As the 2020 rodeo season draws near, the Colorado Junior Rodeo Association is pleased to announce that Lamar, Colorado, will once again be the host […]
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Meet the Member Olivia Lay
Story by Siri Stevens & Payton Walter
Olivia Lay is a 17 year old junior at Elbert High School., although at the moment she is home for a few weeks due to Spring Break and the precautions taken by schools. “I’m loving it,” she said. “I can ride my horses any time of the day and go rope with my dad (Clint) when he goes in the afternoons.” The family has an arena at the house and almost every afternoon, Clint sends a mass text out to his friends to come join them at the arena. Clint is a former calf roper and team roper who earns his living shoeing horses.
She has one sister, Graycee, 19, attending college at Otero College and on the rodeo team. Her mom, Robin is a registered nurse from New York. “She came out to become a vet, met Clint, and switched career paths to become a nurse. Both Gracie and Olivia got their start in rodeo from Clint. “One day I climbed on a horse and said I didn’t want to get off.” Olivia competes in breakaway roping and team roping. She ropes with her sister and says that roping with her sister is cool. “There aren’t a lot of female teams, but it’s also a challenge because when someone misses there is always something to say. The greatest thing roping with her is I can always tell her it was a great turn, but slow it down a little. We keep each other accountable and encourage each other.” She loves all the people surrounding her and encouraging her during a rodeo. “They are all there to win, but they help me get better.”
Olivia plays basketball, volleyball, and track. “I think it’s a tie between basketball and rodeo, as far as which one I like better.” Basketball has been pretty hard on her. “I tore my ACL my freshman year of sports on my left knee and then this year I tore my ACL on my right knee so am recovering from that.” One of her fondest memories was being able to compete with her sister last year at the state basketball tournament.
Between all her sports, school, and rodeo, Olivia keeps plenty busy. They have 15 horses on the place right now and two mares ready to foal in June. “My life is filled up with sports and rodeo.”
Olivia won the CJRA senior girls breakaway roping last year. That wasn’t her first win. “I’ve won 8 or 9 saddles,” she said. “We have lots of horses on the place so they come in handy.” Olivia credits her dad with teaching how to ride, rope, and do all the events. “I look up to him because he’s always there and knows what to say. He knows so much about the sport of rodeo, I know I can always go to him if I’m having trouble with something. I never would have thought that breakaway roping would be where it is now. It makes me want to become better so I can compete at a higher level.”
She would like to pursue a career in criminal justice or cosmetology. Cosmetology comes from loving to braid hair. “It’s something I enjoy a lot and I have braided other people’s hair. But I’d also like to become a police officer.”
This summer she plans to rodeo as much as possible. Along with the CJRA, she competes in the CPRA rodeos.