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Meet the Member Jennifer Daly
story by Lindsay King
Anything Jennifer Daly’s brother Chris Sherman could do, she wanted to try as well. That’s how she got into the roping pen in the first place. The Paxton, Nebraska, native simply grew up as a team roper. “I was always into horses, so it was just natural to step into the roping pen. I started trying my hand in the breakaway when I was in the sixth grade, but didn’t really get into it until I was in high school,” said the header. Though she started out roping horns, Jennifer also learned how to nab a pair of heels. It’s hard to pick her favorite, so they are simply equal in her eyes.
Since Chris is four years older than Jennifer, they never got to rope together in high school rodeo, but to this day they can be found across from each other in the boxes at a jackpot. “It was really neat growing up in rodeo because it was a family sport through and through. That made it truly enjoyable.” Jennifer’s dad Jerry Sherman still ropes in jackpots today as well. “My dad and brother have always been really supportive and tried to help me out in every way possible. I really admire my brother for how he presents himself in and out of the arena. He is a great roper with superb horsemanship and outstanding character.”
The swing differentiation between a head and breakaway loop makes it easy to mess one up in favor of the other. “When I practice, I try to do so with a purpose. Doing both events taught me how important it is to keep my swings separate. But I am sure I have messed them both up regardless,” she said with a laugh. A strong mental focus on the task at hand makes the most of the limited time Jennifer gets to practice. “I always have a goal to accomplish when I practice. I know I can always get better, so I have that goal in the back of my mind no matter what I am struggling with or not.” The constant up-hill battle for perfect makes an open mind a necessity when it comes to practice, Jennifer added.
Holding a number four card as both a header and heeler, Jennifer remembers one of her first big wins on the back end of a steer. “Two years ago, my husband (Bret) and I won a number nine jackpot at the Patriot. That was probably my proudest moment in rodeo because I was heeling.” Jennifer and Bret got married just a year before that. Now the couple spends a majority of their time working on the Daly Ranch, when they aren’t roping of course. “I help with whatever needs done. I am outside doing the nitty gritty work with everyone else. I wouldn’t want to do anything else honestly.”
She’s held a NSRA card for almost ten years now. Three of those Jennifer made it to the finals in the mixed team roping. Two years ago, she placed in the top five in the average after winning a round. “Last year was the first year I roped with my husband and we would certainly like to go again this year. To make it in the breakaway would be great also.” Everyone loves their hometown rodeo, but for Jennifer a lot of the NSRA events qualify as such. “Not only do the rodeos have good added money, they are also all very close to home for us. Sutherland is probably my favorite because it is one of the biggest rodeos of the summer that is close to us.” Driving a maximum of four hours to NSRA rodeos and jackpots keeps the Daly’s busy all summer long.