story by Ruth Nicolaus Jozee Sheffield’s favorite things are horses and cattle. For the horses, it’s Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo. For the cattle, it’s […]
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Meet the Member Gracey Rodocker
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Gracey Rodocker loves vintage clothes, old country music, and rodeo.
The Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association member, who lives at Taylor, Neb., raids her mother’s closet for rodeo shirts and has her own fashion sense. She also enjoys Waylon Jennings and George Strait’s music.
In rodeo, she competes in the barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and breakaway roping, with barrels being her best event because “I put the most time and effort into it.”
For the barrels, she rides her sorrel mare named Missi. For the poles and goats, she rides her bay gelding named Jet, and for the breakaway, she rides her horse named Whiskey. Missi is a typical mare, Gracey said. “She definitely has quirks. Sometimes she’s just mad at the whole entire world but most of the time she’s very loving.” Missi can be a pain when a person cinches her up. “If she’s in a bad mood, she’ll nip at you and act like she’s going to bite, but she doesn’t.” Jet has his own quirks: “you can give him water after a run, but he won’t drink it. He’ll just play in it.”
An eighth grade graduate of Loup County Public Schools, she enjoys her school. She is one of six students in the eighth grade class, which makes her classmates feel like family, she says. She loves studying earth science but is not crazy about English. And school lunches aren’t bad at all. Her favorite is hot dogs, with ketchup and sweet or dill relish. Her least favorite school lunch is chicken alfredo.
The best food her mom makes is sloppy joes. Her favorite vegetable is carrots and her favorite fruit is cantaloupe. She loves Mountain Dew and her favorite dessert is any kind of ice cream, with toppings like sprinkles and caramel or chocolate syrup. She’s also a chocoholic; she loves dark chocolate.
Gracey participates in volleyball, basketball, FFA, FBLA, is a member of the Safe Driving Committee, and is on the honor roll.
The most fun she’s had on a trip was going to the AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City in 2017 with her mom and grandparents. Her mom ran barrels there on her grandparents’ stud, and she shopped and ate lobster for the first time, which she enjoyed.
Gracey loves hanging out with her friends. When she’s with her friends who live in the country, they drive around on their four-wheelers or side-by-sides, checking cows and playing with siblings. For her friends who live in town, they hang out at the gas station or the Lazy D Restaurant, both in Taylor.
She and her mom have an inside dog Jojo (a toy mini Aussie), an outdoor dog Blakeley (a mini Aussie crossed with a border collie/hanging tree cross); a chicken named Beth, and horses.
At state finals her sixth grade year, she finished in the top ten in the barrels. In seventh grade, when the season ended due to Covid, she was in the top ten again.
Gracey also competes in the Mid-States Rodeo Association, the NBHA and Better Barrel Races.
In 2018 she served as the Miss Southwestern Nebraska Princess and a year later was the Little Miss Burwell Rodeo princess.
Her mom, Sally Peters, loves everything about her daughter. “She has her own sense of style. She’s very unique.” She appreciates her daughter’s motivation. “She strives to do better and be better at everything. She’s very driven when it comes to rodeo but also she’s pretty driven about her schoolwork and getting things done.
“Her quirky little personality makes me smile every day.”
Her father is Bryan Rodocker.