story by Ruth Nicolaus If it’s true that people act like their pets, Cassidi Alverson is a prime example. The Colorado High School Rodeo Association […]
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Meet the Member Jaycie Love
By Lindsey Fancher
Jaycie Love’s life as a cowgirl is a miracle. The 17-year-old from Eaton, Colorado is an all-around hand on the ranch and within the rodeo arena. She also is a leukemia survivor. On November 5th, 2012, Jaycie, the eldest of three, was diagnosed with Leukemia. All resources the family had went into curing her, “It was devastating,” recalls dad, Josh, “It put a strain on everybody since we had to put so much into Jaycie.” Having grown up on horseback because of her father, Jaycee continued to visit gymkhanas and jackpots throughout her battle with cancer. “I just remember not feeling good. When I was sick, I really got into horses because they were a distraction. I could feel like any other kid in the saddle,” she said. Jaycie spent nine months at Children’s hospital before battling her way through three years of chemotherapy . “She went into remission a few years ago, but you’re never really out of it,” states Josh who is working ‘a little bit of everything’ to provide for his family, “We didn’t have insurance, it was a struggle.” Friends and family all pitched in to help the Loves.
When Jaycie was ten, she roped her first live steer off horseback. From that point forward, she was hooked. Not just teaching Jaycie and her little brother, Jimmy how to rope in the practice arena, Josh taught his kids how to rope for practicality. The Love family live the roots of roping events by helping friends and neighbors work cattle on horseback. Jaycie recalls many instances when she, her dad, and Jimmy could have done faster what was needed to be done on the ground than through the chute.
Although she prefers day work, Jaycie got her start in breakaway and head heeling through jackpots. Joined by her dad, Jimmy, and little sister, Lexi, the whole family competes in rodeo. Josh used to ride saddle broncs and even went out for circuit finals in the team roping. His kids follow in his footsteps as he continues to team rope and pick up. Jaycie and Jimmy even won a buckle together in the team roping. Last year, as a high school junior, Jaycie joined the CSHSRA to expand her rodeo community. Despite missing several rodeos, she made the state finals in breakaway and heeling, but the state competition didn’t go like she had planned, “The weather was nasty, and I just wasn’t roping smart. I missed two steers and a calf. I should have thrown an extra loop.” Although state didn’t finish the way she had hoped, Jaycie plans on returning to state and Nationals next year as a heeler, hopefully alongside her brother, Jimmy, who qualified for both saddle bronc and team roping in the 2022 Junior Nationals.
The Love’s avid rodeoing and jackpotting would not be possible without Jaycie’s contributions as a big sister. Josh was able to join Jimmy for the NJHSRA Finals in Perry, GA because Jaycie stayed behind to take little sister, Lexi (11) to a jackpot. With Josh, Jaycie, and Jimmy, Lexi has quite the coaching team to help her in her barrels, poles and goat tying. “She’s starting to show signs she wants to rope,” proudly states Jaycie. She even sometime shares her precious blue roan, Dreamer, with her dad and little brother. “We have a bunch of good ranch horses, but my mare is the favorite. Dad can pick up on her and Jimmy head heels on her too,” explains Jaycie. Seeing Dreamer and her other horses come into their own is what Jaycie considers her greatest accomplishment.
Looking forward, Jaycie can’t see herself attending college without rodeoing. “I’m thinking Lamar, Colorado or a school in Kansas. To get there, Jaycie’s going to do what she can in the rodeo arena, “The rodeo is practice, we don’t have steers at home.” What drives Jaycie to keep roping is none other than her dad and brother, “I want to make them proud,” she declares. “We are proud,” responds Josh and Jimmy.