Meet the Member Brecken Tullis
story by Lindsay Humphrey After four years of success in the Young Guns association in Dodge City, Kansas, one thing continues to allude Brecken Tullis […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
“I’m really the type that likes to go fast and am always doing something,” said 13-year-old Lucy Jo Henderson. “I first started with horse showing and my grandma (Gloria Henderson) coached me through that. I slowly worked my way up, basically by trotting the patterns when I was 6 and I’ve been getting better ever since.” Lucy Jo and her 16-year-old sister, Lily, are the first Henderson’s to break into rodeo. “My parents (Julie and Dirk) first started team roping about 8 years ago and then we started to follow that path. Both my mom and sister also showed horses before we got into rodeo.”
Today, Lucy Jo runs barrels and poles but also heads in the team roping, ropes in the breakaway and runs in the ribbons for her partner, Kaden Jacobs. He is also her heeler in the KJHSRA events. Although Lucy Jo enjoys all of her events, poles is her favorite. “I like it best mainly because I have to stay focused through the whole thing and it’s the most intense for me. There’s no time for error in a pole pattern.” Lucy Jo has been loving that event for the last six years. And she’s been rodeoing with her sister for just as long. “Rodeoing with my sister is really fun because she’s one of my best friends and I love going places with her.”
Keeping her family close has also helped Lucy Jo keep up with her stiff competition within the KJHSRA. “My family is always watching for what I need to sharpen up on and are honest with me with what I need to work on.” Rodeo and Lucy Jo’s family have shown this cowgirl just how tough she is. And that her hard work will almost always determine her success. “Rodeo has taught me that I can be as good as I want to be it all just depends on how hard I’m willing to work.” Lucy Jo finally saw all of her hard work pay off last year when she won the reserve all-around cowgirl title in the KJHSRA. It was a tight race and the same held true for the end of this season.
“My main goal was to win the all-around title this year. I was all over the place in the standings this year. I was in second and then first and dropped down to third after a tough weekend.” It was a tight race between Lucy Jo, Ava Chad and Madison Scott all year long. It came down to the wire, but Lucy Jo finished the all-around race in third. Lucy Jo did, however, qualify for nationals in breakaway, poles, team roping and ribbons. She finished fifth in the world in the ribbons with her partner. Competing with both family and friends is Lucy Jo’s favorite aspect of the KJHSRA. “I love being able to compete with the closest people to me. I love spending weekends with them and doing what I love with the people that I enjoy being around.”
As Lucy Jo looks forward to high school rodeo, she’s going to miss some of the people from junior high. “I always enjoy going to the junior high rodeos. I’m really close to a lot of people here, but as long as they move up to high school, I’ll still be around them. I’m looking forward to having more competition next year and going to a few more rodeos.” Lucy Jo will be leaving Jefferson West Middle School behind as she enters her freshman year. Her favorite part of school, much like rodeo, is the social aspect. “I really like spending the day with my friends. When I get to school, I try to talk to as many people as I can and put a smile on their face. I love to see people smile and make them happy.” Although Lucy Jo is still trying to decide what she wants to do when she grows up, she has one idea in mind. “I’m probably going to be a medic in the Air Force. I would just really like to serve our country.”
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