A day consisting of feeding horses, school work and then returning to the barn to spend the rest of the afternoon practicing, has paid off […]
Jacey Hupp is a 17-year-old cowgirl from Huron, S.D. She loves the great outdoors and staying active, which is one of the reasons she loves rodeo so much. “It’s what I was raised doing. It’s my passion and I never get bored with it.” Jacey first began competing in rodeo when she was eight, but before that she was tagging along with her older brother and sisters to every rodeo they went to. Her sister Cassy hauled her to peewee barrel races to get her started. Today, Jacey competes in team roping as a header, goat tying, breakaway roping, and barrel racing. Jacey’s dad, Bill Hupp, is her rodeo coach, and her mom, LaDonna Hupp, has faithfully documented the Hupp children’s rodeos and kept the cooler well stocked with food. “My whole family is a big influence to me,” Jacey explained.
The Hupp family lives outside of Huron with their 15 horses, 3 dogs, and several barn cats. Sugar is Jacey’s 20-year-old goat tying horse. The little red roan mare has raised all three of the Hupp children through their years of rodeo, and between them, they have won eight saddles with her contributions. Peanut is Jacey’s breakaway roping horse, a former tie-down roping horse that belonged to Jacey’s brother. “He (Peanut) is an absolute knucklehead,” Jacey said with a laugh. “He doesn’t bend, but he runs a straight line and he does good when he pays attention.” Oops – dubbed as such because her mother was bred accidentally when a stud got into her pasture – is Jacey’s barrel racing horse. Finally, Buddy is Jacey’s team roping horse and he is as a solid as they come.
Jacey will be starting her third year of competing in the SDHSRA this spring. Meanwhile, she is a junior at Huron High School where she is pursuing her other passions of basketball and volleyball. In addition to sports, she particularly enjoys her history, psychology, and sociology classes. Further activities to keep Jacey busy include competing in 4-H rodeo, as well as serving as the 2014 Student Secretary for the SDHSRA.
In her free time, Jacey has been helping her nine-year-old niece, Devin, practice goat tying and barrel racing. Devin has begun her second year of competing in 4-H rodeo and the NBHA, much to the pride of Jacey and the rest of the Hupp family. Jacey also enjoys an array of hobbies, from reading books such as The Hunger Games, to hunting with her family. She says, “My favorite thing to do is riding in one of our alfalfa fields and listening to music. It’s one of the most relaxing things you can do.”
As Jacey’s high school graduation approaches next year, she is starting to make plans. Her entire family has gone to school at South Dakota State University (SDSU), including her older brother and sister, Trevor and Tarin, who are CNFR qualifiers. Jacey would like to study something involving agriculture, but she has her eyes firmly set on competing in college rodeo. “I would love to have a National College championship under my belt. That’s my dream. I’m definitely going to pro rodeo, maybe in the PRCA, and definitely in the WPRA.” In the more immediate future, Jacey’s goal is to make it in the top four of state finals this year. She has won fifth and sixth in state several times, and she explains that her brother and sister have each won fifth. “My uncle Rod is the only one in the Hupp family so far to get in the top four, so I’m hoping to break the ‘curse’,” Jacey concluded with a laugh.
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