Meet the Member Daniel Taylor
story by Ruth Nicolaus At the suggestion of a good friend, Daniel Taylor began his Colorado High School Rodeo Association career last fall. The Greeley, […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Jacobi Larson started out as a 6th grade member in the junior division of the Colorado High School Rodeo Association. She’s grateful for the friends and rodeo family she has made in the association during the past 5 years, and is certain that next year as a senior, the season will be bittersweet as her high school rodeo years dwindle down. Jacobi was born and raised in Fowler, Colorado, where she lives on The Apishapa Ranch, a 100,000-acre family ranch with the Apishapa River winding through it. On the ranch, her family raise cattle and have a feedlot. “We raise mostly Black Angus cattle, and my dad has a purebred Charolais herd; and then we raise any type of customer cattle on the feedlot.” Jacobi’s parents, Eric and Jennie Larson, have raised Jacobi, 17, her brother Blaine, 22, and her sister, Jessica, 24 on the ranch, where Eric’s parents, Bill and Rita Larson, also reside. Although Blaine is now attending college at Colorado State University Fort Collins, he and Jacobi are working at the ranch all summer, doing fence work and taking care of cattle; and Jessica works full-time for the family business doing office and bookwork.” Although Jacobi and her siblings are third-generation cattleman, they are first-generation rodeo athletes. “My brother and sister started competing in the CSHSRA when they were in junior high and high school, and I started competing in rodeo when I was 5 years old.”
Jacobi will be a senior at Fowler High School, where she loves biology classes, and has been involved in FFA as well as the Future Business Leaders of America. She has also played volleyball 3 years for the school but doesn’t plan to play this next year so that she can focus her energies towards rodeo competition. She competes in barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway, team roping, and reined cow horse. For breakaway roping and heading, she uses a red roan 11-year-old gelding named Ringo that she purchased from Jessie Jolley last March. And she has been riding a 14-year-old buckskin mare named Cisco, who she’s owned since she was 5, for the past 2 years in barrel racing. However, the star of Jacobi’s equine team is a 13-year-old sorrel mare named J.J., who she rides in pole bending. “J.J. is like the princess of our family. She is a daughter of Frenchman’s Guy, and we bought her sight-unseen when she was 2 years old. She’s a great all-around horse that I’ve been riding since I was 10 years old. My sister and I used to both run barrels and poles on her until just a couple years ago, and my sister also used her in trail horse competitions. I can breakaway rope on her and use her on the ranch. I made it to national finals on her in barrel racing in 6th and 7th grade and have won 4 Colorado state pole bending titles on her. I recently won the 2019 Reserve Champion Pole Bender title on her in Gallup, New Mexico at the Best of the Best rodeo; and won the 2019 CSHSRA Champion Pole Bender title at state finals. At nationals, we ended up 7th place in the world in pole bending, after winning 6th in the first go and 9th in the short go. Because of J.J., pole bending is my favorite event.”
Before rodeos, Jacobi is generally listening to old country music, like George Strait; and talking to her best friend, Shyanna Reeves; and she doesn’t ever enter the arena without praying before her runs.
While looking forward to her final high school rodeo season, Jacobi looks to the future, where she intends to college rodeo while attaining an ag business degree. She sees herself working in the equine therapy field, but ultimately wants to work on the family ranch and continue to rodeo. “I really appreciate my parents and grandparents, and everyone else that has helped me along the way. Linsay Sumpter, the coach at Otero Junior College, has helped me so much with my events, especially breakaway and team roping. The CSHSRA is honestly my favorite association because of all the great people I’ve met there, and everyone is willing to help each other no matter what.”
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