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Meet the Member Weslynn Reno
story by Lindsay King
Three tough losses in one year are hard enough when they aren’t your rodeo mounts. Weslynn Reno, Las Cruces, New Mexico, experienced more than her fair share of heartbreak last rodeo season. All three of her horses were take taken out of commission, some before this rodeo year even started. This included her breakaway, barrel and pole horse. “The hardest part about rodeo is losing good horses. It is really hard to change horses around, no matter what time of the season it is,” said the 15-year-old. Weslynn’s breakaway horse went down at the NMJHSRA state finals last summer and a bone bruise from out of nowhere is keeping her barrel horse down.
However, the silver lining of all this tough luck is that Weslynn now knows what she wants to pursue as a career – a large animal veterinarian with a specialization in equine rehabilitation. “I worked with our vet (Dr. Wendy Ray Miller) and found out that I am really interested in all of it. I have got to help her do some injections and surgeries. We have done a lot of work with her in rehabilitating our horses and I just think it is an interesting topic.” From pulse therapy to theraplates and hydrotherapy, Weslynn loves it all. The same can be said for her interest in rodeo events as she is a five-event competitor: barrels, poles, goats, breakaway and team roping.
Her favorite aspect of rodeo doesn’t have much to do with her events though; it has everything to do the company. “I like to be with my friends and travel with my family. It is neat to see new places like Huron, South Dakota, that we would have never visited if it wasn’t for rodeo.” She loves everything about rodeo, but it sums it all up as liking the lifestyle the best. As you can probably guess, Weslynn spent her last year in the junior association at nationals competing in the goat tying. “South Dakota was a neat place to experience nationals. It went pretty well for me, but I had a goat get up on me.” She was there in the seventh grade as well, competing in the goat tying and barrels.
With her sights rightfully set on another trip to the national stage, Weslynn is attending as many clinics for her events as she can fit into an already packed schedule. “This year I have also been more solid on my horses because I am not having the bad luck that I did last year,” she said with fingers crossed. Luckily, Weslynn has a solid support system behind her with every victory and loss. Her parents (Wesley and Brady) and brother (Bladen, 16) were her inspiration to get into the sport in the first place and have only helped propel her passion for it forward. “My parents rodeoed before I was born and still do today. My dad team ropes and my mom and grandpa ride my horses, so that makes it a bit easier to get solid mounts.”
Her grandparents play a big role in shaping Weslynn as a competitor. “My grandpa Tharp (materal side) rides with me everyday. He trains horses, so he helped train my new barrel horse. I want to train horses in the future too, maybe not as my full-time job but I want to be able to make my own nice horses and keep them going.” It’s this barrel horse that has taught Weslynn some of the greatest, and most recent, lessons of hard work. “She is only five, so she is still pretty green. I have learned to be very patient with her because she is not as far along as my old horse. She is really fast though, so I usually clock pretty fast on her. She is a lot like my other horse because my mom and grandpa trained her, that’s probably why we get along so well.”