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Meet the Member Londyn Ross
story by Lily Weinacht
“Rodeo is so much fun, and it’s fun to see friends and hang out with them, and to compete as well. Competition is always fun, and being able to compete against some of the really good girls in the AJRA is very challenging,” says Londyn Ross. The 16-year-old barrel racer, pole bender, and breakaway roper from Liberty Hill, Texas, is holding her own in the AJRA, currently sitting in the top five in barrel racing and pole bending. She’s the second generation of her family to compete in the association, following after her dad, Corey, who is a professional steer roper sitting in the top 15 of the PRCA standings, and her mom, Jaime, who ran barrels and qualified for the CNFR in college. “My mom is a really good barrel racer, and she’s very handy and makes me want to strive to be as good as she is. She tells me to ride strong and stay focused. One of her sayings is, “It’s 17 seconds that you have to stay focused for, and if you can stay focused in that amount of time, then you’ve got it.”
This is Londyn’s third season competing in the AJRA, and she particularly enjoys going to Hamilton, where she also competes in THSRA Region 10 rodeos. “It’s my favorite arena to compete at, and the ground is always good,” she explains. “The AJRAs are run very well and smoothly, and the stock is always good and they keep the ground nice.” Londyn advanced to high school state finals in barrel racing this spring and hopes to qualify for the NHSFR next year, while she competed at the inaugural Junior NFR in 2016 in barrel racing. Another highlight of her rodeo career was winning the San Antonio Youth Rodeo in barrel racing in 2016.
She attributes much of her rodeo success to her horses, whom she rides daily. “My barrel horse is Joker. He’s gray, and I got him from Jackie Bob Cox, who’s made it to the NFR. Joker is a great horse, and he’s consistent every single run. My breakaway horse is Sherman, and he’s a chestnut. He’s awesome and very level-headed, and my pole horse, Breaker, is sweet. He’s really cool in the poles and makes awesome runs.” Londyn has several other horses she practices on at home, as well as three dogs and roping cattle. Her 11-year-old brother, Seth, competes in the AJRA in team roping and tie-down roping, and Londyn’s parents run the chutes for her at practice.
In August, Londyn starts back to school with Christian Academy of America, an online school she’s been a part of for the last three years. “I have more time to ride my horses and practice, and it’s easier to manage my time,” says Londyn, who will be a junior. In the meantime, she’s preparing for the AJRA finals, along with competing in UPRA rodeos and Roy Cooper ropings this summer. She also enjoys spending time with friends and shopping, and if she could spend a day with a rodeo athlete, she’d choose Hailey Kinsel in a heartbeat. “She loves God and she’s an amazing rider, and I would just love to learn from her. I met her at the Texas Circuit Finals Youth Rodeo.
“One of my main goals is to win my (high school) region in barrels, and then go on and win state. These past couple years I’ve had trouble with horses before the AJRA finals, but I’m planning on winning the barrels, and if you win the year-end in barrels, you get an exemption to The American Semi-Finals.”