Meet the Member: Grayce Baxter
Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
story by Riata Cummings
David Charles is from Payson, Utah, where there is “good people and beautiful scenery.” He is the middle child of Michelle and David Charles, and his siblings are McKenna and Dagan. As a family they enjoy going for Razor rides, boating trips, and horse rides.
David attends Payson High School as a senior, and his favorite classes include a business management course and a veterinary assistant training class. David is the president of the Payson High School FFA Chapter, and he competes in the Horse Judging and Farm Business Management Career Development Events. “Being an officer has given me the opportunity to strengthen my leadership skills. I have learned how to accomplish things and get things done; how to get people involved and keep up enthusiasm.” After high school, David plans to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He then hopes to attend Utah State University as an agricultural business student.
David was raised with horses and decided that he wanted to take that hobby to the next level. His eighth-grade year, David’s neighbor, John Ballard, taught him how to rope. By the spring of his freshman year, David began team roping with Gage Penrod. The Penrod family introduced him to the cow cutting. As a sophomore and junior, David split his time between heading and cutting. In the cutting last year, he was the Nutrena Team representative and finished 6th in the state. This year he decided that “cutting was his passion and deserved more of his focus.” He loves that cutting “gives you enough time in the pen to think about what is happening and adjust your performance.” While many rodeo events are only a few seconds long, cutters get center stage for two and a half minutes every round. David also loves that the “cutting community is as close as a family. Its like being at home at the rodeo.”
David’s rodeo horses include Skip, an Elk Ridge gelding with plenty of speed and a good temperament, and Smokin’, a quick, little sorrel cutting horse trained by Scott Amos. David tries to exercise his horses every day and takes Smokin’ to practice cutting with Shaun Tree a couple times a week.
Some of David’s most memorable rounds of cutting include his very first win and the first time he took both rounds in one weekend. At the Oakley rodeo his junior year, David lost a couple cows and scored a 60 during the first round. He spent the time between rounds considering his mistakes and contemplating improvements. Then he walked in the pen and won the second round. “It felt great because I had just come out of such a bad round, and, when I focused on what I knew I could do better, it paid off.” This year he is working for a state championship and national qualification, and he hopes to make more memorable runs along the way.
David’s hero is his grandfather, Grant Jensen, who worked hard from a young age and was always courteous and helpful to those around him. David lives by the saying, “Faith and sweat.” The quote reminds him of the two things most important to him. “Everything I do, I try to rely on my faith. It gives me a hope that everything will work out, which is really encouraging. But nothing comes without hard work. You have to believe that good things will happen and then go out and work for them.”
David would like to thank John Ballard for getting him started down the rodeo road. He would like to thank the Penrod family, Shaun Tree, Scott Amos, Alex Christofferson and Dale Christofferson for helping him with his rodeo career. He would also like to thank his parents for supporting him in every way. “Thank you all for your help and support. I wouldn’t be where I am, or moving in the direction I am, without your guidance.”
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