Meet the Member Ashlyn Goven

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Jr. Girl World Pole Bending Champion

Ashlyn Goven has qualified for the NLBFR every year since joining the association in 2013, and she secured her third world title this summer when she won 2018 NLBRA Junior Girl World Pole Bending Champion. “I was really surprised, but I felt really good about my runs and I was super happy with them,” says Ashlyn. Her first world title was in 2013 in the Little Wrangler barrel racing, and again in 2016 in the junior girl pole bending, the same year she competed in the barrel racing at the Junior NFR. Additionally, she was the NLBRA Reserve Junior Girl World All-Around Champion, and Reserve World Trail Course Champion this year. The 13-year-old from Rozet, Wyoming, also competes in breakaway roping, goat tying, and ribbon roping, and enjoys all of her events equally.
Not only was the NLBFR a reunion with Ashlyn’s rodeo family, but also with several of her relatives who came to watch her compete, including her grandma, Kristi Erdmann, from North Dakota, her great-grandma, Joelle Hewitt, from Arizona, and her great-aunt, Kim Birkholtz, from Alaska. “We hung out and did a lot of different things, and we went to the amusement park in Oklahoma City,” says Ashlyn. She is the first of her family to rodeo, and jumped into the sport when her parents, Matthew and Jessica Goven, bought Ashlyn her first horse. “I’ve been rodeoing ever since I can remember. I started riding horses and fell in love with them. I love the excitement of it, and the thrill of running the horses.”
Along with competing in the Big Sky, Hugo Limon, and Northern Hills Little Britches Rodeos, Ashlyn also enters jackpots and barrel racing futurities on her horses Stormy and DJ. “We trained DJ, and Stormy came patterned, but we finished him.” She also enjoys watching futurity horse trainer Hallie Hanssen compete at some of the same races. “She’s a hand, and she can ride almost any horse she gets on. And I really look up to my parents. They’ve helped me all along the way and drive me everywhere, and they help me in the practice pen.”
Ashlyn practices at least five days a week, but can ride her horses any time since she switched to homeschooling last year. She’s a freshman this year, and doesn’t mind taking her school on the road to rodeos. Her arena is set up to practice all of her events, including trail course, which she built all of the obstacles for with her dad. Ashlyn trained her trail horse, Stella, and rides Lakota in the pole bending, while Irish is her barrel horse and Darby is her mount in the breakaway roping and goat tying. Trixie, Ashlyn’s dog, also hauls to rodeos with the family.
Rodeo is her main focus these days, but Ashlyn is also interested in becoming a human chiropractor, and she’s learning about the horse side of chiropractics through Jenn Evans. “I’d like to try and qualify for The American,” she adds, “and hopefully college rodeo.”


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