story by Ruth Nicolaus For Phoenix Brown, time is of the essence on school mornings. The fourteen-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Nebraska Junior High […]
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Meet the Member Reagan Gestenlager
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Since Reagan Gestenslager’s appendix is out of the way, she has a better chance of making it through the short round at state finals.
The 14-year-old Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo Association member had an appendix attack on the final day of last year’s finals, causing her to not do well in poles and to miss her barrel run.
Her mom and dad didn’t realize what she was suffering from at first. “Actually, we thought it was nerves,” Jessi Gestenslager said. “She said she didn’t feel good, and I said, ‘Let’s go to the trailer. You need to lay down a little bit.’ When she got up to check horses, she doubled over and couldn’t stand up.” They rushed her to the emergency room in Grand Island, Neb., where an appendectomy was done on her. Reagan was in the hospital for about a day before she was released to go home.
Reagan, who also competes in the ribbon roping as a runner for Cody Miller, plans on making this year’s finals a bit different.
Her main mount for her events is an 11- year-old red roan named Drillbit. Drillbit is tall, laid back and best at barrels, Reagan said.
She is an eighth grade student at Hitchcock County Public School in Trenton, where social studies is her favorite subject and math is her least favorite. Her favorite teacher was her second grade teacher, Mrs. Alig, who is her cousin.
Reagan participates in volleyball, basketball, track, church youth group, and was on the honor roll in seventh grade. She is also part of the Trenton Troopers 4-H Club, where she enjoys the club’s community service events. Club members pick up trash, visit residents of the nursing home, rake and clean up flower beds for the elderly in Trenton, and plant new flowers. She has done some photography and cooking projects in 4-H, and used to show livestock before she got busy with rodeo.
She also competes in Little Britches Rodeo in the trail, barrels and poles.
When she grows up, she’d like to be a doctor, so she can help people.
The family, which includes Reagan’s dad, Justin, and younger sister Madison, age nine, lives west of Trenton.