story by Siri Stevens Cole Steib’s first year in the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo was successful. The sixth grader made it to Nationals in the […]
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Meet the Member Avery Tate
story by Michele Toberer
All it took when Avery Tate was just three-years-old, was a trip to the rodeo with her dad, Beau, to watch her Nanny, Leah Young, competing to get the young girl hooked. Her dad explained, “I brought a horse and she rode around with me outside the arena while we watched, and when she saw the barrel racing that was all she wanted to do. After the rodeo we went in and walked around the barrel pattern and she loved it.” Avery started competing in rodeos herself when she was 5, and although neither Beau, an engineer, or her mom, Jessica, a speech therapist, nor her brothers, Carson, 17, and Collin, 12, have ever competed; for Avery she found the perfect outlet for her competitive drive and love for horses.
As a 13-year-old, eighth-grader at Mire Elementary that enjoys ELA and science courses, Avery keeps a busy schedule, as a 3.8 GPA student that is involved in cheerleading and Beta club. But horses and rodeo are what consumes much of her time. She has competed in the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo Association during her sixth, seventh and eighth-grade years and has qualified for the LJHSRA state finals rodeo each year. She loves competing in the LJHSRA and looks forward to entering the high school ranks next year when she becomes a freshman at Notre Dame, a catholic high school in Crowley, Louisiana. Crowley is also one of Avery’s favorite LJHSRA rodeo locations, since she is comfortable at the arena where she often practices barrels and poles with trainer, Katie Breaux. “I really like how fun it is to compete in LJHSRA and appreciate the good opportunities and competition it gives me.”
Avery has also been competing in the Louisiana Little Britches Association for several years and went to the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo in 2017 and 2018, where she not only made the short-go in pole bending, but also finished eighth-place in the nation in the trail competition last year. “I have three horses that I mainly compete on for my events. Ashley is an older chestnut mare that I’ve had for three years, and ride in barrel racing. Oakie is an 11-year-old sorrel gelding that I’ve owned since I was 7; we bought him for barrel racing, but I worked with him on pole bending, and he does so well that’s mainly all I use him for now. For the trail competition, I use a bay Welsh pony named Daisy.” Avery had been to a horse sale in Lufkin, Texas with her grandfather, Jeffrey Fontenot, and when she rode the little Welsh pony the day before the sale, she called and begged her parents to let her buy her. She then worked with Daisy, turning her into the trail competitor she is today.
Although Avery loves the competitive aspect of rodeo, horses are her true passion, “I love rodeo and how hard you have to work to do well in it. I basically love being with the horses and competing with them, it’s really rewarding to do well on them after putting so much time in.” At the half-way point in the LJHSRA season, Avery is currently in second-place in poles and third-place in barrels and is enjoying seeing her hard work paying off. Most days, Avery rides her horses after school, but she often wakes up early so that she can ride before she leaves for school. If she’s not working with her rodeo horses, you will often find her working with her yearling colt, or another young horse she is training for barrel racing. She enjoys trail riding for fun, and likes to take care of all her animals, including the family’s two dogs, a Mini Rat Terrier named Dewey, and a black Lab named Willow.
With several years to ponder, Avery hasn’t quite made the decision on what she wants to do for her future, but she’s confident it will be something to do with horses. “I want to thank my dad for everything he does for me; for helping with the horses and helping me to get better with all the lessons.”