story by Kailey Pickering After pursuing a passion for English jumping for four years, Grace Barnett turned back to her love of rodeo when her […]
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Meet the Member Jessi Everett
story by Lily Weinacht
“I would rope all day, every day if I could,” says 11-year-old Jessi Everett. The cowgirl from Coleman, Texas, is travelling beyond the Lone Star State for the first time this December, competing in the 14 & Under Girls Breakaway of the Roy Cooper Junior Invitational in Las Vegas. Jessi secured her place in the invitational after winning her first title with the AJRA this July during the finals, finishing first in the Girls 9 – 12 Optional Roping. “I did the breakaway and ribbon roping combined, and I was feeling pretty good about it going into the finals,” says Jessi. “It’s a tough age group!”
She was riding before she could walk, and began rodeoing at the age of three, entering the WTRA. Jessi’s dad, Cody Bob, started his rodeo career in the AJRA, and her mom, Shana, showed cutting horses. “Last year (2015) was my first year in the AJRA, but the 2016 season was the first time I’ve competed in all of their rodeos,” Jessi explains. “I also compete in junior high rodeo.” She competes in the breakaway roping, ribbon roping, goat tying, pole bending, and barrel racing, though breakaway is her favorite. “My dad taught me to rope, and I’ve had some help from Sha Dee Langston and Lari Dee Guy. Dad knows Lari Dee through roping, and she only lives 30 minutes away from us. My mom and Shay Good also help me out a bunch – they’re always trying to help me improve in any way possible.
“I really enjoy the rodeos in Eden – I like the arena and my horses seem to do good there,” Jessi adds. “I like knowing that there’s always another rodeo to go to and another prize up for grabs. But we don’t put each other down in rodeo – my friends and I rodeo because we love to be in the saddle, and rodeo friends are with you forever!” Several of Jessi’s friends from the AJRA are also competing in the Roy Cooper Invitational, and Jessi will be loading up her rope horse, Snortcake, for the 16 hour journey to Las Vegas. “I do barrels and poles on Monkey, and goats on my pony, Pacman. Mighty Mouse is my all-around backup horse.” Jessi and her family also have several roping calves and goats, along with three dogs. Sadie, their Chihuahua mix, travels to many of Jessi’s rodeos.
Jessi is an only child, and much of the time, she enjoys it. “Sometimes when I’m feeding, I wish I had siblings to help, but other times, not so much.” She is a sixth grader at Panther Creek School, and a member of both the basketball and UIL teams. “I’m doing oral reading again this year, and I’m trying modern oratory for the first time. You’re given a list of modern topics, and you choose one to write a speech on and memorize. You give your speech at a contest, and the judges pick the best one. I really enjoy English and writing, especially stories.”
After school, Jessi is back home practicing and riding horses. “As long as it’s not muddy or snowing, we’re roping,” she says. Jessi also does gymnastics and practices on a trampoline in her backyard. “I started back with it this year, and it’s helped a bunch with my rodeoing. I have much more strength and flexibility, which has helped with my goat tying and roping and speed.
“I’d like to be invited back to the Roy Cooper Invitational next year, and I want to win state in the breakaway,” Jessi finishes. “I’d also really like to win the AJRA all-around!”