story by Siri Stevens Allie Cliburn is the incoming Louisiana High School Rodeo state president. Allie is from Prairieville, Louisiana where she attends Dutchtown High […]
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Meet the Member Alex Darbonne
story by Gigi Robey
“It’s a sport unlike any other sport, family oriented, great community, with lots of help and support. It’s also a lot of fun.” This is what Alex Darbonne, a fourteen-year-old (soon to be fifteen) from the small town McCharles, LA, says he would tell someone that didn’t rodeo about why they should rodeo. He compared it to football, “If you were playing football and you forgot something, like a cleat, for example, the other team wouldn’t offer you their cleats. But in rodeo they will, everyone would loan you anything from a rope to a horse if you needed.”
Coming up freshman, Alex Darbonne, will compete in calf roping and team roping with his brother Evan. He enjoys being able to rodeo with his family, since his family is who got him started; his mom grew up riding horses and found Alex his first horse, which led him into rodeo. To stay motivated, Alex uses the quote “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong,” which is why he likes to practice in his free time, along with playing with his two dogs Rux and Jazz. After a trip to the Junior High National Finals and vacationing at the beach, Alex spent a lot of his summer vacation practicing. The young cowboy attends high school at St. Louis Catholic High School, when asked about his favorite subject, he responded “Does lunch count?” he laughed the added that he also enjoys Religion. Besides rodeo, he will also be busy playing soccer and cross country throughout high school. He hopes that the future holds a career in pro rodeos alongside people he looks up to like Shane Hanchey and Tuf Cooper. He said that if he could ask anyone anything, he would like to ask Shane Hanchey how he got where he is today, he said he knew it took a lot of hard work and dedication, but he wanted to know what exactly it took to go above and beyond everyone else in the sport. Alex said that if a career in pro rodeo didn’t work out he would like a career as a doctor or lawyer. He also hopes that one day he will get to go to the NFR in Las Vegas, Nev., hopefully competing, but if not he would like to watch it in person.
Alex’s favorite rodeo has always been state finals, with the combination of his favorite announcer, favorite arena (Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, La.) and the excitement, it’s the rodeo he works towards all year round. So far, his biggest accomplishments have been Junior High Nation Reserve Champion in goat tying as a seventh grader, and this past summer being the Louisiana Junior High Goat Tying Champion. On the road, Alex likes to snack on chips of any kind, and once he gets there he prepares by taking care of Levi and Bullfrog (his two horses). However, he doesn’t like to think a lot about his runs, to calm the nerves he likes to talk with friends. After a summer of practicing he is excited about starting rodeos with the Louisiana High School Rodeo this fall.