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 […]
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Meet the Members Reined Cow Horse
story by Magie Downare-Nevius
Reining his way through the Silver State International Rodeo (SSIR), Chason Hortin, walked away fourth overall to conclude his junior year in the reined cow horse competition. His accuracy, timing and responsiveness have ranked the event as one of his favorites. “It really is the adrenaline of going down the fence,” he said. In addition to performing the tasks required of his working cow horse at the SSIR, Chason impressively represented the UHSRA in the tie-down roping and team roping. “It didn’t go quite as well in my other two events, but it was an honor to go in all three,” he said.
Jumping into his fourth year with the association, the three-time state qualifier has already met the prerequisites and will be seen competing at the finals as a quadruple-event contender, where he has picked up steer wrestling this season and is currently ninth in the standings. Sitting in the top five of the reined cow horse, Chason continues to prove his abilities as an all-around cowboy and is seeded second in the tie-down roping standings as well. “Calf roping is one of my favorites. It’s the joy of only depending on you to make a run,” he said.
A senior at North Summit High School, the 18-year-old cowboy has accumulated a grade point average of 3.2 and will graduate with 89 kids in the spring. His enjoyments outside of the arena include big game hunting, snowmobiling and hanging out with buddies, but focuses all athletics towards rodeo. “I’d like to stay in the top 10 in all of my events and try to make it to Nationals in some or even all of them,” Chason said of his season goal.
Growing up in a ranching lifestyle at his home in Coalville, Utah, the family raises Texas Longhorns, for the purpose of roping cattle. “We also help our family and local ranchers throughout the year gather, check, brand and everything else,” Chason said. Parallel to agriculture being an everyday juncture, the sport of rodeo and equine events has also been handed down to Chason and his two younger siblings (Kendon, 13 and Gracelyn, 11). Kendon, a freshman, is competing in his first season with the UHSRA in the tie-down roping, team roping and reining cow horse and Gracelyn has done junior rodeos and barrel races. While their mom (Christa) is a former high school rodeo competitor, their dad (Lyle) worked horse events; i.e. draft horse pulling. “I would just like to thank all of my family including my grandparents, and my friends for helping me to be the person I am today. It is with their support of being there and pushing me to the next level that has allowed me to find success,” Chason said.
stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Cori Terry lives in one state but goes to school in another.
The Utah High School Rodeo Association member lives in McKinnon, Wyoming but attends Manila, Utah High School, 20 miles southeast of her home.
As a high school rodeo member, she competes in the goat tying, breakaway roping and barrel racing, and last year, competed in the reined cow horse.
The seventeen year old cowgirl has three horses in her rodeo barn. Her favorite is Taco, a 16-year-old roan who is her barrel and goat tying horse. George, a 24-year-old big black horse, is her stand-in for the goats if Taco can’t do it.
For the breakaway, Cori rides Salsa, a 14-year-old roan. Last year, when she was doing reined cow horse, she rode Taco. “The hardest part of doing reined cow horse on him,” Cori said, “was that he looked like a barrel horse in the reined cow horse,” she laughed. “He did his job, but he didn’t look as nice.”
Cori, who is a senior at Manila High School, is vice-president of her school’s FFA chapter and is on High Honor Roll. She is first in her class with a 3.98 GPA, and she’d have a perfect 4.0 except for a college biology class that she got an A- in. “I was really upset about it,” she laughed. She is a starter on the Manila Mustang basketball team, where she plays guard.
Cori has gone to state finals all three years of her high school career, and qualified for the National Junior High Finals in the goat tying her seventh grade year.
After high school, she plans on attending college, but she is unsure of where, and what her major will be. She jokes that she might want to be a nuclear engineer. It all started with the college applications she was filling out. “I wrote that down, and the more I read about it, the more I think I want to be one. It’ll be funny if that joke turns out to be real.”
Cori is student president of the UHSRA this year, a job she enjoys.
She has a younger sister, Shaylee, who made it to the short go at the National Junior High Finals last year in the goat tying. “I was so proud of her,” Cori said. And she has a younger brother, Jex, who is nine and shows an interest in being a “roughie.”
She is the daughter of Raymond and Mindy Terry.
McKoy Christiansen has a passion for wrestling and rodeo, and the two sports have a lot in common.
The 17-year-old cowboy, a member of the Utah High School Rodeo Association, is the 2014-2015 Class 2A State Wrestling champ in the 120 lb. weight class, and in rodeo, he competes in the saddle bronc riding, team roping, cutting, and reined cow horse.
His cutting and reined cowhorse is a five-year-old stud named Shocker. The sorrel, who has a big blaze on his face, is also his heeling horse, and “he’s a big part of my success,” McKoy said.
His tie-down horse is a 16-year-old sorrel named Sackett. McKoy has shown Shocker in the Utah Reined Cow Horse Association, Sackett in ranch versatility shows, and both horses in the AQHA.
He can’t choose a favorite between the two. “I’ve done a lot with Sackett,” he said. “I started riding on him, and he started me in rodeo. He’s taken me a lot of places.” But Shocker is also special; he carried McKoy to the National High School Finals this year in the reined cow horse, “and he’s won a bunch of money.”
A senior at Emery High School, McKoy is the president of his school’s FFA chapter, is on Seminary Council, and on his school’s honor roll. He runs cross country in the fall as training for wrestling, and says there are a lot of commonalities between rodeo and wrestling. “Rodeo gets me in shape for wrestling, and wrestling gets me in shape for rodeo. They build on each other. Wrestling teaches you, no matter how hard it is, you can always get through it. You can apply that to eight seconds (in rodeo). If you get a little bit out of shape (in a saddle bronc ride), you just have to gas up and get back” into position. In the spring, McKoy also rides bulls.
He will run for state FFA office this spring. If he gets it, it will be a year long commitment. If he doesn’t get it, he’ll go on his mission. He’ll also apply to both Utah State University and Utah Valley University. Depending on which school accepts him, he’ll either study ag education or physical therapy. If he goes to UVU, he’ll wrestle, since it’s the only Division I school in Utah with a wrestling program. If he goes to Utah State, he will rodeo collegiately.
McKoy has a younger sister and three younger brothers: Riata (age sixteen), Korby (thirteen), Byron (eleven) and Monty (nine.) He is the son of Kirk and Mistie Christiansen.