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World Champion Carly Grady
story by Siri Stevens
In July of 2017, Carly Grady got back on a horse for the first time in 6 weeks following a rodeo accident that put her in the hospital for 5 days with 4 broken ribs and a punctured lung. One year later to the day, the 10-year-old from Combine, Texas, was competing in the NLBFR in barrel racing and goat tying.
This year Carly continued rodeo, entering 51 rodeos and placing in all but three. She and her older sister, Terryn (12), compete in the NRS franchise in Decatur, Texas. She completed the NLBFR as the 2019 Pee Wee Barrel Racing Champion. She won the Finals riding Ms. Bold Midnight, or Spook, the same horse that took her sister from 117th in the nation in the pole bending to 5th. Spook was purchased in north Texas, from Shelbi Reynolds, who raised her.
Carly’s mom, Kelly, competed in the NLBRA growing up, and continued competing until she started hauling her daughters. “I was pregnant with Terryn and won the LRCA breakaway roping at their finals seven days before she was born.” Carly started attending the Little Britches rodeos in January of 2018 with her parents, Kelly and Colby, and her older sister, Terryn (12). Carly competes in pole bending and flag racing, and has plans to add breakaway roping soon. Her sister competes in in barrels, poles, goats, and breakaway. “We were up in every performance there was this year due to the number of events the girls entered.” For this year, both girls will compete in the junior division. They practice together and compete against each other in the practice pen; they get points for the event they win in and whoever has the most points at the end of the day wins it.
Carly and Terryn are third generation students at Martha Josey clinics. “My girls have been going at least twice a year since they were tiny. It makes all the difference in the world being taught by the greatest teachers. They have so much to offer and give.”
Carly is a fourth grader at Covington Elementary school in Covington, Texas. They moved there from Combine, Texas a year ago. “There’s lots of rodeo kids in school so I like it.” She gets up at six and goes to school with her mom, who teaches at the same school. She likes recess, lunch and PE. When she gets out of school, she comes home and rides her horses. “I have four horses and my favorite one is Spook. He’s fast.” She exercises her horses every day. She is working on breakaway roping which she is learning from her Aunt Amber Crawford, who qualified for the American last year.