Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Member Preslie Bennett
story by Riata Cummings
Preslie Bennett is a 14-year-old rodeo athlete and eighth-grader at North Star Academy. Her favorite classes include English and language arts where skilled teachers have helped her hone her passion for writing. Preslie is the daughter of Haylee and Hadley Bennett of Bluffdale, Utah, and the oldest of three children. Her younger brother, Colter, and younger sister, Macie, help make family camping trips, sporting events, riding sessions and vacations more enjoyable for the whole family.
Preslie’s parents competed in rodeo, and her first rodeo was a local horse show when she was 5 years old. Preslie now competes in the breakaway roping, barrel racing, goat tying, and ribbon roping. Her favorite event is the goat tying because, “you have to work hard to set yourself apart, and it’s a fun environment.” Last year she was the UJHSRA girls’ goat tying reserve champion and represented Utah at the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo where she was 4th in the world. This year Preslie has set a goal to become the UJHSRA state champion girl’s goat tyer, finish in the top 4 in barrel racing and the top 7 in breakaway roping.
Preslie competes on three horses: Ducky the barrel racing and breakaway roping horse and Magic the trusty goat horse. She is also working with a 5-year-old gelding, Percy, that she is hoping can step up to compete soon. Preslie practices every day, sometimes focusing on fundamentals by roping the dummy, and regularly exercises her horse to keep them in racing shape. She also practices the groundwork of goat tying every day; even if she needs to do it alone. She lives by the saying, “Buckles are earned in the practice pen. If you want something you have to work for it. If you want that gold buckle you have to prove it when no one is watching.”
Rodeo has taught Preslie to value a strong work ethic and to appreciate the power of positive failure. “You have to work hard for it, and nothing comes easily, but you learn from your mistakes and you keep trying to get better.” Preslie can set herself apart from most rodeo contestants by staying calm under pressure. She can focus on what needs to be done in the moment and allows her muscle memory to overpower the nerves of important runs. Preslie also loves that rodeo allows her to spend time with some of her closest friends, connect with her family and get to know her horses.
Preslie’s family members are her heroes, and she is grateful for their support of her gold buckle dreams. She would like to thank her family for helping her compete, as well as the Watterson family and her grandparents. She is thankful for the chance to compete in the greatest sport on dirt and for the people that help make it so great.