Meet the Member Meadow Burns
story by Lindsay Humphrey It’s been a long time coming, but Meadow Burns is finally competing in the OHSRA. It’s both her first and last […]
story by Lindsay King
At just 8 years old, Brie Wells was faced with a choice that would change the trajectory of her life: pursue rodeo or professional skiing? She chose rodeo and it was almost a no brainer, even at such a young age. “My family skied a lot when I was younger, and I got invited to be on a ski team in Colorado. I am the type of person that wants to be the best at whatever I am doing. I couldn’t go ski for a few months and then come back and try to rodeo,” said the 17-year-old. Horses were always part of Brie’s life, but rodeo didn’t come into the mix until she was 6. “My mom rode cutting horses a little bit and that’s what I got started in.”
Originally a cutter and reiner, Brie’s partners weren’t that well versed in horses. As a result, they sought out experts to help Brie learn how to ride and eventually rodeo. “J.D. Yates is the most important person in my life. He’s been a part of everything that I have done in the horse world. He helped me find my first cow horse and was at my first world show when I was 8 years old.” To hear the emotion in Brie’s voice when she talks about J.D. makes the weight of the relationship palpable. “He’s one of the greatest horseman that I know and he’s done everything he can to keep me on good horses.” At high school nationals last year, Brie’s good calf horse coliced. J.D. made sure she had a mount to compete on. All through junior high, Brie competed in barrel racing, breakaway roping, pole bending, team roping, cutting and reined cow horse. “I used to do all the events, except goat tying, but I have narrowed myself down to focus on barrels and breakaway for college.”
Last October Brie moved from LeMars, Iowa, to Weatherford, Texas. It was a strategic move to help Brie get on the right path for accomplishing her rodeo goals. “I don’t come from a rodeo family, but my parents – Pam and Greg – have done everything they can to help me get headed in the right direction.” Neither of Brie’s brothers – Nick, 28, and Curran, 18 – had any interest in horses or rodeo. Before moving to Texas, this high school senior competed all across Iowa. “It seemed like everything in Iowa was always several hours away. And the weather made it hard to get a lot of practice in. I decided that if rodeo was something I was going to pursue, I needed to be down in Oklahoma or Texas where I could be hauling somewhere every day.”
Originally Brie planned to live in Oklahoma with family friends, but the situation in Weatherford worked out at just the right time. Luckily, the furthest Brie will have to drive for an OHSRA event is four hours. “My friends in Oklahoma always told me how great the association was down here. And they are right. They always have good ground and good calves for us. The association itself is ran very well.” Brie is enjoying her final year as a senior before she heads to Weatherford College to pursue a degree in communications.
“Originally I didn’t want to go to college. I realized it might be a good idea to college rodeo for a few years instead of just jumping in head first to fill my pro permit.” After spending time on the rodeo trail, Brie could see herself getting into the breeding side of barrel horses. “It might sound really cheesy, but I just love having fast horses. I find all the training that goes into barrel racing and following the bloodlines really interesting. I’ve always loved that side of it.”
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