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Meet the Member Abbey Lanier
story by Michele Toberer
Currently reigning as the 2021 International Miniature Rodeo Association Reserve Champion Senior Barrel Racer, Abbey Lanier has already started setting her sights on new titles for the 2022 IMRA season. The Rocky Face, Georgia native is a 13-year-old eighth grader, attending Westside Middle School, and is venturing into the breakaway roping world this season on her newly acquired Christmas gift, Star. “Star is a 5-year-old dappled grey mare, and I’m excited to have her for breakaway roping and look forward to entering on her this season.” Although Abbey started out at fun shows at the local horse club arena at 7 years old, she went to her first rodeo as an 8-year-old and fell in love with the sport. She also competes in the Georgia Junior High Rodeo Association, and S.A.Y. Rodeo Association, and is looking forward to adding more events to her roster hoping for an all-around title in the future.
Abbey is the youngest of the Lanier family, with two older brothers, Hunter, 20, and Hayden, 18. Her parents, Troy and Andrea Lanier are also very involved in the sport of rodeo, spending their time running a stock contracting business and youth rodeo company outside of their day jobs. Andrea works as a strategic accounts manager for a flooring company in Dalton, Georgia and Troy recently retired from the Murray County Fire Department after 22 years as a firefighter. Hunter was more involved in football and school sports, but Hayden was a two-time national qualifier in rough stock events during his junior high career, and currently is the assistant rough stock director for the family’s business, RockN’ 5L Rodeo Company. Abbey recently reigned as the 2021 RockN’ 5L Rodeo Queen, and one of her favorite things about the family’s rodeo company, is the fact that they host IMRA sanctioned events through their season, making it very convenient for her to attend them to qualify for the national finals.
The 2021 IMRA finals were held at Gordyville, USA in Gifford, Illinois on November 3rd-7th, prior to the IPRA Central Region Tour Finale. Abbey and her 13-year-old grey mare, Tarah, competed in the event, ultimately making it to the final two for the championship short round on Sunday, November 7, 2021. Abbey has ridden Tarah in barrels and pole bending for two years, and came into the finals full of confidence, “My favorite thing about Tarah is how fast she is. She’s an easy keeper and is extremely fast!” Tarah and Abbey ran a 16.066 second run in their first round, and by the final round had shaved nearly a full second off of their time, to clinch the reserve champion barrel racing title. Abbey competes in the senior division (12-14) and this year at finals it was the largest division, with 19 girls competing. She left Illinois ready for the 10-hour-drive back to Georgia, with not only a new title, but with a beautiful championship buckle, Top-5 patch, and nearly $1,000 in winnings. “The finals are always fun, and a good experience, I can’t wait for next year.”
Abbey’s main passions are riding, rodeo, and animals. She likes to go shopping occasionally, but most often you will find the young cowgirl tending to her animals and working to make them and herself better competitors for the future. She dreams of becoming a large-animal veterinarian one day, so plans to further her education towards that after high school. Abbey is incredibly grateful to the IMRA for the opportunities it provides young rodeo athletes to grow in the sport. She is appreciative and proud of her parents for stepping into that world to also help with providing avenues for rodeo kids like herself to grow and prosper in competition while gaining friendships and memories to last a lifetime.