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Meet the Member: Dara Suckla
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Dara Suckla lives in Colorado but rodeos in New Mexico. That’s because the Colorado cowgirl lives closer to the New Mexico Junior High School Rodeos than the Colorado ones.
She competes in the barrels, breakaway, and ribbon roping, with barrels being her favorite. She feels more knowledgeable about barrels, and that’s because her mom, Christie, has shared her expertise with her.
Her horses are as opposite as can be. Her barrel horse, Snapper, is an older white horse who is a crazy mare, Dara says. “She’s really bossy. She thinks she’s better than anybody else, especially when we go to run.” But she’s a keeper, and she was ridden by Dara’s older sister as well. “Everything we enter her in, she wins us money.”
Her roping horse is Tex, who is another older horse. She started riding on him when she was three years old, and used to use him for barrels till Snapper came along. Tex isn’t too ambitious. “He’s very laid back. He falls asleep while I wait to rope. He’s a lazy horse but he gets the job done.”
Dara is an eighth grade student at Dolores Middle School. She loves lunchtime, when she gets to hang out with friends and talk. Her favorite teacher was her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Whetherly. Mrs. Whetherly was the best because she was honest with students, and she made learning fun with games.
Even though she is not very tall, Dara’s favorite sport after rodeo is basketball. “I’m pretty dang short but I love basketball,” she emphasized. She is involved in the history fair, with her project on the town of McPhee, which was destroyed when the McPhee Reservoir was built.
She loves to hunt, shooting prairie dogs with her .22 long rifle. She got a deer last year and sometimes goes with her dad to hunt coyotes, so they don’t eat theirb baby calves.
When she grows up, she’d like to be a nurse practitioner. Her family has given her plenty of experience in witnessing accidents. Her sister, Bri, has had three broken bones and her dad, Rowdy, broke his wrist when he got bucked off once. Dara has had a broken bone, too, an elbow that required surgery and two pins.
She has qualified for state finals her sixth and seventh grade years, and finished in eighth place in the barrels last year at finals. The Suckla family ranches near Cortez, Colorado.