Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Member Jessica Fox
Story by Riata Cummings
Jessica Fox is the 18-year-old daughter of Layne and Angela Fox of Lawrence, Utah. She is an older sister to Jaylynn and Wyatt. They enjoy spending time together in the practice arena, on the rodeo road, or supporting one another’s sporting events.
Jessica is a senior at Emery High School, and her favorite classes are agriculture focused. She is serving as the Emery FFA Chapter Treasurer and competes in the parliamentary procedure leadership development event. Her halter making business, JFoxy Halters, recently won the Utah FFA Agricultural Sales – Entrepreneurship proficiency award. After graduating, Jessica would like to begin pursuing her degree in agricultural education at Utah State University Eastern.
Jessica’s father and his siblings competed in rodeo, and she gained a passion for the sport while watching and learning from them. She started pursuing rodeo in 6th grade, and she now competes in the breakaway roping and team roping through the UHSRA. Her favorite event is the breakaway roping where “you have to be quick, know what you’re doing and do it perfectly to win.” Jessica has won several qualifying rodeos, and she finished in the top 15 breakaway ropers last year. This year she has set a goal to qualify for nationals in the breakaway roping and finish in the top 20 team ropers.
Jessica’s horses are Lippy, the “big sweetheart” breakaway horses who gets her there every time, and Spanky, the “knucklehead” heel horse who “knows his job but has an attitude.” She ropes the dummy daily, and frequently ropes steers and calves with her family’s help. “I try to take two or three calves for myself and use the rest to make sure Lippy is working right. It’s important to make sure my horse doesn’t make bad habits of scotching or blowing me off.”
One of the biggest influences in Jessica’s rodeo career is her Aunt Amy. “She lets me borrow horses when I need them, and she helps coach me in practice. She ropes competitively and it gives us a special connection. I really look up to her.” The rest of Jessica’s family helps her practice, especially her father. “My dad is a great coach, and so supportive. I really couldn’t do it without him.”
Jessica lives by the saying, “Obstacles are things you see when you take your eyes off of your goals.” This quote reminds her that “if you take your eyes off your goals you will focus on all the things you have to overcome to get there. If you only think about your goal then you won’t see the things that make you doubt.”
One of Jessica’s greatest strengths is her friendly disposition. “I try to say hi to everyone, even if they aren’t the kind of people most would seek out. I want them to know they have a friend.” This has helped her create a network of friends and supporters at the rodeos. “My friends are really good to help me and push me to be better. We work towards our goals together and, even if one of us does bad, we help each other get through things.” One day, Jessica would like to be known as “someone willing to help anyone. I want others to know that if they need something, I would be willing to help.”
Jessica would like to thank her family for supporting her rodeo dreams and encouraging her every step of the way. She would also like to thank the friends that have pushed her to become better and helped her overcome the challenges of competition.