story by Siri Stevens Wesley Lammers is the National Junior High School Rodeo Association president. “I ran for president last year in Des Moines Iowa, […]
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Meet the Member Rachael Daniels
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Rachael Daniels isn’t a very girly type of girl, but that’s OK.
In fact, if her mom wants to get after her, she threatens to make her wear a dress to school.
A Colorado Junior High School Rodeo Association member, Rachael competes in the breakaway roping and the ribbon roping, running for Mason Neese.
The Keenesburg, Colo. cowgirl has several roping horses she’s working on connecting with, but her biggest success is a buckskin named Festus. “He’s easy to get along with,” she said. “He puts you right where you need to be, he listens well, and he’s tall and fast. That’s a plus.”
An eighth grade student at Weld Central Middle School, she enjoys the socializing part of school and history class, in part because the teacher, Mr. Wellesley, is one of her favorites. The class discusses interesting things, like civics, U.S. western expansion, the Louisiana Purchase, and more.
The class also learned how bills become laws by simulation. They wrote their own bill, proposing that youth age 14 should be allowed to get drivers licenses, and sent it through the legislative channels, as if it was Congress, which Rachael enjoyed.
Her least favorite class is algebra, in part because the alphabet is mixed up with numbers. “I don’t understand why they have to incorporate letters with numbers,” she joked.
This is her first year of junior high rodeo, but not her first year of rodeo. She is also part of the Rocking K Rodeo series, which she has done for several years, in all the events: heading, heeling, breakaway, barrels, poles, and goat tying. She over-extended her knee a year ago and hasn’t been able to tie goats but hopes to return to it soon. She has enjoyed junior high rodeo, because of meeting new people and going new places, “and seeing the talented people you’re surrounded by across the state.”
The best meals Rachael’s mom makes are “really good steak,” and “really good spaghetti,” with meatballs and spicy Italian sausage. Her favorite dessert is vanilla or cotton candy ice cream, or a scoop of ice cream served next to a warm slice of peach cobbler (also made by her mom). Her favorite fruit and vegetable is apple and carrots.
If she were given $1 million, she’d build her family a new house, with a big bathroom, a big kitchen, big closets, an arena and a nice barn.
Every year, the family travels to the ranch rodeo finals in Amarillo, Texas, which Rachael enjoys. She likes the shopping and the “ranchy” people who are there. “You get to watch working cowboys who do real stuff on the ranch.” She also likes shopping for boots and stopping for tacos at the family’s favorite Mexican restaurant in Dumas, Texas.
The family has seven horses and three dogs: a blue heeler, a Corgi, and their newest addition, an Australian shepherd-heeler mix. She’s a four-month-old puppy, with a lot of energy and a nice personality. “I’m her favorite person out of the family so far.”
When Rachael grows up, she may go to college for a psychology degree, or she might join the Marines. If she gets her psychology degree, she hopes to become a therapist.
She attended the junior high state finals last year as a spectator, to watch her brother. She liked hanging out with friends and watching her brother, but she’s excited to compete this year.
She admires her older brother, Aidan, who helps her a lot.
Her mom loves the fact that Rachael is “super-polite and super-kind. She’s a peace maker, yet strong-willed, independent, with lots of friends and very social.”
She is the daughter of Morgann and Jordan Mildenberger and the late Brandt Daniels.