Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Members – Barrel Racers
stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Jessica Fox loves music, and she loves books.
The 13-year-old cowgirl, who lives in Lawrence, competes in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association as a barrel racer, breakaway roper, and pole bender. Of all her events, she likes the breakaway the best.
For the breakaway roping, she rides a 19-year-old sorrel named Shorty who can be “antsy sometimes, but he’s usually very calm in the box and he knows what to do when sometimes I don’t.” For the poles and barrels, she rides a nine year old sorrel named Spanky whose nickname is Huckleberry, because he can get a little crazy. “He has a mind of his own,” Jessica said. “He sometimes will knock over barrels even though I tell him not to.”
The cowgirl is an eighth grade student at Canyon View Junior High in Huntington, where she loves chorus and sings first soprano. She loves to sing not only in school but around the house, at the arena, everywhere. Her favorite artists are Chris LeDoux and George Strait, and one of her favorite songs is “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” by Strait.
She is a member of the Dust Riders Riding Club, plays basketball, and is a 4-H member, where she shows steers and takes part in 4-H activities like cooking classes. She also helps teach at the studio where her mom teaches dance, where she is also a student.
Jessica loves to read. She has lots of favorite books: “any book you can think of, I probably like,” she said. She especially loves novels about horses, including Shadow Horse and Whirlwind.
When she grows up, she’d like to have a second chance farm, a place for rejected animals to live at, and a place where people with disabilities can ride and enjoy animals.
She has a younger sister, Jalynn, who is eleven, and a younger brother, Wyatt, who is seven.
She is the daughter of Layne and Angela Fox.
Ani English has learned to conquer her fears.
The 13-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association, was bucked off a horse a year and a half ago. She hit her head on concrete, had two staples in her head, and had a real fear of getting back on a horse.
But she’s worked through that fear and loves to compete as a barrel racer, goat tyer, pole bender, and runner for her brother J.P. in the ribbon roping.
The Las Vegas, Nev. cowgirl is an eighth grade student at Cadwallader Middle School where she loves math and science but isn’t crazy about reading. She was in sixth grade last year, but because of her excellent grades, her counselor and principal allowed her to take seventh grade online and moved her to eighth grade this year. She is on her school’s A-B Honor Roll.
When she grows up, she’d like to be an equine veterinarian.
In her first year of junior high rodeo, Ani (whose full name is Anastasia) is enjoying it very much. “I love rodeo. Rodeo is part of my life. It suits me a lot, to build courage and in working with horses.”
Ani has five brothers (Blake, Justin, Brandon, J.P. and Riley) and four sisters (Breanna, Jessica, Cassie and Rachel). She is the eighth out of ten children and the youngest girl.
She is the daughter of Mel and Karen English.
Matia Townsend is a barrel racer and pole bender in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association.
The American Fork, Utah cowgirl is in her first year of junior high rodeo competition, and barrel racing is her favorite event. “I love how your heart gets racing. It’s a lot of fun.”
For the barrels, she rides a former trail horse, Missie Lou, that Matia trained herself. For the poles, she rides a horse that she purchased all by herself. Molly B., a 16-year-old bay, was bought from a pro barrel racer. To raise the funds to buy Molly B, Matia spent countless hours working around the ranch and helping her mom with riding lessons three days a week.
Matia is an eighth grade student at American Fork Junior High, where she loves history and Spanish classes because of the teachers. Mr. Wright, her history teacher, and Mrs. Collier, who teaches Spanish, make it fun.
She loves to spend time with her mom’s riding lesson horses. Currently, she’s working with Taffy, teaching him to bow, lay down, and rear up on his back legs. When she grows up, she’d like to be a horse trainer, “preferably of the speed events, but anything that involves horses,” she says.
She has an older brother, Bowdee, who is 16, and a younger brother, Treg, who is eleven, and a cousin, Tayla, who she considers as her sister. She and Tayla do nearly everything together, including rodeo.
She is the daughter of Terry and Kristi Townsend.