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 […]
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Meet the Member: Baylee LaFleur
story by Ruth Nicolaus
The Plain City, Utah cowgirl has won the title two years in a row, and in addition to queen pageants, competes as a barrel racer, pole bender, breakaway roper, and does the reining cow horse.
She has three horses for her events: Moon, for the barrels and poles, her dad’s rope horse Leroy, for the breakaway, and Tag, her reining cow horse and queening horse. Tag is extra special to her, as they won second place in the horsemanship at the 2014 National High School Finals Rodeo Queen pageant, and finished in the top ten last year.
She is a senior at Fremont High School, where she is part of the American Sign Language (ASL) Honor Society Club, is a National Honor Society member, is on the honor roll, and is president of HOSA (a high school group for future health professionals.) She does several service projects related to ASL and HOSA.
She will graduate from high school just a few credits short of an associate’s degree in general sciences, and has been accepted to the University of Utah this fall. Baylee hopes to study biochemistry and go on to medical school, where she would like to be a neurosurgeon. The human body interests her. “I think it is fascinating,” she said. “I like the inside more than the outside.”
Utah’s high school rodeo queen competition is run differently than most states’ programs. Each high school rodeo has a queen pageant, and girls carry points throughout the year to go to state finals. It’s a great experience to take part in a pageant, Baylee said, and queening has benefited her very much. “Rodeo has a ton to offer, and you can learn a lot through any event: setting goals, dedication, hard work, practice. Queening in particular gives you more life skills. I’m very comfortable speaking in front of a large crowd.” Interviews and practice interviews have helped, too. “Now that I’m a senior and I’m interviewing for jobs and scholarships, I’m extremely comfortable in an interview and I’m able to get my thoughts across well.”
Taking tests for the pageants has also taught her skills. “With the test every weekend, that’s given me really good study habits. I’m used to memorizing information and understanding it, and being able to explain it to the judges.”
When she has spare time, Baylee and her entire family love to be outdoors, skiing, hiking, swimming, fishing and hunting. She hunts deer, elk, pheasants and ducks.
She has competed at state finals all three years in the queening. Her freshman year, she finished as first runner up. Her sophomore and junior years, she won the title, and at Nationals, she took fifth runner-up her sophomore year and third runner-up her junior year.
Baylee is the oldest of four, including sisters Courtney, age fifteen and Morgan, nine, and brother Brock, who is eleven. Courtney is involved with Fremont High School’s drill team, and Morgan and Brock rodeo.
She is the daughter of Troy and Sherry LaFleur.