Meet the Member TaraLee Haddock

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

For TaraLee Haddock, the satisfaction of a good run in the CJHSRA barrel racing and pole bending goes beyond the day of competition. The 13-year-old from Elbert, Colorado, did all the training on her barrel horse, Squaw, along with a large portion of training on her other horses, making a trip down the alleyway even more meaningful. “We’ve had Squaw for four years, and she has her quirks, but I like her — she’s like my best friend,” says TaraLee. “You have to be very patient with her, and you can’t get scared. I had to go to a few lessons so I could learn with her, and she was very powerful. Once she calmed down, she picked up barrels a lot better.”
The patience is paying off. TaraLee, a rookie in the CJHSRA, is sitting fifth in the barrel racing, and eighth in the pole bending. She also competes with Coy Evans in the ribbon roping, where they’re currently tied for second place. “When I run barrels and poles and make a mistake, I want to fix it, but I can’t always do it that night, so when I get home, I usually give the horses a day off and then I practice hard that week,” she explains. “I try to get better each time.”
TaraLee and her family go to Latigo Trails Equestrian Center three nights a week to practice, including team roping and breakaway roping, which TaraLee plans to enter soon. She also uses the time to work with her newest horse, Bandit, who is a barrel prospect. “My mom works on him for about 20 minutes and then I hop on to work with him a bit more.” TaraLee’s parents, Shawn and Jessica Haddock, both rodeoed, and she also looks up to her older brother, Lane, who competes in the CJRA and CSHSRA in tie-down roping. “When I was in goat tying, he pushed me to do better and then he helped me in roping a lot. We’re both doing the same associations. High school rodeo is a lot more competition than I’m used to, and I like it because I’m very competitive and it makes me a better rider and horseperson.”
Along with her horses, including Susie Q, the pole horse TaraLee’s mom trained, TaraLee and Lane take care of their other animals: goats, cats, dogs, and a snake. “Whoever gets done feeding their horses first feeds the goats,” says TaraLee. Her miniature Australian Shepherd, Aubrey, travels all over Colorado with the family and knows a variety of tricks. “She knows how to beg, and if we say ‘Bang’ and make a gun symbol, she’ll roll on her back and play dead.”
When she’s not spending time with her animals, TaraLee can be found at Elbert School. An eighth-grader, her favorite subject is English. “I like writing, and right now we’re reading the book ‘The Giver’ and answering questions about it, and we’re doing a lot of grammar and sentence structures.” TaraLee also played volleyball at the beginning of the school year. Her team won their state championship, and she’s considering doing high school volleyball this fall. Going to the lake with her family in the summer is another favorite activity, and she’s working hard to make a trip to the NJHFR in Huron, South Dakota, a reality this summer. “I’m trying to improve in my roping right now,” she finishes, “and I want to start heading and breakaway roping.”

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

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