story by Ruth Nicolaus Dawson Doggett has a great sense of humor, and he’s a hard worker. So reports his mother, when she talks about […]
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Meet the Member Riley Marsh
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Riley Marsh is rounding out her third year of junior high rodeo. A resident of Anselmo, Neb., she competes in the barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping and team roping, heading for Maci Cox. Of her events, she loves breakaway the most, even though she is ranked higher in the state standings in the team roping.
She is in the eighth grade at Anselmo-Merna School, where she loves science class the most, in part because she likes learning about animals, geology and earth science. Her favorite teacher is her second grade teacher, Mrs. McGinn, because she lives on a ranch and could talk with Riley about ranch work. She “was fun, energetic and outgoing,” Riley said. “She had a fun way of teaching.”
Her least favorite class is algebra. “I have to work extra hard at that,” she said.
In addition to rodeo, Riley plays volleyball, basketball, runs track, is a member of her school’s FFA chapter, and loves to go to barrel racing and team roping jackpots. For fun, she goes to the Calamus Reservoir or local rivers with her friends and family. Her maternal grandparents live in Calamus and the family skis and fishes, but they can frequently be found along the Loup River, after mom and dad get off work, when they’ll sit on the bank or in the water, with a cooler and Riley’s favorite snack, Cheez-Its.
She also likes to shoot hoops with her brother in the driveway or ride through the pastures.
Last year, her mom took her and her brother to the National Junior High Finals in Huron, S.D., even though Riley hadn’t qualified. Her mother had an ulterior motive: to give her daughter an idea of what Nationals was like and give her a reason to work towards qualifying this year. It worked. “It was fun,” she said. “I saw all the fun (the contestants) were having there, and everything you have to do (to get there), and that you represent Nebraska, and it really inspires you.”
This year, Riley and Maci are tied for fourth place in the team roping standings, and they’re working hard at making it to Nationals. “I think it would be fun to make it with one of your friends,” she said.
Riley’s favorite place to be is the big hill behind their house, what they call the Clyde Hill, named after her mother’s grandfather, who used to own the ranch. They oftentimes will ride to the top of the hill and enjoy the beautiful view. “You can see the whole ranch from there.”
Someday, she’d like to be an athletic trainer for professional rodeo, or possibly a radiologist. She likes helping people and likes looking at the structure of bones and how they work.
The family has three dogs: Bow, a yellow lab; Roper, Riley’s dog, who is a mini Aussie, and Max, a cow dog.
They also have a barn cat, Socks, who “fends for himself,” she said, and at night sleeps on top of the dogs.
Riley has competed at state finals in both her sixth and seventh grade years. She is on the semester honor roll at Anselmo-Merna School.
She has a younger brother, Creighton, who is ten years old. She is the daughter of Adam and Courtney Marsh.