story by Kailey Pickering After pursuing a passion for English jumping for four years, Grace Barnett turned back to her love of rodeo when her […]
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Meet the Member Jordan Driver
Jordan Driver takes rodeo seriously, not only because she is the fourth generation of her family to compete, but because the sport makes her life complete. The 13 year old from Garden City, Texas, started rodeoing when she was five, and today, she competes in both the AJRA and the TJHSRA. Her events include barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, ribbon roping, breakaway roping, and team roping as a header. “I like my speed events because I love the horses I compete on – they have so much heart when they run,” says Jordan. “I also enjoy breakaway, especially since my mom used to compete in it.”
Jordan’s mom, Jennifer Driver, was inducted into Tarleton State University’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2015, while Jordan’s dad, Dane Driver, is a former steer wrestler, tie-down roper, and steer tripper. Jordan is hard at work on her own rodeo résumé. She won the all-around, goat tying, and reserve pole bending champion titles in the 9 – 12 girls division during the 2015 AJRA finals. Jordan also won the breakaway roping during her grandfather’s memorial roping in 2015 – the Shawn McMullan/Skipper Driver Memorial Roping, and she has a $10,000 scholarship set aside for college after winning the 2015 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Youth Barrel Race. One of the greatest honors Jordan received in 2015, however, was being one of 13 breakaway ropers invited to the Roy Cooper Vegas Invitational held during the WNFR.
The Driver family makes their home several miles outside of Garden City on their ranch, which was first homesteaded in 1878. Jordan is the seventh generation to work the ranch. Branding is one of her favorite times of the year, though she is also dedicated to regularly practicing and riding her horses. Her family recently finished building an indoor arena featuring stalls, a bunkhouse, tack room, and a horse swimming pool. Jackie Hobbs-Crawford has several of the same sponsors as Jordan, and since the Drivers hung the sponsor banners on their chutes, Jackie came and did a promotional shoot in their new arena, which featured her helping Jordan with roping. Jordan also names Lisa Lockhart, Sherry Cervi, and Trevor Brazile, as role models.
Whatever the rodeo, Jordan takes no less than five horses with her, and these include Missy (pole bending), Freebie (barrel racing), PJ and Nitro (breakaway roping), Jerry (goat tying), BP (team roping), and Johnny and Robin (backup barrel and pole horses). Jordan’s mom won the amateur pole bending on Missy during the 2015 AQHA World Show, and she won the same title in 2014 on Robin. Nitro is another notable horse, having won Calgary in 2013 with his previous owner, Bradley Bynum, as well as carrying him to The American and the WNFR.
Leaving her animals only long enough for school, Jordan is a seventh grader at Garden City High School. “Athletics is my favorite,” she explains. “I’ll do track in the spring, and right now I’m playing point guard on the eighth grade basketball team. We were also district champions in cross country this fall.” Additionally, Jordan does competitive shooting in 4-H and the TJHSRA, and she shows Hereford steers in 4-H. She has both horned and polled steers this year, which she is showing in Odessa the first of January, and Fort Worth in February. The remainder of Jordan’s time is spent hunting with her family or training ponies. She and a friend partnered up in 2015 and started training ponies that are safe for kids to compete on in rodeo.
Looking ahead, Jordan is considering becoming a veterinarian when she grows up. “I’d like to go to college and get a degree in animal science while I college rodeo,” she finishes, “and when I finish school, I want to rodeo professionally.”