Meet the Member Slade Thompson
story by Julie Carter When you’re not naturally gifted with talent, you make it look like you are with try. Portales Junior High rough stock […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
“She has a big heart and big personality,” said Cylee Jo Roberts’ mom, Chancie. Described as an introverted extrovert, 11-year-old Cylee Jo is the middle sibling of 8-year-old Catch and Caydence who’s 13. “I’ve been riding on my own since I was 2 years old,” Cylee Jo said who’s from Las Cruces, New Mexico. “My sister was already doing rodeo, so I was going along with her. That’s when I first started and now, I outrun my sister on her horses sometimes.” Catch is already getting into rodeo too – he ropes and rides bull. “It’s fun competing with my siblings, it makes it exciting especially when I beat them. Those rides home can be kind of long though.”
As a fifth grader, this is Cylee Jo’s first year with the NMJHSRA. “When I first found out I could compete in in the NMJHSRA, I was really excited because I didn’t have to just watch my sister at those rodeos anymore.” She’s enjoyed the experience so far and is looking forward to the spring season. “Even if I don’t do well, every rodeo is always fun. I’ve liked meeting new kids and going to nationals with my sister last year.” Getting a taste of nationals has helped motivate Cylee Jo for this season. “I’d just like to do well and have fun. Having a good run means a lot and I‘ve had quite a few of those already.” Clean runs and placing are how Cylee Jo gauges doing well at a rodeo.
She’s had her fair share of trials in the last year, but Cylee Jo doesn’t let them derail her lofty goals. Just a few days before heading to Las Vegas for the Mike & Sherrylynn Johnson Vegas’ Fuffest and Junior World Finals, Cylee Jo’s main barrel horse, Jericho, went in for colic surgery. The very next day she had a new horse, Crazy 8, loaded up for the big event. “It was my first time there and I was on a new horse, so it didn’t go so well. I was disappointed I didn’t get to run Jericho and I was really nervous about running Crazy 8.” It was two months after acquiring Crazy 8 that Cylee Jo ran him at a qualifier for Vegas’ Tuffest. “I ran in the 12 & under and 19 & under barrels. This was my second year, and it was really exciting because the girls were tough.” Cylee Jo steered her gelding to win both age divisions.
In addition to running barrels, Cylee Jo also competes in poles, goats, breakaway and ribbons in the NMJHSRA. Poles is easily her second-favorite event thanks to 12-year-old, Dreamer. “I’ve had him four years now and he’s always been my pole horse. He’s so easy and he’s so consistent that he makes running poles fun. Last year he won horse with most heart at the Sherry Cervi Championships.” Dreamer was loaned out to a high school competitor last year and found his way to nationals.
In pursuit of an all-around title, Cylee Jo dove headfirst into breakaway and ribbons.
“I caught five out of six calves at the junior high rodeos, which I did not expect. I use the same horse for breakaway and goats. I run ribbons for Liam Powell, which is an event my mom talked me into doing. I do like it and I have a good partner so that makes it even more fun.” Cylee Jo’s parents, Casey and Chancie, are the reason all three of their kids got into rodeo in the first place. They do everything from pay entry fees and haul horses to help feed and clean pens. “When we’re at school, my mom will keep horses exercised for us. They [my parents] coach me and it helps me a lot. Mom helps me tune on my horses if we’re doing something wrong. And my dad helps me in the chutes and everything for breakaway. The pep talks they give remind me what I need to do – sometimes that’s simply what barrel to go to because when I switch horses the first barrel is different, and it confuses me sometimes. My mom always tells me not to fall off and make sure I get a time.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.