Story by Ruth Nicolaus Because of his parents, Scott and Jenee Holub, and his granddad, George Rachau, Dillin Holub is involved in the sport he […]
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Meet the Member Sierra Ellsworth
story by Michele Toberer
Cowboys from New York City? You bet! Well, maybe not New York City, but Sierra Ellsworth and family have made quite a mark in the rodeo world and are constantly explaining that although it’s not a huge scene, rodeo does exist in New York. Sierra is 18, and the youngest of Wayde and Stacy Ellsworth’s children. Stacy barrel raced and roped calves, and Wayde was a successful competitor in every timed cowboy event before working as a PRCA judge. Sierra’s older brothers and sister are all in their 30’s and spread across the country now, but all have rodeo as a part of their history our current life. Sierra’s sister, Jamie Ellsworth lives in South Carolina and was the 2012 IPRA World Champion Breakaway Roper. Sierra has competed in rodeo her whole life and has been an American Professional Rodeo Association cowgirl since 2018.
Sierra graduated from Hudson Falls High School in 2019, and besides being a three-season athlete; playing field hockey during the fall, and indoor and outdoor track in the winter and spring, she also rodeoed for the New York High School Rodeo Association. All four years of high school, Sierra competed in the national organization, finishing as the Reserve Champion Breakaway Roper in both her junior and senior years. She was also the reserve champion team roper her senior year. “I was a national qualifier in 2018 but decided not to go because I really wanted to focus on school; but my senior year I decided to go and enjoy the experience. It was a really good trip, even though I didn’t do as well as I would have liked.”
Currently, Sierra is competing in the APRA in breakaway roping and barrel racing. In breakaway she’s riding her favorite gelding, Chisum. “He’s a grade Quarter Horse we got from Kansas four years ago. He’s 11 years old and I just like his quirks. He’s a really good horse that’s a little shy and has a few weird habits. He’s picky about who he likes, but I’ve found he’s a really good judge of character. He tries his heart out for me every run. Our rookie season with APRA was 2018, and I was able to win the rookie breakaway title on him. In 2019, we had some ups and downs. Chisum isn’t much of a mudder and we had a lot of muddy rodeos, so that was an issue for us. But it was a good learning experience and I’ve really learned so much in the association about how to enter and where to go. It has been great.”
Sierra barrel races on Bar S Smart Man, who she calls Ringo. Ringo is a 9-year-old palomino that came from Texas where he was used as a heel horse. “When I got him, I really thought he could make a barrel horse. This will be the first year I really push him in barrels. Last season I mostly was focusing on seasoning him. He’s got the mindset and now I feel like he’s ready to run.” Both of Sierra’s horses are named after John Wayne movies.
“I definitely want to thank my dad. He’s taught me everything I know and supported me through all of it. Without him, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today. My mom lives in Florida and she helps critique my barrel racing videos to give me advice also. Breakaway roping is my favorite event, and I’m so excited about the opportunities that are becoming available for us now. There are a lot of great girls like Jackie Hobbs Crawford that are finally getting the recognition they deserve.”
Sierra is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts, Amhurst where she is studying to be an animal science major with a pre-veterinarian concentration. She would ultimately like to get her degree and work in animal genetics and rehabilitation.
“My experience in the APRA has been great, I like how it is such a close-knit community. Everyone knows each other and is so helpful. They all want to see you succeed and are so accepting of new people.”