Meet the Member Gentry Godbey
story by Ruth Nicolaus Gentry Godbey has a bright, sparkly personality. The cowgirl, a Colorado Junior High School Rodeo member, is upbeat, positive, and a […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Markee Hawksworth entered her first rodeo when she was 4, and 10 years later, she’s as avid as ever in the sport, competing in the CJHSRA in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, and ribbon roping for Chestin Rohman. “I want to become pro one day and go to college for rodeo,” says Markee, who makes her home in Elizabeth, Colorado. “I’m not into other sports besides basketball—rodeo is my top favorite, and it’s a one-of-a-kind sport. People at school think you’re weird for doing rodeo, but when you’re all together with your rodeo friends, it’s like you’re one big family.”
“Markee works hard, and we’re proud of her and we’re glad she’s enjoying rodeo,” says Samantha Hawksworth, Markee’s mom. They travel to all of Markee’s rodeos together, and rodeo became extra special to Markee after her dad, David Hawksworth, passed away in 2018. Markee’s two older brothers, Austin and Bubba, now grown, played football growing up, but she’s carrying on the horse tradition in her family. “My mom used to do western pleasure, and my neighbor, Darla Orton, taught me how to ride and I got my first horse from her. As I got older, I started working with Cynthia Heidman, and she taught me how to barrel race and go faster. My mom helps me a lot, and I also ride with some of my friends that do high school rodeo.”
Goat tying is Markee’s favorite event whether competing in the CJHSRA, LBYA, CJRA, or gymkhanas and benefits. She’s been successful in many of her events, however, and has won more than 50 buckles. “I have a lot of favorites, but I usually wear one that I call my good luck charm. It’s from when I won the poles in the LBYA with my old horse that could run 20s consistently. Winning a saddle is a new goal for me,” says Markee, who always looks forward to the CJHSRA rodeo in Eagle. “It’s really pretty there, and it’s in the mountains. I always take colorful shirts with me. My favorite color is teal and that’s what color all my tack is on my horses.”
Markee rides a Paint mare named Dolly in barrel racing and pole bending, while she rides her gray gelding, Ruger, in goat tying. She also has two goats that she practices tying at home. “I’m working on my goat tying get-off because my horse likes to turn in front of me, and I’m working on poles. I practice a lot. I also like to hang out with my friends—we go to the mall—and I taught one of my friends how to ride.”
In between rodeos, Markee is an eighth-grader at Elizabeth Middle School. A 4.0 GPA student, she enjoys math, but works hard to keep up her grades in all her subjects so she can continue rodeoing. She also likes to play basketball on her school’s team, and was the boy’s basketball manager for the second year this season. “We have to get balls for the boys and help them out, and we go to all the games and keep score of everything. I like that we get to leave school early and go visit different schools. Basketball helps me stay in shape when I ride my horses, and I used to do gymnastics, which helped me get my balance for rodeo,” says Markee. Her latest rodeo goal is to start the spring rodeo season strong, and to qualify for the NJHFR in goat tying and barrel racing.
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