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Meet the Member Jaxson Mirabal
story by Ruth Nicolaus
It was in Jaxson Mirabal’s blood to be a cowboy.
The 14-year-old cowboy, a resident of Magdalena, N.M., comes from a long line of all-around hands, and he’s following in their footsteps. His great-grandad, Joseph Nicoll, and his uncle, Fletcher Tigner, rode saddle broncs, his uncle Stetson Herrera rode bareback horses, and his uncle Dustan Sant is a tie-down roper.
The New Mexico Junior High School Rodeo Association member does every boys event in junior high rodeo: saddle bronc riding and steer saddle bronc riding, steer bareback riding, bull riding, goat tying, chute dogging, tie-down roping, team roping and ribbon roping. Of all his events, the saddle bronc riding is his favorite, “but I love them all for different reasons,” he said.
Jaxson rides a 20-year-old horse named Tank for his timed events. Tank, who is short and stocky as his name implies, is “a really sweet horse, but when you go into the arena he’s really hyper and ready to do his job,” Jaxson said. “Not just anyone can ride him. The way he acts inside the arena is pretty powerful but it’s fun. I like it.”
He is an eighth grade student at Magdalena Middle School, where his favorite classes are math and P.E. In P.E., he likes playing basketball. He likes to write in language arts class, but reading what the teacher instructs isn’t his favorite. He’s not against reading, he just likes to read what interests him.
Jaxson is vice-president of the National Junior High School Rodeo Association, and that requires him to travel to several meetings, including the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this December, and to Lebanon, Tenn. for mid-winter meetings and the National Junior High School Finals next June. As for school sports, he plays football, basketball, and runs track. He is on his school’s A Honor Roll.
He has qualified for state finals both his sixth and seventh grade years, and in seventh grade, finished the year as state champion bareback rider, reserve champion steer saddle bronc rider, and reserve all-around. Last summer, he qualified for the National Junior High Finals in the goat tying, steer bareback riding and steer saddle bronc riding, finishing the year in fourteenth place in the nation.
When he grows up, Jaxson would like to ranch. He is the sixth generation of his family to be part of the Tigner Cattle Co.
He has an older brother, Jorrell, who is 16, a younger brother, Joren, who is 12, and three sisters: Jorianne, age nine, Jewel, age six, and Jintrie, age three. He is the son of Jory and Mary Anne Mirabal.