story by Ruth Nicolaus For Phoenix Brown, time is of the essence on school mornings. The fourteen-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Nebraska Junior High […]
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Meet the Member Jace Hurlburt
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Jace Hurlburt is the 2019 Nebraska Junior High School Rodeo champion goat tyer, all-around winner, and reserve champion breakaway roper.
The Arcadia, Neb. cowgirl competed at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo this summer in four events: the goat tying, breakaway roping, team roping and ribbon roping In the first round, she and Tate Talkington, her partner in both the team roping and ribbon roping, finished seventh in both events. They didn’t place in either event in the second round, but finished ninth overall in the ribbon roping.
For the goats, she rides a gray horse named Gray who is bigger than the typical goat tying horse. “He’s pretty big, but we make it work,” she said. For the breakaway, she and her sister Jentri share a horse, Harley, who is short, black, and “beautiful,” Jace said. “She gets treated like a baby. We’re a little over the top with her.”
She loves her animals. “We love our horses and give all the credit to them.”
Jace is a freshman at Arcadia Public School this fall. She plays basketball, is in Science Olympiad, is on student council, plays second chair clarinet, is in the Junior Honor Society, and on the A-B Honor Roll. For basketball, Arcadia School co-ops with Loup City, and she has played basketball with the same group of girls since third grade, and “I love it,” she said.
Her favorite subject in school is English, because she loves to write, and because she really likes the teacher, Mrs. Trysta Asche. Mrs. Asche “is very open to lots of things,” Jace said. “She’ll teach things in more than one way. She’s younger, so she can relate and she’s there for us, whether it’s English, basketball or rodeo. She’s just one of those teachers who you can go to for anything you need help in, and she will try to help you.”
For writing projects last year, Jace did a Patriot’s Pen Essay and was part of a National History Day competition. Her subject for the history day was the Holocaust, which was very “eye-opening,” she said.
Jace likes to read, especially in the wintertime. Her favorites are romances and dramas. “I like a good chapter book when it’s cold or rainy,” she said. She also likes movies, and her favorite is A Star is Born.
Her mom and grandma make a mean macaroni and cheese from scratch, and her favorite desserts are many, but Oreo fluff, made by her grandma, and peach cobbler, made by her mom, top the list. Her favorite beverages are Dr. Pepper and Shirley Temples, and her favorite candy is a Three Musketeers bar. She likes baked spaghetti squash with plenty of brown sugar and salt on it, and she loves strawberries with Nutella. Her sweet tooth “is bad,” she reports.
Jace’s favorite place is the Bunkhouse at the Wakefield Ranch near O’Neill. The home of Jim and Susan Wakefield and their son Riley, she loves to go there to “rope, get everything back together, re-gather, get a new plan, and relax a little bit,” she said. Jim and Riley are both good at helping her “re-gather. Jim’s really good at that, and when Riley’s around, he’s good at it, too.”
When she grows up, she might want to be a sports medicine trainer.
This year was Jace’s second trip to Nationals. Her older sister, Jentri, will be a senior in high school this fall. She has two half-siblings; a sister, Andrea, and a brother, Jess. Andrea has three kids, and Jace loves her nieces and nephew.