story by Michele Toberer Nineteen-year-old BJ Billingsley has been a member of the Arkansas Cowboys Association for four years, competing as a tie-down roper. BJ […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Eva Daughhetee
story by Michele Toberer
Living life to the fullest is what Eva Daughhetee is all about, and she’s enjoyed having the Arkansas Cowboys Association as a big part of that since she was 13 years old. Now 17, the Evangelical Christian School junior is involved in multiple activities but racing fast around 3 barrels on one of her beloved barrel racing equines, tops her favorites list. “I’m moving up from competing in junior barrels to the senior barrels division, and I’m excited to go compete with the big girls!”
Horses have been a constant in the West Memphis, Arkansas cowgirl’s life, as she’s grown up in a family of horsemen. Eva’s dad, Dannie Daughhetee, grew up surrounded by his dad’s cutting horses and his grandma’s racehorses and he got into the western pleasure side of showing horses once he graduated from college. Eva was riding her first horse when she was 2 years old and started out showing hunter jumpers and pleasure horses. But, once she was introduced to the barrel racing world when she was 7 years old, her need for speed couldn’t be contained. Eva’s mom, Robin came from an agricultural background, and the Daughhetee family farms rice, soybeans, cotton and corn. They used to raise beef cattle, but since their youngest daughter, Robin, 14, got interested in raising bucking bulls, they have transitioned their herd over to top quality bucking stock.
Eva has a team of horses that she is excited and grateful to compete on at ACA rodeos as well as many big barrel races. Miss Ivory Rain, lovingly known as Ivy, is a 7-year-old sorrel mare that she’s ready to hit the road with. Another 7-year old, Dandy, is a red roan gelding that is fairly new to her crew, but Eva is excited about what she’ll do with him. She’s grateful to Mary Brooks, of Kansas City, Missouri, who helps her with barrel racing, and rides and trains horses for her. “Mary has my horse, VF Big Kahuna and has ran him during his futurity years. This is his first derby year, so I’ll be running him. Mary has been so helpful and supportive, and I appreciate her so much.” Competing in the ACA, Eva has also enjoyed the support of other ACA members. “The other barrel racers in the ACA have been so helpful and answer all the questions I have. We’re all there together at the rodeos and they cheer me on and are so supportive.”
Eva still takes hunter jumper riding lessons because she feels it helps her balance and stability when riding horses even at the rodeos. When she’s not riding, she stays extremely busy between her educational responsibilities, where her favorite classes are yearbook and chemistry; and being a cheerleader for the Evangelical Christian Eagles. Most days after school, Eva has cheerleading practice and then swims a mile-and-a-half, and often doesn’t get home from practice or work until 9 p.m. She has worked as a lifeguard at two different country clubs for three years and gives swimming lessons to kids aged 2 to 11 years old. It takes a lot of dedication for Eva to also fit the time in to keep her horses ridden and legged up for competition.
Eva is considering getting a degree in ag business in the future because of her love for chemistry. Although her many activities have kept her from attending enough rodeos to win big titles in the ACA so far, she is looking forward to following the ACA circuit this season so that she can make her mark. Without a doubt, Eva will be enjoying it all along the way.