story by Riata Cummings Tad Williams is a 14-year-old rodeo athlete in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association. He competes in the chute dogging, […]
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Meet the Member Lizzi Holyoak
story by Riata Cummings
Lizzi Holyoak is the daughter of Lori and Trevor Holyoak of Southern Utah. Lizzi has an older sister, Dalli, who competes in rodeo and rodeo queening and a younger sister, Sadie, who has evaded the rodeo world with a desire to be a “normal kid.” Lizzi attends Dixie Middle School as an eighth grader, and she enjoys her mathematics and physical education courses. Lizzi is a record-breaking runner at her school, and she enjoys snow skiing, drawing and painting.
Lizzi competes in the barrel racing, pole bending, team roping, breakaway roping, goat tying and ribbon roping. She loves the breakaway roping, an event she only recently added, because it gives her another opportunity to “back into the roping box” and do what she loves. She also enjoys the goat tying because it challenges her and pushes her to prepare for the unexpected in the arena. Although Lizzi doesn’t have a team roping partner at the junior high rodeos, she loves heading for her father in the practice pen. Lizzi and her ribbon roping partner, Bladen Leavitt, have had a successful season thus far, and took first at their last rodeo in the fall. She has qualified for state finals in each of her events, and she is hoping to qualify for the Silver State International Rodeo or the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo.
Lizzi’s main mount is a beautiful palomino gelding named Mac. The barrel and pole horse is “a diva with a big personality” who only likes a select number of people. His attitude has helped endear him to Lizzi, and the pair are working hard to make it to the top of the leader board. Lizzi is in the practice pen nearly every night, and choses to focus on one event per night. She also occasionally travels to practice with friends which “makes the work easier, more fun, and more like the rodeo.”
Rodeo has taught Lizzi that “everything takes hard work and dedication.” She loves that rodeo gives her the opportunity to bond with her family and with other rodeo families. The Holyoaks spend their downtime at the rodeo with a group of other kids and rodeo parents, and building those relationships has “made the rodeo feel like a second home and family.”
Lizzi is a “tiny but tough” cowgirl who always has a positive attitude. That attitude has helped her make friends and encourage her fellow rodeo competitors. One day, Lizzi would like to take her positivity into a career as a hair stylist. Lori, Lizzi’s mother, is a professional cosmetologist, and Lizzi would like to use her artistic abilities and strong sense of loyalty to succeed in that career.
One of Lizzi’s heroes is her father, Trevor, who has been a dedicated coach and teacher during Lizzi’s rodeo career. Eventually Lizzi would like to be the same supportive mentor to her children. She would like to thank her parents, sisters, grandparents and horses for supporting her, loving her, and carrying her through life. Lizzi would also like to express her gratitude to Cindy Cannon and Erin King for helping her and her horses to be successful. “Thank you for helping me get to where I am and working so hard to help me fulfill my dreams.”