Meet the Member Gabby Gunter

by Rodeo News

story by Lindsay King

Lucky for Gabby Gunter from Sulphur, Louisiana, her mom’s side of the family is big enough to put on their own rodeo, and that is exactly what they used to do. High Hope Rodeo was started by the Martin family 30 years ago and has continued for more than 40 grandkids. “My whole family lives right around us, they started this for us and it happened every weekend,” said the 14-year-old. “It was kind of like our own Little Britches rodeo. Our friends would join us, they would call our names and give us money when we won and everything.” Once most of the High Hope Rodeo participants started riding in junior high events, the family could no longer put on the rodeos. Gabby gets to rodeo with two of her four sisters and two brothers: Lexi, 18, Brooklyn, 16, William, 11, Presley, 9, Sianna, 7, and Jessy, 5. “It is fun getting to rodeo with Lexi and Brooklyn. They are always there when I need them. Sometimes it can be aggravating though, since we argue about who gets to ride which horse.”
Gabby shares her pole horse, Blaze, with Brooklyn. “I never used to like poles until I got Blaze. I ride her one day and then Brooklyn rides her the next. When you saddle her she knows what she is about to do, she gets excited.” Once Presley gets into middle school she plans to use Blaze for poles also. “Last year at nationals I won the first round of poles with a 19.2 but broke the pattern in the second round. The 19.2 holds the record for the fastest time ever ran in poles on the junior high level.” A lot of arena records broken in junior high led Gabby to win the 2017 national champion pole bending title and the 2017 reserve champion cowgirl title. “LJHSRA is very competitive, you go out and run a 19.9 and it still might not hold. The people are also great. I am looking forward to high school but I know the competition is going to be a lot harder.” Gabby plans to focus on barrels and poles, she used to breakaway and ribbon rope. She looks up to her uncle, Casey Martin, a PRCA bull dogger who has made it to the NFR the past two years. “He is still pursuing his rodeo dreams and he has seven kids. When he is not on the road he works so his kids can have what they want also.”
When Gabby is not on the road or practicing for rodeo she likes to play basketball. She played at her middle school and was MVP four years in a row. She will continue basketball at Sulphur High School as a freshman. “I like history and science. Learning about the past and how it effects us today. We used to do all kinds of hands-on stuff in science class so I like that one also.” Born and raised in Sulphur, Jessica, Gabby’s mom, grew up in rodeo while Jason, her dad, was a baseball athlete. During the summer, Gabby spends most of her time with her cousins, her “built-in best friends.”
Every spring the whole family goes to the Houston Rodeo to watch Casey bull dog. “It is a huge rodeo and we always get dressed up, shop at the trade show and then sit up in one of the boxes and we can eat all sorts of ice cream.” Gabby’s favorite part of rodeo is the people. “They become life-long friends, they are always there for me. And I get to hang out with them every single weekend.” Though she loves rodeo, if Gabby was to do anything else it would be gymnastics. “When I was three, my mom put us all in gymnastics but we had to quit because of rodeo. All my friends used to do it, I would watch them practice and perform. I always wanted to do that but I would not trade rodeo for the world.”

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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