Meet the Member Ashley Smith & Charles Daniels
Story by Heidi Geesen The 2022 Colorado Junior Rodeo Association Senior Girls Horse of the Year, has a story that is very unique. It is […]
story by Laurie Dineen
Mikayla will be competing this summer in her last year as a CJRA member. This 19 yr. old is from Lakewood, Colo. where she lives with her mom and dad (John and Allison) and her sister (Miranda). She graduated from Bear Creek HS last May and has completed her first year of college at NJC in Sterling, Colo. studying Animal Science and was a member of the NJC rodeo team.
A member of CJRA since 2013, Wilson has competed in team roping, breakaway, goats and barrels. “I didn’t grow up on a ranch and my parents had never been around horses much, but I had a cousin that competed in rodeos and I thought it was cool,” said Mikayla. “I got my first horses for a 4-H project in 8th grade and when I wanted to learn to rope and rodeo, my father helped me by getting me lessons from Lee Lancaster, Bill Fellhaur, and Kevin Martin. I began roping my sophomore year of high school. I worked hard to make my 4-H horses into a roping, pole, goat, and barrel horses. It was a learning experience for all of us and it taught me a lot about horses and the rodeo world.”
Competing at CJRA taught Mikayla how to be successful in rodeo, but it is her drive and determination that has made her successful at it. She made it to the CJRA finals in team roping her first year competing. “That was quite an accomplishment for me and it lit the fire for me to continue to learn and to become even better at it,” she said. Going into the 2015 CJRA Finals, Mikayla was sitting 2nd in the mixed team roping. “I didn’t have the best finals, and ended up 4th for the year end, but it was a blast.” In breakaway, she went into the finals sitting pretty low, but then had great runs and ended up 4th in the average and 6th overall. She also placed 6th in goats.
“CJRA has given me a good foundation to compete at the college level. Making sure my horses and I are prepared and being confident with my capabilities has definitely helped at the college level of competition,” Mikayla stated. “My college rodeo coaches, Taya Mcadow and Brian Cullen, both have helped take me to the next level. I have three more years to college rodeo and I hope to make it to the college finals.”
Mikayla’s ambition to succeed carries over to her academics as well. After completing her first year at NJC, she has made the honor role, maintaining a 3.89 GPA while carrying 23 credits, along with her rodeo. She plans to complete her degree at a 4yr. college in Wyoming or Texas. Mikayla is determined, and although she has had some setback. A horse accident that left her with a severe concussion and unable to compete in her last College rodeo and first CJRA rodeo this summer and horse injuries that retired her breakaway/barrel horse at an early age, have her more determined than ever to get back in the saddle competing. “I am looking for a new horse and eager to compete this summer at CJRA,” said Mikayla. “With this being my last year I really want to excel in all my events and have a great finals.”
“I can’t thank my parents enough for all they have done to help me do what I love,” said Mikayla. “My dad is my greatest fan and supporter. He always travels with me to my rodeos, even at college. My sister also got the rodeo bug and my parents support us both equally.”
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