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On The Trail with Rylee Jo Maryman
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Rylee Jo Maryman spends her summer days roping the dummy and tying goats. Sometimes she goes swimming, but practice comes first. “I practice to increase how I run when I’m at a rodeo. That’s my favorite sport,” said the 9-year-old National Little Britches World All Around Champion Little Wrangler. She also holds the World Champion title in the Pole Bending, and Flag Racing. Her favorite event is pole bending. “I have an awesome horse and he always does what I ask him – I think I’m very athletic in that event and it’s very challenging and I like challenges. It makes me work harder and improve.”
Rylee Jo knows how hard it is to win, and she feels like she’s got the horse to do it. “If I didn’t have Pistol, I don’t think I would have won so much.” Pistol is a 21-year-old gelding. “You can do anything on him – I use him for poles, barrels, and flags.” Pistol used to be her uncle’s team roping horse and won the Purina Super Horse this year. “He is not the fastest, and he’s not a bucking horse, but if I’m having problems in anything, I go back to him to help me fix it.” She also rides Dally. “She’s fast, but not as fast as my new horse, Smurf. Smurf runs really fast and I’m trying to get him back in my hands.”
She has been in the NLBRA for three years. “I didn’t place at all my first year, and then I got a little better last year and I finally won the world this year. It feels good. I competed against a lot of good kids and good horses,” said the St. Francisville, Louisiana, native. She lives ten minutes out of town with her mother, Casey, and father, Joe and their 10 horses, four dogs, 18 goats, five cats, 6 chickens, and cattle.
She spends her summers at her grandmother’s house while her parents work, but as soon as they get home; it’s off to the arena. “It hasn’t been dry enough lately to do anything, but I still rope the dummy and tie goats under the barn.”
Her mom and dad help her the most with her rodeo. “Now we rodeo for her,” said her mom, Casey. “At about 2 ½ we put her on a horse and we turned her loose by herself. She had it – squeezing with her legs and riding on her own. Since then, she’s ridden every day. Her focus 24/7 is the arena. We go every day. We competed in two different associations last year since it was her last year in Little Wranglers. She went into the finals winning the barrels and poles and in the top four of all the rest – goat tail untying and flag racing.” Casey, who works during the day as an educator in the prison, started rodeoing when she was young. “We didn’t go as hard as she does when we were young.” She roped – team rope and breakaway. Her husband, Joe, who is a biologist for the Wildlife Fisheries in Louisiana, college rodeoed, calf roped and team roped. “We’re going to do whatever we can to give her what she needs. Right now she has two new horses she’s trying to get with.”
Rylee Jo has also gone to three of Martha Josey’s clinics as well as Stacy Martin with Next Level Goat Tying. “When I first went to the goat tying school I was tying in 18, now I’m tying in 11s,” she said. The Josey clinics have helped her figure out the first barrel. “I’m still trying to figure that out. When I pull, I give back. When I do that, my horse runs by. I’m still working on that.” What the clinics have done for this young lady is give her confidence to figure out how to fix her problems in the arena. “I can try to figure it out on my own from going to the schools.” The other thing she is figuring out is how to manage her own money. She has a bank account and she pays for part of her entry fees.
When she grows up, she wants to rodeo full time. That’s what she’s doing now – she’s rodeoeing all weekend and if she’s not, she’s in the arena at home practicing.”
“Keep your dreams and one day they will come true. But you have to work on them or they won’t come true.”
Her rodeo idol is Mary Burger. “She always tries to do better.”