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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Utah Junior High Rookie Hallie Bennett
story by Holly Wilson
Hallie Bennett got started with rodeo when she was just three years old.
“My parents got me involved,” she said. “My mom did 4H and high school rodeo, and so did my dad. He also did some pro rodeos when he got older.”
As a sixth grade student at Frontier Middle School, she competes in the team roping, breakaway, barrels, poles, goats, and ribbon roping.
A rigorous practice routine is essential for keeping up with a six event cowgirl, and Hallie’s brother helps her stay competition ready.
“Every morning, me and my brother will do exercises and rope our team roping and breakaway dummies,” she said. “Then I go out to the arena and run barrels and poles, and tie my goats.”
It was this persistence that kept her ahead for the title of the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Rookie. Not to mention, leading the title all year long.
“My greatest rodeo achievement was winning the rookie award,” she said. “When we were still doing rodeos before state finals, I would always check to see if I was winning it or how many points I needed to stay ahead.”
“I always wanted to be aware of what I needed to do to stay on top. And I was leading it the whole year.”
Hallie finished the rodeo season with 147.5 points; 15th in the barrels and goats, 20th in the breakaway roping, 14th in the pole bending, and 18th in the ribbon roping.
She has a string of three horses that helped her accomplish this feat. She spends a lot of time with them, and has developed a strong bond with them over the years.
“My barrels/poles/breakaway horse is Rockstar, and he’s my favorite. My team roping horse is Clyde, and he’s a head horse, and my goat horse is Hollywood,” she said. “They’ve been with me the whole time and have helped me accomplish things like the rookie award.”
Although she doesn’t know where she will attend yet, Hallie plans to continue rodeoing throughout high school, and college as well.
Aside from rodeo, she also enjoys playing basketball and singing.
“I play winter basketball, and won Most Valuable Player (MVP) of my team,” she said. “I also love to sing, and I sing the National Anthem at a lot of rodeos. My favorite rodeo to sing at was the first I sang at, Tooele, and I like to sing at my mom’s rodeos. She does UJRA.”
Hallie has her parents to thank for not only introducing her to the sport of rodeo, but keeping her involved throughout her life.
“I would like to thank my parents, my brother, and my grandparents for coming to watch,” she said. “I would also like to thank my rodeo friends, the people who put on the rodeos, and the sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible without them.”
With their support, Hallie was able to cinch the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Rookie award, and won’t let anything get in the way of her dreams.
“Always keep trying and never give up on anything you want to do.”