story by Julie Carter Cowboying at the ranch comes natural for Trip Saulsberry, but the arena part of the job didn’t start until he was […]
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Meet the Member: Baili Herring
story by Lindsay Whelchel
Polite, well spoken and dedicated are a few traits you might think of when you think of a young cowgirl. At least, that’s what you’d think talking with Baili Herring.
The 14-year-old roper from Artesia, N.M. talked recently about what she loves most about being in the New Mexico Junior High School Rodeo Association as her last year comes to a close, and she looks toward next year in the New Mexico High School competition level.
“My favorite part is the breakaway roping. I made nationals last year and went to Des Moines, Iowa breakaway roping,” Baili said as she and her mom and dad were making their way home from a weekend rodeo five hours away. The experience at the National Junior High School Finals has been Baili’s favorite and most memorable rodeo experience thus far, she said.
Baili, who started riding horses at the age of 3 and roping at the age of 5, is in the 8th grade now and competes in a range of events from breakaway, to ribbon roping, to barrel racing. She grew up on the family’s cow-calf operation with plenty of cowboy and cowgirl-lifestyle examples to learn from, her dad Jimmy, mom Pam and sisters Leann and Brittany.
“My dad went to the world finals ranch rodeo eight times. My mom loves to ride and train horses, and my two sisters have three breakaway championships between them,” Baili explained, adding that she would like to thank them for all of their support in her rodeo career.
The sport has taught her a lot about what it takes to succeed in the arena and out.
“It takes dedication and hard work. It’s just an everyday deal. It keeps you busy all the time,” Baili said, emphasizing, “You have to work hard at what you do, and you have to believe to achieve.” That’s the motto she keeps in mind going down the road, and it’s clear the lessons she’s learned in rodeo have translated to the classroom.
She was nominated for the National Junior Honor Society and loves the subject of English in school. In the future, though she has plenty of time to decide for sure, Baili said she might like to become a writer or go into a field of animal studies once in college. For now, she’ll be in the practice pen, putting in the work for the sport that she loves.