Meet the Member: Grayce Baxter
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 […]
story by Riata Cummings
Hailing from Dammeron Valley, Utah, Tayla Covington is the daughter of Kyle and Emilee Covington. Tayla has two younger sisters, Lily and Joey, and the family enjoys going camping, hiking, fishing and rodeoing together.
Tayla attends Dixie High School as a senior, and her favorite classes are the agricultural sciences. She has been a member and officer for the school’s chapter of the National FFA Organization, and she is currently working at a local veterinary clinic. After school she hopes to continue her education by studying for some profession in animal medicine, possibly as a veterinary technician or equine chiropractor.
Tayla has loved riding since she was a tiny girl, begging to ride the horses at her grandfather’s house. When she was old enough, her parents bought her first horse and she started competing in the horse 4-H. As a 6th grader, she started competing in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association, and then graduated to the Utah High School Rodeo Association.
She now competes in the goat tying, pole bending and barrel racing. Tayla enjoys the adrenaline she finds in the barrel pen but has enjoyed learning the specific skills of the goat tying. “I love to challenge myself by trying to perfect those skills. I just love everything about all of my events.”
Tayla’s pole bending and goat tying horse is Tucker, a big sorrel gelding she has trained for those events and ridden for many years. Her barrel horse is Fiddle, another big sorrel that she only recently started running. Together, she and her horses have qualified for the state finals rodeo in each of her events. This year at state finals she hopes to have clean, solid runs for a strong finish to her season.
Tayla has taken this year to focus on the small victories and successes, striving to improve her mindset. “For a lot of years, I watched the same people get the buckles and the wins, and I compared myself to them. It killed my confidence.” It was difficult for Tayla to not give up after bad runs or weekends, and she struggled to keep her determination. After watching her father change his life and mindset in a big way, Tayla was inspired to do the same. She would now advise rodeo contestants with these words: “Don’t let buckles or titles define your success. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Focus on the little things, the daily goals and improvements, and let those things be wins. You will be happier and a better competitor when you are focusing on the positive.”
Tayla would like to thank her parents for hauling her to rodeos and supporting her rodeo dreams. She would also like to thank her sisters for cheering her on. “Thank you all for being my support and my strength.”
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