story by Ruth Nicolaus For the goat tying and pole bending, the Colorado Junior High School Rodeo Association cowgirl rides Hollywood, her ten-year-old gelding, a […]
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Meet the Member Whitney Lake
story by Ruth Nicolaus
The COVID-19 pandemic gave Whitney Lake an opportunity to do “lunch” with her dad, Andy.
And lunch usually preceded, or followed, a team roping session with dad, Andy, and older brother, Caleb, at the family arena.
The Colorado Junior High School Rodeo Association cowgirl would sometimes have lunch ready for her dad when he came home, and they’d rope afterwards. Or sometimes they’d rope, then eat. Either way, the silver lining in the virus for Whitney was “getting to ride my horse every day.”
Whitney, who is thirteen years old and lives in Bayfield, Colorado, competes in the team roping, barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping.
For the team roping, she rides a seventeen-year-old gelding named Spooky, who “acts like he’s four,” she said. In the barrels and poles, she rides Dually, a copper colored bay with black and white socks, who, this spring, earned his cowgirl a 20.9 second run in the poles and a 15.9 second run in the barrels.
Cheyenne, a red roan, is ridden for the breakaway and team roping, and Whitney is currently training Lucky, who will be her backup barrel and pole horse.
She finished her eighth grade year at Bayfield School this past spring, where the best parts of the day were art and Spanish classes. Whitney loves doing art, especially acrylic painting, whittling, drawing and building things. She likes painting landscapes, including mountains and oceans, and really enjoyed building a stepstool in seventh grade woods class.
She absolutely loved her middle school Spanish and English teachers, Miss Alzamora and Miss Wennerstrom, respectively. She learned well from their methods of teaching, and appreciated how kind they were. “They were my go-to teachers for anything,” she said. “They helped me with everything.”
She also looks up to her dad. “He’s taught me everything I know about horses, and he taught me to rope this winter. He’s helped me in everything I do, besides baking. That’s not his strong suit. He can cook, but he can’t bake.”
Whitney loves to cook and bake and sometimes starts dinner before her mom comes home from work. Currently, her specialty is brownies and cinnamon rolls, from scratch, that are so big they fill a small paper plate. She also likes to make breakfast sandwiches, with a split bagel toasted in a skillet, cooked eggs with a splash of maple syrup, five pieces of “really thin bacon,” and cheese, all in a layer on the bagel. “It’s really good,” she said.
This is Whitney’s first foray back into rodeo after four years off. She started rodeoing at age three. But four years ago, her parents told their children it was such a hassle to get them to ride that they would quit rodeo. This year, they’re back to riding without being reminded, and enjoying it “very much,” Whitney said.
The Lake household has several pets: eight horses, two pigs, twenty chickens, three dogs, a cat, and five kittens. The cat is not tame, she reports, but the dogs: Sky, Tara, and Josie, are. In fact, Josie is so tame, when she is petted, she will “lay on your feet and not let you go away.”
Whitney has two older brothers: Dillon, who graduated from high school this spring, and Caleb, who is sixteen years old and will be a junior this fall.
She is the daughter of Andy and Carrie Lake.