Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Member Sydney Davis
story by Riata Cummings
Lapoint, Utah, is a relaxed, country town in Uintah County. More importantly, it is the home of Sydney Davis, a rodeo athlete and senior at Uintah High School. Sydney’s favorite classes there include math and physical education, and after graduation she is headed to Utah State University Eastern to explore degrees in engineering.
Sydney is the daughter of Kathy and Ron Horrocks, and her siblings include Ceely and Cazden. Kathy worked as a nurse and is now a homemaker, and Ron owns a business in the oil fields of northeastern Utah. The family enjoys going camping and hunting together when they aren’t at rodeos.
Sydney grew up riding in the English discipline, but when her mother married Ron she was introduced to western riding, starting with sorting, penning, and other ranch riding. Her sister started competing in the cutting and reined cow horse events, and Sydney took up the events shortly after. She expanded into barrel racing and pole bending, training a ranch horse to run the poles and saving enough money to buy her own barrel horse.
Her favorite event is still the reined cow horse, and the mount she uses for that event is Remington, a gelding out of Canada. Remington has been a difficult horse for other riders, but he and Sydney work hard to please each other and have establish a successful rhythm. Sydney’s cutting horse is Shrimp, and she uses Penner for the pole bending and Leila for the barrel racing.
Sydney has qualified for state finals in all four of her events all four years of high school. She qualified for the national finals in the reined cow horse her sophomore year and went in the cutting and reined cow horse her junior year. She finished 9th in the world for the girls cutting and 4th in the world for reined cow that year, as well as 1st in the state reined cow horse and 4th in the national all-around cowgirl race.
Competing in speed events and judged events has given Sydney a unique perspective on the rodeo world. She recognizes the difference between the two categories of events, specifically in the preparation for those events. “When a cow or herd of cows determines your score, you and your horse have to practice and predict every move those cows make. You warm up longer, train longer, and practice longer just so you can stick with the cow.”
Rodeo has taught Sydney to “work for what you want.” It has also taught her the importance of being mentally strong. “Rodeo isn’t about having the prettiest or best horse. Its about focusing and practicing until you are mentally strong and ready to win.” She believes that the key to her success is “understanding that bad runs aren’t the end of your life. Sometimes losing is good because you don’t get in a grove of thinking you’re the best. You can use your failures and mistakes as a learning experience, and you come back better.”
Sydney lives by the saying, “It’s my time as much as it is anyone else’s.” This sentiment reminds her that her work and effort is not to be discounted just because others are succeeding. “I have to remind myself that I have worked for this and that I am good enough to go win.” She would advise rodeo rookies not to “compare themselves to those who are winning. Rodeo is a mental game, and it takes time to learn and grow. Be patient, believe you can win, and you’ll get there.”
One of Sydney’s heroes is her mother. “She always has a positive mindset, and she doesn’t dwell on life’s negatives. She always puts her kids first and makes sure we have the best opportunities. One day I want to be as hard working and selfless as she is.” Sydney would like to thank her mother, stepfather and other family members for supporting her rodeo dreams. She would also like to thank the trainers, friends and rodeo family members who have helped her down the rodeo road.