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Meet the Member Dale Lee Forman
story by Lillian Landreth
Dale Lee Forman won the barrel racing at the 2022 Wrangler 20X High School Rodeo Showcase in January. The 18-year-old from Ree Heights, South Dakota, and her mare Bunny won with a 14.20. “It was a really good experience,” says Dale, who last competed in the Showcase her sophomore year and placed second in the goat tying. “I was a little nervous because I hadn’t run in a little bit. But it felt good and made me want to work hard for this summer.”
Dale comes from a horse-loving family and started 4-H rodeoing when she was eight. This was followed by junior rodeo, where Dale qualified for the NJHFR in sixth and eighth grade. Along with barrel racing, she also competes in the SDHSRA in goat tying, pole bending, and breakaway roping. Dale says she loves the speed and technicality of barrel racing. “And I like the training aspect. I’m really into working with my horse, and I’m tuning on her all the time. I like the teamwork.
“Bunny is probably my favorite, but don’t tell the others,” Dale jokes. “I’m able to ride her in a special way, and she has a lot of attitude. My goat and pole horse is Deedee. My Uncle Billy got her for me, and she has a lot of personality too. My roping horse is Brent, and she’s the old faithful. She’s actually my cousin’s horse, but the Stevens family has been letting me use her for a while, so that’s really special to me.”
Dale keeps her horses legged up riding in the fields, and in the winter, she goes on the weekend to the Highmore Arena to practice. Come summer, she and her dad are there three or four times a week. “That’s me and my dad’s bonding experience. My uncle raises goats, so he keeps me pretty well stocked, and I’ll haul them over to the arena. My dad is my goat holder.” Dale also enjoys getting in roping practice at several different arenas that friends offer up. “When I started rodeo, I thought, ‘This is what I’m going to do, and I’m going to be good at this.’ My family and all the support they give me motivates me, and also my horses. More and more, I value the bond I build with them and us getting better together than the actual competition part of rodeo,” Dale explains. “My family has helped me as much as they can, and learned with me. They made sure I met those other people that could also help me get to where I want to be.”
Dale’s parents, Chad and Laurilynn Forman, travel with her to her rodeos. Her older brothers, Blade and JC, also come to watch several of her performances. Blade rode bulls in the SDHSRA and then college rodeoed for Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas, while JC showed cattle. Their dad raises show cattle and sells them around the country to show families or other club calf sellers. “I’m not into the showing, but I do help with feeding them. On picture days I help wash and blow them, which is not something I enjoy,” Dale says with a laugh.
A senior at Highmore Harold High School, she plans to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma, this fall and compete on the rodeo team. “My plan is general studies for the first year, and helping myself get a better idea of what I want to study. I’m very excited about the location, and it will be a little bit warmer.”
With her final season in the SDHSRA underway, Dale appreciates all the lessons she’s learned through the association. “What you put into it is what you get out of it. It’s good to take it seriously and work hard, but never forget to have fun!”