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Meet the Member Justin Plaisance
story by Michele Toberer
Justin Plaisance rolled into Huron, South Dakota ready to show the world why he was the 2019 LJHSRA Champion All-Around Cowboy, and that is exactly what he accomplished. The 14-year-old, Virtual Academy of Lafourche 8th grader qualified for the National Finals Junior High Rodeo in tie-down roping, team roping, chute dogging, and ribbon roping, and was in the top 20 junior high cowboys in the world in 3 of the 4 events he competed in, by the end of the week. His nervousness subsided as he was in the arena thanks to an incredible amount of preparation prior to the event; and his favorite blue socks that helped him feel lucky all season long.
Justin is grateful for a fabulous 2019 LJHSRA season, finishing as the 2019 LJHSRA champion chute dogger, tie-down roper, and heeler; heeling for Brayden Aymond. He was also the 4th place ribbon roper with runner, Kate Eiland. Throughout his three years of junior high competition, success has been growing and in 2017 he was the LJHSRA Champion Rookie All-Around Cowboy; and finished 37th in the world in breakaway roping at the 2018 NJHFR “I practice my events practically every day, and believe that you get what you put in. Competing in multiple events definitely keeps me busy, so I don’t have many other hobbies, but focus my attention towards improving in each of my events.” That focus and preparation brought Justin to a 14th in the world chute dogging and team roping finish at the NJHSFR, as well as an 18th place ribbon roping placing. He was just outside of being short-round bound in tie-down roping, finishing in 21st place in the world in his favorite event. Justin feels that competing at the national level as a 6th and 7th grader helped him know how to prepare mentally for the intense pressure of such a tremendous competition.
Justin rides his 20-year-old all-around horse, Deuce, in tie-down roping, heeling, and ribbon roping. He’s owned the chestnut mare for 6 years and is grateful to be able to achieve so much success on the reliable Quarter Horse. Justin has been riding horses since before he could walk, and over the years of rodeo competition in multiple rodeo association, he’s earned over 73 buckles, 7 saddles, 2 reserve all-around titles, 6 all-around champion cowboy titles, plus 2 top 4 world champion buckles.. His parents, John and Julie Plaisance are proud and supportive parents that work hard to provide him with all of the opportunities they can. John is a contract welder, and Julie works in human resources for a contracting company. The family also operates JP Farms, a family business in their hometown of Cut Off, Louisiana, where they are surrounded by relatives and a long history in the area.
“My dad’s been my main help with roping, and also Mr. Dan Hernandez. Mr. Dan comes every day to rope calves and steers with me in our arena.” Justin appreciates his parents and Dan for all they do to help him achieve his goals. He also looks to professional ropers for ideas on improving, “I like to watch Cory Solomon and Shane Hanchey. Shane always talks about the importance of your mental game, and I’ve learned a lot about being prepared for competition from him. I really like to watch Cory because he runs so fast down the rope and has such fast hands.”
Justin was proud to represent an association he loves at the national level. “LHSRA gives great prizes, and the members become like family. LHSRA has great sponsors also. One sponsor bought all the national team our felt back numbers, and another sponsor bought us all our national qualifier jackets while we were out there.” He looks forward to competing as a freshman in high school next year with the LHSRA and plans to compete in team roping and tie-down roping. His goal for next year is to qualify for the national finals, earn another rookie all-around title, and find himself in the short round once again, as a freshman. Although he has four years of high school to go, Justin hopes to attend McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana to college rodeo while earning a degree.