stories by Siri Stevens Cheyenne Seaux started riding on a pony named Amy Lou when she was 1 year old. She graduated to a horse […]
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Meet the Member Preslee Johnson
story by Lindsey Fancher
Trying something new was worth the risk for fourteen-year-old, Preslee Johnson. One year after tying a goat for the first time, she came home with a check and a buckle for winning the goat ty-ing. Ms. Margie, wife to Cody Demoss, urged twelve-year-old Preslee, who initially just did bar-rels and pole bending, to try goat tying at one of the regular ‘practice days’ held at the DeMoss household. There, Preslee developed a knack for goat tying, adding another event to her belt. Although her mom, Alyssa Myers, coaches her, Ms. Margie is the one one who helps Preslee down the alleyway. “Momma and I make each other nervous, we both just get so excited,” she said.
Preslee lives on a small cattle operation near Jamestown, La. with her 8-year-old brother, Landrie, dad, Curtis, and her mom. Landrie practices baseball with Curtis while Preslee and her mom practice rodeo. Curtis works at a carbon plant and Alyssa works as a nurse. In the summertime, rodeo isn’t the only adrenaline inducing pastime for the family. The lake the family lives near is used for tubing when the days get hot. Preslee claims Curtis is the toughest boat driver in the ar-ea when it comes to whipping her and her friends around on the tube.
Because of her mom’s roots in rodeo, Preslee was put on horseback before she could walk and started barrel racing on her mom’s breakaway horse shortly thereafter. Alyssa did high school ro-deo back in her day and now trains not only rodeo horses, but Preslee as well. She has instilled the same passion she has for rodeo in her daughter. “Mom works with me in practice everyday; she and I connect over rodeo,” comments Preslee on their relationship. Mother and daughter duo share a competitive edge when they go to barrel races together, “I coach my mom as much as she coaches me. Sometimes it’s even a competition between her and I at barrel races if we’re on the same horse.”
One of the horses that Alyssa was training became Preslee’s new barrel horse last rodeo season. Preslee begged her mom to take the horse, Buddy, out for a spin. Once Alyssa handed her the reins, Preslee and Buddy won the 2D and she had a new partner for the barrel racing, “We would have named him something other than ‘Buddy’ if we knew we’d actually keep him,” jokes Preslee on the newest addition to her team. The mount Preslee uses for ribbon roping and goat tying has been around a lot longer than Buddy. 26-year-old Enus was Alyssa’s breakaway horse and also Preslee’s grandpa’s (Scotty Johnson’s) pick up horse back in the day. When Alyssa high school rodeoed, Scotty was a pick up man for the LHSRA. Preslee has continued the family tra-dition by sharing her horsemanship skills with her younger cousins, Whitlyn and Willow, “It means a lot to be a mentor to them,” she said.
Preslee has qualified for state in barrels, goats, and poles the past two years. During last year’s finals, she came riding in at a good place to win the goat tying. However, she overthought her run and didn’t compete quite like she wanted. The advice she’d give herself if she could go back is, “Don’t let the nerves get to you, you’re gonna have to go in there and do it either way. Every-thing happens for a reason, if it wasn’t meant to happen, God says it wasn’t meant to happen.” Despite state finals not going the way she had planned, Preslee remembers how far she has come. The moment she first competed with her mom by her side is captured on film, “I still watch the video over and over. My mom was leading me down the alleyway on her horse. I was so little, about five or six, and everyone was hollering and screaming at me. That was my first taste of fame, I got in the newspaper and everything.” It was this moment that started it all, and is what motivates Preslee to have high hopes for her future in rodeo.