Meet the Member: Denim Wilson
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 […]
story by Riata Cummings
Thirteen-year-old Spencer Holt is a rodeo athlete from the small establishment of Gunlock, Utah. He is the third child of Scott and Shanna Holt, and his siblings are Hailee, Andy and Linzee. When they aren’t rodeoing together, they enjoy hunting, camping, and playing on the lake.
Spencer attends Enterprise High School, and the eighth grader’s favorite classes include science and art. He enjoys riding his ponies and raising goats, and he uses them as an alternative way to practice his roping. One day, Spencer would like to work as a diesel mechanic, a trade that will allow him to work with his hands and get a jump start on his career.
Spencer was raised around horses, and he has always been drawn to the cowboy sport. Four years ago, Spencer began competing in various junior rodeos. Although he initially planned to begin competing in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association in the fall of 2018, a broken arm postponed his debut until the next spring. Sitting out of the rodeos and not being able to practice had him so frustrated that he learned to rope with his left hand. He ended up qualifying for state finals that year, and he won the first go-round of the boys breakaway roping.
Spencer currently competes in the team roping, boys breakaway roping and light rifle shooting. His favorite event is the team roping, where he heels for Berklee Philips. “The team roping is just something I have always wanted to do. There is a certain adrenaline that come with having to trust someone else and letting it pay off.” He has qualified for the state finals in all three of his events already, and he hopes to spend the rest of the season racking up points and climbing the standings.
His heel horse is a sorrel gelding, named Mayday, who is even-tempered and gentle but strong enough to get the job done. Spencer’s breakaway horse simply goes by “Bay Mare”, and the pair have been working together since Spencer got into the sport. He strives to practice every day, frequently roping the dummy and chasing around the goats to catch them by their heels. One of the hardest things for Spencer to learn when he started competing was horsemanship. “It was tricky to put all the moving pieces together; the rope, the horse, and the cow. But it all comes with practice.”
One of Spencer’s favorite parts of rodeo is that “you have to ride everyday to succeed. You can’t just walk into the arena and win.” He also appreciates that rodeo gives him the chance to rub shoulders with athletes from all over and make lasting friendships. Rodeo has taught Spencer to “have patience, persistence and commitment.” He also believes it has made him more open to the suggestions of coaches and fellow athletes. “Listen to what you’re being taught. Everything you get told is something that can help you improve.” Spencer believes that his oblivion to intimidation sets him apart from other rodeo athletes. “There isn’t anyone at the rodeo that I am afraid of. No one scares me or gets in my head. Sometimes you just have to recognize that they are people just like you, and that you can learn from them.” Spencer would like to thank the people who have helped him learn the ropes, “everyone that has coached and mentored and helped in practice.” He is also grateful to his parents and siblings for being supportive of his rodeo ambitions.
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