story by Siri Stevens Allie Cliburn is the incoming Louisiana High School Rodeo state president. Allie is from Prairieville, Louisiana where she attends Dutchtown High […]
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Meet the Member Sage Raymond
story by Michele Toberer
There’s not much that 13-year-old Sage Raymond won’t try when it comes to rodeo. The Oak Grove High School 7th grader competes in every event the Louisiana High School Rodeo association offers to its junior high competitors. Practicing and competing in team roping, breakaway roping, ribbon roping, goat tying, barrel racing, and pole bending, on top of school, doesn’t give the Oak Grove, Louisiana cowgirl time for much else, but she would not have it any other way. For Sage and the Raymond family, rodeo is not just about competition, it’s about family. Double cousins are double trouble for the LHSRA junior high team ropers this season, as Sage is heading steers for her cousin Baler Raymond. Sage’s older siblings, Meadow, 15, Stoney, 16, and Rivers, 18, are all LHSRA competitors as well.
In school, Sage favors math the most and maintains a straight-A average, with just an occasional B. She does find the time to also play softball with the Dixie Youth Softball League and serve at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church; but rodeo is what it’s really all about for the highly competitive cowgirl who has big shoes to fill when it comes to the family members that have gone before her. “My sister Meadow has won all-around titles, and it was pretty exciting for Baler and me to both win all-around titles at the first rodeo of the season this year in Crowley, Louisiana. It’s fun roping with my cousin and I like that we can practice together a lot.”
Sage’s dad, Brad Raymond, is a welder foreman at Sunland Construction, and enjoys roping with his kids. Her mom, Tracy, who has a background in cutting, is an RN at Kid Med on top of keeping all the Raymond kids on a dedicated practice schedule. “My mom always pushes us to be our best and makes sure we practice on the calf and goat tying dummies. My dad always helps us as we practice at our Papaw Petey’s house. My Papaw Petey is my dad and Uncle Pete’s father, and he’s my number one buddy and biggest fan.”
Besides family support, Sage’s family horses are a big part of her competitive success. She is grateful to ride Meadow’s bay gelding, Jake, in breakaway, as well as her sister’s 14-year-old sorrel gelding, Jumper, in goat tying. “I also ride a big bay 15-year-old gelding named Little Bay to head for Baler; and I ride another 14-year-old bay named Doc in barrel racing and pole bending. I’ve only been riding Doc for a few months now, but he seems to be a perfect match for me.” Sage’s ribbon roping partner is Carter Bryant, who she also team roped with last season.
“I really appreciate all the help my sister Meadow lends in practice and also in the arena when my dad can’t be there. And, I thank my Papaw Petey, Memaw Darlene, and Memaw Pat for always coming to our rodeos. The LHSRA rodeos are so fun and I love that I have a lot of friends there. Rodeo can be pretty demanding, but it’s fun and definitely worth all the effort you put in.” Most days Sage exercises horses in the pasture behind her house and when the weather is wet, she practices on the calf roping and goat tying dummies in the house at night. Sage enjoys hanging out with her friend Jasey Gantt, and she appreciates Jasey’s mom. Tammy’s help with barrel racing and pole bending.
On her downtime, Sage loves to go hog and deer hunting with her dad and Papaw Petey. She also likes to hang out with friends and go to the lake in the summer. She hasn’t narrowed down a career choice once she graduates yet, but at this point she thinks she’d love to be a horse trainer in the future. For now, she’ll continue working to earn as many titles as she can to add to the Raymond family awards list; and work towards competing at the national junior high rodeo finals in Des Moines, Iowa this summer.