story by Lindsay Humphrey As a first-generation rodeo athlete, Abree Ensey and her 16-year-old sister, Paige, are figuring things out as they go along. They […]
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Meet the Member – Caxton Martin
by Siri Stevens
Caxton Martin, from Alma, Kan., was leading the All Around going into the second round of the NJHFR in Des Moines, Iowa. “You’ve still got to the seal the deal and it’s not over yet,” she said in an interview following the first round. “Last year I didn’t do so good, so I changed some things – last year my good barrel horse got hurt and the last round of the breakaway I missed and this year I’ve got a new goat horse. I really changed how I thought about it – I came here to have fun and do what I know how to do.”
Going into the second round, Caxton made it back to the short go in three events. “I knew I was sitting pretty good going into the short go.” She didn’t have the short go she had planned for. “I missed my short round calf, then I went to tie my goats – I’d been 8.5, 8.6 and I bobbled my time and I was a 10, so I ended up sixth. Finally I made a good barrel run, third and ninth in the average. I didn’t think I’d won it at all – I didn’t even know if I’d won reserve. When they announced my name I was pretty excited.”
Caxton practices all the time, riding her horses three times a week, she tries to make five smooth runs on goats three times a week. “I try to have a rope in my hands every day and ride at least two horses a day,” she said. “We had a pole shed, but it fell down due to snow. So we put a hay bale on a sled to rope off my horse. Its hard work, but it pays off in the end.”
Caxton will move on to high school rodeo next year. She has made the junior high finals the last three years. Graduating with a class of 12, she has opted to home school next year to allow more time for practice. “I went to school in Alta Vista, but this year I would have had to go 40 miles away to high school, so that extra time spent traveling I can spend practicing.” She admits to being very social and thinks that home schooling will challenge that, hoping that rodeo will help fill that void. She is going to enter a few amateur rodeos this summer in the URA, where her brother competes.
She started competing because of her brother, Cooper Martin, who started rodeoing and she followed in his footsteps. Her parents did not rodeo, but her dad grew up on a ranch. There are not very many people that rodeo close to her, but her dad (Chris) pulls the sled and her mom (Candi) helps her in the goats. “It was meant to be,” she said. “I had more fun this year – I went to some things with my friends to get my mind off rodeo. I got the horses out three times a day, but I still got away.” She was able to do that thanks to all the people that helped, including ??? who came to watch her in the short go after making a deal with her that if she made it in all three events, they would come. They drove four hours to get there.