Story by Heidi Geesen The 2022 Colorado Junior Rodeo Association Senior Girls Horse of the Year, has a story that is very unique. It is […]
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Meet the Member – Tatum Runner
By Laurie Dineen
You can’t miss this 13 yr. old from Wellington, CO. She’s tall, blond and is very aggressive whether it is in the rodeo arena, roping pen or playing team sports. Tatum comes by it naturally with both her parents avid team ropers and her siblings also following in her tracks of the rodeo arena.
Tatum has been a CJRA member since she was 6 years old. She is in her 3rd yr. of the girls Jr. Division and enters breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, ribbon roping – the latter two events are with her younger brother Colby, and ropes with her dad in the parent/child roping. Tatum began the 2015 CJRA rodeo season with deliberation. At the Henderson Kick Off rodeo she placed 1st in BA, 2nd in GT and 2 in TR the second day and won All Around Jr. Girl on the day. “This was the first all-around title I have won as a Jr girl and it felt great,” said Tatum. “All my hard work in the practice pen paid off and I know what I have to do to succeed in the arena.”
Tatum is a 7th grader at Wellington Middle School and will be attending Resurrection Christian School next year. She also plays volleyball and basketball for her school and plays club volleyball at NORCO. “I work on power and technique for these sports, which is very similar to what I have to do in the arena,” she said. “No matter the sport, I feel you have to work really hard to compete at the level of competition you are up against.”
Tatum has been riding horses for as long as she can remember. Her favorite events are breakaway and team roping. “I started roping before I began competing in all the other events, I really love it!” She has two horses she uses to compete on, one for goats and breakaway, and one for team roping and dally ribbon roping. Competing at CJRA, Little Britches and also local team roping jackpots, Tatum keeps herself very busy.
Tatum’s siblings also participate in rodeo events. Her younger brother Colby is a CJRA Jr. Boy, and her younger sister, Jaycee is starting her first year as a Pee-Wee. “We practice together, and being the oldest, I try to help wherever I can, however I never ran poles or barrels, but we all work on horsemanship and our skills,” said Tatum. “Our parents are always helping us as well. I look up to my Mom and Dad and credit them for where I am at today with my horsemanship and roping capabilities. They have done so well with their riding and roping and they are great coaches as well as parents”.
When not in school or the practice pen, Tatum spends time helping with their herd of Corrientes’. “I love this time of the year with the new babies”, she said. “We practice on the younger calves for breakaway and when they get older, we use them for our team roping practice.” When not roping live cattle, Tatum practices on the Heel-O-Matic and roping the dummy. “I believe you need to continually be working on your skills if you are wanting to succeed in whatever it is you want to do.”
Setting goals is also important to Tatum. This year she has set her sights on making it to the CJRA finals and winning a saddle in at least one of her events. Her long term goals are to go to college on a rodeo scholarship and be the first girl to team rope at the NFR. We look forward to watching this young cowgirl as she climbs the ladder of success!