story by Jennie Lawrence Jake Morinec, of Osseo, Michigan takes bull riding very seriously. At just 17-years-old, he says, “I prepare for rodeos by maintaining […]
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Meet the Members Montgomery Family
story by Michele Toberer
A family that rodeos together, stays together, and the road trips from Esparto, California to Oklahoma the past two years for competition at the International Miniature Rodeo Association finals, have been trips full of memories and championship buckles for the Montgomery family. Rodeo is at the forefront of activities for the family of 6, that moved to California from Montana three years ago, and they’re excited about their participation in the IMRA that began in 2018. Paul Montgomery works as a pipeline superintendent and he and Kate Montgomery’s children, Coy and Sara, 16-year-old twins, Cody, 15, and Shea, 12, are all fierce rodeo competitors, with influence from Paul, a bareback rider for many years. They compete in multiple associations and events with a list of accomplishments achieved by each. Cody focuses his energies on steer wrestling and team roping, so has tagged along as a supportive brother as his siblings have competed in the IMRA competitions. Each year Coy, Sara, and Shea, have left the IMFR with titles, awards, and cash; and they look forward to their third season with the IMRA.
Coy has been riding bareback horses since he was 10 and has earned the IMRA Senior Bareback Rider title two years in a row. The first year the IMFR was in Oklahoma City, and in 2019 he earned his title riding bareback horses at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma. “I really like the IMRA and the aspect of meeting new people and competing against new levels of competition. The organization is run very well and has the best stock around. Getting to ride bareback horses front and center of a crowd like they have at the IFR is pretty neat.” Coy credits his dad, and Paul Applegarth for where he is with his riding skills and is appreciative to them both. Outside of his IMRA competition, Coy also competes in tie-down roping, team roping, and occasionally bull riding. Bareback riding is his main focus and he hopes to one day compete at the professional level. His favorite school subjects are math and history, and Coy plans to become a welder or welding engineer in the future.
Sara, who, like her siblings, has been on horses since she could walk, is an all-around cowgirl that competes in team roping, breakaway roping, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, and cutting at high school rodeos. She left Guthrie as the 2019 IMRA Senior Reserve Champion Barrel Racer and was the 2018 Champion Senior Barrel Racer. She’s grateful for her 13-year-old grey gelding, Bandito, “I’ve only had him for a year so I’m still seasoning him, but he has taught me so much. I like competing at the Wild West Buckers Association rodeos in Yuba City to qualify for the IMRA finals, and love being able to travel to Oklahoma to compete.” Sara, Coy, and Cody are all homeschooled, and her favorite classes as a sophomore are English and math. She plans to head to Weatherford, Texas for college and has set her goals on becoming a lawyer. “I’d like to thank my family for supporting me and allowing me all the opportunities they have.”
Shea attends Esparto Middle School as a 7th grader and loves learning about the past in history, as well as mastering math. She aspires to become a surgeon or veterinarian when she grows up. Competing in the junior division of barrel racing in the IMRA has been a rewarding experience for the young cowgirl. She earned the 2019 IMRA Champion Junior Barrel Racer title in January and was the 2018 IMRA Reserve Champion Junior Barrel Racer. “It’s a really great experience getting to compete during the IFR and watching all the big girls run. I’m riding a horse I got last year named Tex. He’s a 17-year-old sorrel, and he’s definitely my best friend. Getting to run him at the finals is an experience I won’t forget. I’m so grateful to the IMRA and to my family for all they’ve done for me.”
Rodeo is a 12-month-per-year lifestyle for the Montgomery’s, and competing at the highest levels possible, including their IMRA competition, is something they don’t intend to change.