been thinking about her future plans quite a bit.
“At one of the first rodeos this fall I got a $100 scholarship to K-State. That’s a long way away but I would like to go there. We’ve always been involved with agriculture so I might go into something involving that.” Aubryn is also contemplating exploring a career in the medical field. She’s torn between working with animals or people. As Aubryn steps up to high school rodeo and thinking about her future, she’s also reflecting back on her time in junior high. “I’ve made so many friends and met a lot of new people through junior high rodeo. There are a ton of nice people. And new opportunities. Those people invite to stuff that you never would’ve done before.” Even though barrel racing is Aubryn’s favorite event, she’s sitting in the top five in the poles right now. If she keeps working hard, she just might get her first shot at competing at nationals next summer.