story by Michele Toberer Anna Jae Griffin goes by AJae, and the Mississippi native has been a cowgirl for a lifetime, and a Southeastern Professional […]
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Meet the Member Sidney Tucker
story by Michele Toberer
“Rodeo is an addiction, and I’ve been addicted since I was 8 years old. It’s something you either love and crave to do, or you don’t. But if you love and crave it, then you don’t mind putting in all the time and work it takes to train, haul, and rodeo,” says Sidney Tucker of Oneonta, Alabama. Sidney’s life is mainly focused around doing just that; she not only barrel races in the Southeastern Professional Rodeo Association, but spends most of her days preparing her horses for the next level of rodeo as she trains young colts and works to season her open horses; all while taking care of her husband Trey and their 2-year-old daughter, Charli Rae, on their family farm where they have poultry houses, cattle, and grow tomatoes.
Sidney was born and raised in Pace, Florida, where she and her younger sister, Payton, and brother, Mitchell, lived with their parents, Nancy and Doyle Ellis. After taking horseback riding lessons when she was 8, Sidney’s parents succumbed to their horse-loving daughter’s wishes, and at 9-years-old she got her first horse; an older sorrel Quarter Horse gelding named P.C. “I got lucky and got a really good first horse, I started at playdays on him and then went to some local barrel races.” P.C. was not a fast barrel horse, but he was safe, patient, and carried Sidney as she learned her way up the ropes of being a horse owner and barrel racer. Sidney saved money, and any time she could, found young colts she could afford to buy and work with. “I would buy a young horse and train it, then sell it and buy another. I really had to train my own, because I couldn’t afford to just go buy a finished horse. At the time I wished I could, but now I’m grateful for all that I learned doing it this way.”
At 17, Sidney met Trey Tucker at a barrel race in Starkville, Mississippi, and the spark ignited there led to her moving to Alabama when she was 20, and they were married when she was 22. Sidney joined the SPRA once she moved to Alabama and has held her card most of the past 7 years, other than when she took time off to have and care for her daughter. This year, she purchased her card again, and is grateful to be back. Although she has spent many years riding young horses, this season has been about riding her three older finished horses and preparing for a strong season next year. “It’s nice to have horses that are further along in their training this year, and I’m excited about where that will take us next year. Seasoning rodeo horses can be like a roller coaster, it’s tough. You invest a lot of money and miles, but I’m hoping it’s going to pay off next year.
Costa, a 7-year-old buckskin gelding that Sidney bred, raised, and trained, is the first horse she’s ever had from day-one, and is her pride and joy. “We’re in the seasoning stage, and he’ll make a colt mistake now and again, but he’s pretty much handled everything I’ve thrown at him.” Sidney is also running a 13-year-old sorrel gelding named Doc that she bought last year; and a 16-year-old palomino mare named Girdy. “Girdy has done really well, we had some soundness issues we’ve dealt with, but now that she’s back on track, she’s been doing great.”
Sidney is grateful to be a part of the SPRA because she enjoys the friendships she’s made. “Most of the friends I grew up with live in Florida, so the SPRA has given me a new group of friends that I look forward to seeing at rodeos. I’ve hauled this last year with Darian Gaines, and it’s been so nice to haul with her rather than go by myself.” Sidney brings little Charli Rae along with her to the rodeos and appreciates all the help other members and friends give. “It definitely takes a village to rodeo with a 2-year-old.”