Meet the Member Carli Pacheco

by Rodeo News

story by Lindsay King

A three year pause in Carli Pacheco’s rodeo career for a stint in soccer, only confirmed what her true love is. “My sister Tympe, 15, cousin, Dontae, and I all started rodeo at the same time. My friend’s mom was the soccer coach and we all just picked it up one day. But two years ago we decided to get back to rodeo,” said the 13-year-old. Though she runs barrels and ribbon ropes with Dontae, Carli’s favorite event is poles. She loves weaving through the poles on her horse HotRod, who also does the clover leaf pattern for her. “When we first started rodeo and I got HotRod, McKenzie Watkins helped me mesh with him a lot. My cousin Shaley has helped us figure barrels out also.” Her parents, Travis Pacheco and Christina Greenleaf, are always there at practice and performances.
“When we run at the house, my dad tells us what we are doing wrong and how to get better. My mom is our moral support, she encourages us and takes the videos so we can watch our runs.” Competing alongside a sibling can be stressful, but Carli said she learns a lot from her sister as well. “I definitely look up to her in the poles. She has an awesome horse for and knows how to help HotRod and I get better.” Carli’s other role model is also a pole bender in the NMHSRA, Olivia Moorehouse. “She went to nationals both last year and this one for poles and barrels. She really knows how to control everything with her horse while she is riding and weaving, she has a great strategy.” Carli would no trade growing up rodeo for life as a “normal” kid.
Being a newcomer to the sport can be difficult, many competitors stepped into an arena before taking their first steps on foot. “A lot of girls are so good because they have been competing for so long already. We just have to step our game up to stay competitive.” In 2016, Carli and HotRod proved themselves worthy contenders in 4-H. She was the reserve champion cowgirl after winning buckles in both flags and goat tying. “My proudest moment so far was in Soccorro this year. I got 8th overall in the poles. I have only had HotRod for two years now and that was the best we had ever done in the NMJHSRA.”
Since NMJHSRA events are only in the spring, Carli goes to a lot of jackpots, specifically in Pagosa Springs. “I ran at Pagosa the first time last year and we did not do all that well. The arena is really big and so I would like to spend more time there and improve all my times.” Her dream for rodeo is to compete alongside the people she looks up to most: Fallon Taylor and Stevi Hillman. “When we started rodeoing, I watch Fallon and Stevi ride. I just like the way they handle their horses.” She is working towards qualifying for the JNFR for this coming December.
This past January, Carli and her sister started homeschooling, so they could dedicate more time to rodeo. Carli is looking forward to next year’s season when she hopes to make it to the short round at state finals and earn her first trip to nationals. “I am very grateful that I was given an awesome horse that I get to see every day. And that I can run barrels and poles on him and work hard to improve every time we run.”

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

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