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 Rylee Russell
story by Riata Cummings
14-year-old rodeo athlete from Avon, Utah, Rylee Russell has been competing in rodeo for almost five years. Rylee is the daughter of Ty and Celeste Russell and has two brothers, Ty and Kody. As a young girl, Rylee competed in the horse 4-H and in other horse shows. After some encouragement from some of their friends, her and her brothers decided to try something new by stepping into the world of rodeo.
Rylee just finished her 8th grade year of online schooling with the Connections Academy. She enjoyed her Utah History class because it taught her about the many cultures that shaped her home, and it challenged her to learn something every day. When Rylee isn’t rodeoing, she enjoys spending time with her friends and delighting in the great outdoors.
Rylee competes in the breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, pole bending, and ribbon roping. She team ropes as a header for Cooper Jacobs, but her favorite events are breakaway roping and goat tying when the pressure is all on her. The horse that she uses for goat tying and breakaway roping is named Soda Pop, her head horse is Jack, and she borrows Lexi, a friend’s horse, for the pole bending. During Rylee’s 6th grade year, she finished 11th in the breakaway roping and competed at the Silver State International Rodeo. Last year she finished 4th and went on to compete at the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo. This year she is hoping to make it back to nationals, this time in more than one event.
Rodeo has taught Rylee that, “You cannot just show up and do well. It takes practice, hard work, and dedication.” She has learned the value of persistence and the importance of patience. When she began to prepare to compete, she was frustrated with her lack of knowledge and skill. After friends and family helped her learn the ropes and acquire the right horses, she gained an immense love for the sport. She said, “Most people don’t know this, but before they meet me, I am super shy. Rodeo helps me because there are so many good people and interacting with them has helped me come out of my shy zone and meet friends.” Rylee lives by the saying, “Perfect practice brings perfect results,” because, “You must practice it the right way for it to end up the right way.” She knows that it takes accurate and consistent effort to make progress towards a goal.
Rylee’s friends and family would describe her as a kind, loving girl who is willing to help those around her. One day, she would like to be remembered as a humble, hardworking person who went out of her way to be kind and helpful. Rylee’s parents are her heroes, and she is grateful for their efforts to teach her how to push for success. She would like to thank her parents, grandparents, and other family for their constant support as she travels down the rodeo road.