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 New Member: Liam Duke
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Liam Duke has found his calling.
The fourteen year old cowboy, a member of the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association, is in partnership with his dad and uncle in breaking and training quarter horses.
He’s part of “Duke Brothers Horses,” the company owned by his family, and in addition to breaking and training, he helps with the family business of leading trail rides and giving riding lessons. Every day, after school, he is in charge of catching horses, saddling them, and getting them ready for lessons.
When he’s not working, he puts to use his natural horsemanship in rodeo, as a breakaway roper and team roper. Neither of his parents or relatives ever rodeoed, but when his mom and dad, Sonya and Will, saw his natural ability with horses and his love of roping, they encouraged him to begin. He also breaks horses for people. “People have found out what a good horseman he is, and they bring horses to him,” Sonya said.
Liam, an eighth grade student at Rocky Mountain Middle School, is also involved in 4-H where he raises and shows pigs. He used to play basketball and football but now focuses on rodeo.
His mother loves the humility that he has. “He doesn’t boast about how great he is with horses and what a good horseman he is,” she said. She also loves his determination. “He’s really driven. Whatever he’s doing, he’s dedicated to it and practices even when he doesn’t need to practice. He’s a hard worker. He does it on his own.”
Liam has qualified for this summer’s state finals. He has two younger brothers, Riley, age ten, and Cody, who is five. The family lives in Heber, Utah.