To get to a point in your life for some little girl looks up to you, that’s what it’s all about: to have kids influenced by positive people and good people. I hope people consider me to be one. I try to put more back into the sport and evolve it in a positive way and be someone parents can tell their little girls—and even little boys—to look up to. I hope that I’m doing that and representing women and inspiring little girls to find a goal of their own and a dream of their own and know they can achieve it.
I really, really, really hope that myself as well as others are blazing a trail that will see a woman in the top 15 in team roping. It’s going to take a tough girl who makes a lot of sacrifices. There’s a lot of variables, she’s going to have to be physically strong, mentally strong, she’s going to have to want this and she’s going to have to have some help. We’ve come a long way, Willow Raley made the short go at Cheyenne, I made it to the short round before The American. I hope that I can spark a fire in that particular girl who has all those talents and we get to see her prevail and move up in this industry.
We moved to Oklahoma when I was 11 from Illinois. There were more youth events and all these kids were roping and I just loved it. Growing up, I was always playing sports, was kind of a tomboy, and always wanted to be the best at whatever I did, whether it was against boys or girls. It was just a mindset even from when I was young.
The one thing I admire my mom for was she put a mindset in me—whether she believed it or not—that I could do anything. What’s more, if I couldn’t do it, it wasn’t going to be because I didn’t work the hardest at it. She has a work ethic that’s incredible and she gave me that mindset. Any failure was not going to be because of a lack of work. Anything less than trying harder than everyone else was not acceptable.
I knew I had a good shot of making roping my career when I started getting college scholarship offers in my senior year of high school. I had been able to go enough places and see the competition level and think, I can do this. When I came to college in Texas, it was a rude awakening. I turned down full ride scholarships closer to my hometown just because I wanted to get around the best competition. My freshman year was a downer because I got beat pretty bad. By my sophomore year I had come back and figured out what I needed to do. I won the region in college, the nation in college, so from that point on, I have a drive for this and breakaway and women’s roping is getting bigger.
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Photos by James Phifer/rodeobum