story by Lindsay Humphrey No stranger to junior high nationals, Zoey Cline from Corona, New Mexico, is optimistic she can make a third appearance on […]
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Meet the Member Laramie Martinez
story by Lindsay King
Laramie Martinez was privy to swinging a loop from the back of a horse long before he got to do it on his own accord. “I was team roping at a USTRC jackpot when I was six months pregnant with Laramie and I didn’t know it. As soon as he was born he wanted to be bareback on a horse,” said Monteal, Laramie’s mom. As soon as Laramie could hold something in his hand, that’s where a rope could be found. “Rodeo goes all the way back to our great grandparents (Martin and Jenice Martinez). Laramie’s great grandma was a jockey; she had the horses and her husband had the cattle,” she added. At the ripe age of five, Laramie was roping calves already.
The 13-year-old is a team roper by blood, but a heeler by choice. He also breakaway ropes and chute dogs in the NMJHSRA. “I have been heeling since I was small. My whole family team ropes. I rope with my parents, brother (Lariat, 17), aunts, uncles, grandpa, everyone,” said the Aztec, New Mexico, cowboy. As a full-blooded member of the Navajo nation, team roping is simply something Laramie has grown up around. Basketball is also a family sport. “My whole family plays basketball and I like to watch it. I don’t have a favorite team to watch; they are all different which makes it fun.”
What started out as 100 head of cattle – 50 beef and 50 Corrientes – has only continued to grow. Both Laramie and his older brother plan to become part of the family cattle business one day. Getting the boys addicted to roping was easy once their practice animals were just out the back door. As an eighth grader, Laramie is only in his second year competing with the NMJHSRA. “Before we started junior high rodeo we just went to a lot of jackpots and a few rodeos every once in a while. Someone asked my brother to rope with them in high school, so it just made sense that I should compete in the junior highs.” When someone asked Laramie to be their roping partner, the decision was solidified. “There are more events in junior high rodeo and I like that I am competing against people my own age.”
As the year unfolds, Laramie might be found in two new events: steer saddle bronc riding and goat tying. After making it to nationals in two events, it’s pretty clear Laramie has the roping under control. “I was second by only one point in the breakaway at state finals. In the first round of team roping I caught two feet but missed my wrap.” After his header missed in the second round, stakes were high for the short go. “We won the short round and managed to place fourth overall.”
On his inaugural trip to nationals, Laramie competed in both events but came home with only one buckle. “The first day I was 3.30 seconds in the breakaway.” That was followed by a 2.87 run and a 3.11 in the short round. “I ended up with a total of 9.28 seconds on three head. It wasn’t really any different from a normal rodeo, I looked at it as just another run.” Laramie admits that the pressure he placed on himself was a bit higher than a normal rodeo. “My favorite part of a rodeo is during the short round when you have to be fast and the pressure is on.” As Laramie enters his final year at Mesa View Middle School in Farmington, he thanks his mom and dad (Patrick) for blessing him with the opportunity to rodeo.