story by Siri Stevens Wesley Lammers is the National Junior High School Rodeo Association president. “I ran for president last year in Des Moines Iowa, […]
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Meet the Member: Karley Pollock
By Lily Weinacht
Karley Pollock of Bayfield, Colo., has spent much of her 12 years thus far rodeoing, and she fully intends to keep living the lifestyle as she grows up. She is the third generation of her family to rodeo, the sport introduced into her family by her dad, Mark Pollock. “He grew up in Canada riding saddle broncs and he made it to the NHSFR three times,” says Karley. “He started college rodeoing in Dodge City, Kansas, where he met my mom.”
After making their home in Bayfield, Mark and Cindy Pollock started a small cattle operation, and Karley and her older sister, Sheigh (16), have grown up working alongside their parents. “When my sister started rodeoing, I was eight, and I wanted to do it too,” Karley recalls. “I really look up to her, because she’s rodeoed a lot and helped me out. She’s a good role model for me.”
Karley competes in the CJHSRA in barrel racing and pole bending, while Sheigh does breakaway roping, team roping, and barrel racing in the CSHSRA. “Barrels are my favorite because they’re the first event I started doing and I caught on to them really easily,” says Karley. “I watch the NFR every year, and seeing those girls competing makes me want to make it to the NFR someday – plus I want to know what it feels like to run down a tunnel!” Karley’s dad often joins her when she practices, giving her advice, plus he is teaching her to team rope. As she grows more comfortable with it, Karley hopes to start competing as a header next rodeo season.
Karley won her first saddle in 2011 in the Four State Junior Rodeo Association, while she held her first rodeo royalty title in 2013. “I was the Durango Fiesta Days Junior Princess, and I’d like to run for princess soon,” says Karley. “I loved riding in the parades and being in grand entries. Running for Miss Rodeo America has always been a goal of mine, and I’ve always wanted to be Miss Rodeo America and run barrels at the NFR at the same time.” One of Karley’s close friends, Cassidy (Cabot) Bach, was Miss Rodeo Colorado in 2012, and she is one of Karley’s greatest inspirations when it comes to being a rodeo queen.
Making their home about 15 minutes outside of town, the Pollock family raises cattle and keeps the usual cats and dogs, according to Karley. Her rodeo horse, KB, used to be Sheigh’s. “KB is a little ditzy and in her own little land most of the time, but she’s friendly and she likes to be with people,” says Karley. “She can never be by herself just before a run, so my sister will come over on her rope horse and keep her company.” Karley and Sheigh ride on the roads around their house and practice together, pulling the roping dummy into the shop when it’s cold.
Beyond rodeo, Karley is a seventh grader at Ignacio Middle School. She loves solving problems, making math her favorite subject, though she also enjoys playing volleyball and basketball. As soon as school is out, Karley heads home for riding, roping, or spending time with her family. “My dad is a project manager for a construction company, and he’s out of town a lot, so we like to go out for dinner or watch a movie when he’s home,” Karley explains. “During Christmas break, I also went skiing for the first time in Durango.”
While her long term goals include competing in the WNFR, Karley’s goal for the near future is qualifying for the NHSFR and working her way up in the standings of the CJHSRA. “I’m very blessed to do what I do,” she finishes, “and I work hard every day!”