story by Mackie Ford I caught up with Haze Kuykendall, an Oklahoma Junior High School Rodeo Association member and son of Justin and Mandie Kuykendall, […]
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Meet the Member Avery Dockrey
story by Lindsay King
Sharp-shooter Avery Dockrey from Shawnee, Oklahoma, took her first trip to junior high nationals this year after taking third in the light rifle shooting for the OKJHSRA. The 13-year-old daughter of Shane and Mandy Dockrey; and Jennifer and Gregg Garrison first started shooting rifles with her dad while hunting white-tail deer. She is the oldest of four: Dace Dockrey, 4, and Jensen Dockrey, 7 months; and Emery Garrison, 6. “I like how everyone is so supportive of each other in the OKJHSRA. And how you get to spend time with your family,” said the 8th grader. Her whole family attends a majority of her rodeos. Though she enjoys their company and support, it can be hectic. “My brother is very wild. He runs around, a lot. He finds new friends though.”
Though she is an avid marksman, Avery also competes in barrel racing, pole bending, ribbon roping and goat tying. “Poles is my favorite event. It is the most fun to me and the one my horse likes the best. I have just one horse for all my events.” Finding the perfect team mate was a challenge for Avery until two years ago when she found her current horse Sandman, an 18-year-old AQHA gelding. Her goal for this year is of course another shot at nationals, but this time in an event with her horse. “Nationals is fun because you get to meet people from different states and countries. And travel to new states.”
This year Avery is putting in even more time to her events. Her main goal is simple: keep improving. “I want to know more about the rodeo association and how it all works. I will be dedicating more time to practice and trying new techniques for my events.” The McCloud Junior High Schooler is adding cross country to her list of activities this fall. “I am running so I can stay in shape for rodeo and basketball. This is my first year to try cross country.” Playing basketball since the second grade, it is easily her favorite sport, second to rodeo of course. It is a lot to balance. “They have practice in the first hour of school so that helps out a lot. We have to be at school by 8, practice for about an hour and then go to class.” She is a member of the Junior National Honor Society and enjoys math because it comes naturally to her.
She also shows her horse in showmanship, halter and western pleasure through Pottawatomie County 4-H. Like any true rodeo girl, she also runs all the games at the 4-H shows. Luckily, she lives with her rodeo role models. “My parents always encourage me to keep practicing and working hard. They are out with me at practice telling me what I can do better.” Her dad is always the one behind the chutes with Avery before she runs. “Before I go I visualize my run. My dad helps me remember what I need to do. He always tells me to hustle, be aggressive and to stay straight in the saddle.” The tradition of rodeo has been passed down from grandpa Dockery to Avery’s dad to her and is now capturing the attention of her brother, Dace. At a three-day rodeo camp, Camp of Champions, in Sayre Avery got her best rodeo advice of all time. “One run does not determine all runs.”