Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Member Avree Berntsen
story by Riata Cummings
Avree Berntsen is a 13-year-old rodeo athlete from the small town of Richmond, Utah. She has been riding horses since she was 2-years-old, following in the footsteps of her older sisters Bailee, Kylee and Hadlee. She lives with her mother Mindie Berntsen, and the pair enjoy going on horse rides or going to barrel racing jackpots together. Avree also enjoys watching movies and doing woodwork with her father, Eddie.
Avree attends North Cache Junior High School as an eighth grader, and she enjoys her reading and history classes. When she isn’t busy with schoolwork, she can usually be found riding her horse or working with her competitive cheer team. “I love that cheer gives me a chance to be part of a team. We have to work together and communicate every step of the way.” Another one of Avree’s passions is photography. “I love to take pictures of the things that I love, like horses.”
One of the hardest things Avree has done was moving to a new town and new school. She was scared that having no friends would make school miserable. She worked through the challenge by “leaning on family and putting myself out there.” The experience taught her to “let myself grow, get out of my comfort zone and take on challenges.” She now has friends at school and at the rodeos.
Avree competes in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association barrel racing and pole bending, but especially loves the speed and challenge of barrel racing. Her recently acquired horse is a big black gelding, named Bo, who loves to run. This spring she hopes to get back into the swing of things after having broken her wrist. She also hopes to make a new best time in both events.
Avree’s hero is her mother. “She is a strong woman who has always taken care of us, even when she has to do it alone. I want to be strong and caring like her.” Avree already emulates her mother’s strength by living by the simple mantra, “Never give up.” She tries to remember that “even when things get hard, they aren’t impossible. You just can’t give up.”
She would like to thank her family and friends for being by her side through the highs and lows of rodeo. She is grateful for the opportunity to compete and for the people who have made it possible.