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Meet the Member Darbi DeMoss
story by Michele Toberer
Although she’s in her rookie season with the Louisiana Junior High Rodeo Association, 8th grader, Darbi DeMoss is definitely not new to rodeo. With a professional bronc rider dad, Cody DeMoss, the Heflin, Louisiana cowgirl has been to more rodeos than she could count in her 13 years of life. Even when she is home, rodeo is at the forefront of the DeMoss family’s activities, as her mom, Margie, works with many local cowboys and cowgirls on their rodeo skills while Darbi and her younger brother, Wyatt, also practice. Wyatt, a 10-year-old 5th grader, is an all-around cowboy who loves to ride anything that bucks and looks forward to competing in the LJHSRA next year. Darbi is enjoying her first season with the LJHSRA and competing in an association that was a big part of her parents’ high school years.
“Cody and I were high school sweethearts. We met while we were competing in the LHSRA and have been together since. We both rodeoed for Northeast Texas Community College after we graduated, and Cody has now been rodeoing professionally for 20+ years. He has qualified for the NFR 13 times and has made a good living riding bucking horses,” explains Margie. While they were in the LHSRA, Margie was the LHSRA student president her senior year, and competed in cutting, barrels, poles and goat tying. Cody did every event possible at the high school level and competed in team roping, calf roping, steer wrestling, and saddlebronc riding in college before focusing on bronc riding in his professional career. “It’s great being back to the LHSRA and seeing Darbi compete with kids of friends that we used to compete with years ago. It feels like it happened overnight! We have friends that ask why we don’t bring her to Texas to compete, but we’ve been LHSRA all the way.” Cody still has a passion for team roping and loves to share his roping skills with Wyatt and Darbi, who team rope together in junior rodeos. “We tell Darbi all the time that she has more talent in her little pinky than her dad and I have in our whole bodies, she is very talented and just starting to come into her own. I love that she is beginning to excel in rodeo.”
Darbi is competing in breakaway roping, and her favorite event, goat tying, this year. Her mom helps her with goat tying and so far, she has had a fast time of 7.9 seconds on one of her best goat tying runs. “I ride a 22-year-old sorrel mare named Minnie for goat tying. My mom has taught me everything I know about tying goats.” Darbi rides an 11-year-old sorrel gelding for breakaway roping and gets lots of help from her dad in that event. “I’ve been working to fix some things in breakaway roping lately, I’m kind of the top-knotch queen right now! But I know I’ll get it figured out. It’s great having parents that know what they’re talking about and can show me what to do. I love watching my dad compete, but I’d much rather be out there competing myself than sitting in the stands. I love the adrenaline when I am competing.”
Darbi has been attending public school at the Lakeside Junior-Senior High School, and is involved in 4-H, student council, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In January, Darbi started attending a private school, Catfish Bend Academy, that has approximately 20 students ranging from 7th to 12th grade. “Most of the kids at the school rodeo also, and I’m excited about getting to go to school here.” When Darbi isn’t doing schoolwork, she is generally practicing, “It’s really fun to have friends come to practice here at our arena. Alyssa Culpepper is in the high school division and lives just 2 miles down the road. My mom helps her, so we get to see each other all the time.”
“I’d like to college rodeo, and one day I’d like to be a professional rodeo athlete like my dad, but not in saddlebronc riding! I’d like to be a professional breakaway roper one day. I think it’s great that breakaway ropers are starting to get more opportunities to rope at higher levels. I wish goat tying would become a professional event one day too!”