Meet the Member Graysun Tice

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Graysun Tice from Hamburg, Arkansas, secured her first qualification to the Jr. NFR after winning the senior division at the KK Run for Vegas qualifier in Texarkana, Arkansas. Held in early June, the qualifier was hosted by the Running WJ Barrel Race, and Graysun and her mare Kan Perk Three “BB” ran a 14.673 to win it. Graysun competed in the KK Run for Vegas qualifier in Marshall, Texas, two months earlier and finished in fourth place, but felt extra confident going into the Texarkana race. “Our trainer, James Barnes, was there, and he keeps me really calm,” says Graysun. “I really didn’t know how fast I’d ran because the third barrel kind of scared me, but on the way out, I heard my mom and my friend’s mom screaming, so I had a pretty good idea. BB almost blew off at the third barrel, and if I hadn’t held her up, I don’t think we would’ve won it.”
Graysun entered the horse world through western pleasure, which her mom competed in, but the family sold all their western pleasure horses and switched to barrel racing when Graysun and her older sister, Janna, discovered their need for speed. “I love the adrenaline rush, and I like seeing all the hard work pay off,” Graysun explains. “We’re slowly getting into rodeo. I’m interested in the IPRA, and when I get older, I want to try for the NFR. Barrel racing is just something that I love to do and I have a passion for.”
Each time Graysun accomplishes a goal, she sets a new one. Since qualifying for the Jr. NFR, her latest goal is to win the All American Youth Barrel Race’s Mega Barrel Race held in August in Jackson, Mississippi, and to qualify for The American. “I like the Jackson, Mississippi, arena the most. I usually go there for the All American Youth Barrel Race, which I would’ve run the fastest time at this past month, but I knocked over the second barrel,” says Graysun. “My mom motivates me a lot and reminds me of the gift that I have, and that I have every reason to make it as far as I do.”
In between barrel races, Graysun often rides four days a week, exercising her horses in the pasture and going to work with her trainer. Her 8-year-old mare, BB, ran barrels with Janna before Graysun started riding her. “She’s calm—sometimes it’s annoying how calm she is, and she’s very level-headed and loves her job. We bought her thinking she would be a normal 2D horse for around the house and jackpots, and she just kept getting faster and faster. I also have a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old I’m working with. I want to get my 4-year-old, Dora, to where she’s running good. James is helping me with them.” The Tice family also has several cats and dogs, along with a donkey that used to keep one of their horses company while they were traveling.
Graysun often travels to barrel races with her parents, John and Teresa Tice, and her sister, who is a freshman on the University of Arkansas at Monticello rodeo team. “I usually listen to music the whole way when we’re driving. I like rap—it gets me energized for competing. I also watch videos on trainingbarrelhorses.com, and my dad videos my runs for me,” says Graysun, who will be an eighth-grader at Trinity Christian School this fall. “We’re hoping to try the IPRA out this year and really dive into it next year, and when I turn 18, I want to win rookie of the year and make it to the NFR.”

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

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