story by Ruth Nicolaus If it’s true that people act like their pets, Cassidi Alverson is a prime example. The Colorado High School Rodeo Association […]
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Meet the Member Shea Grogan
story by Darlene Craven
Shea Grogan may only be seventeen but she carries herself with a poise and polish beyond her years. She attributes much of her maturity and competitive spirit to her parents. “They have given me independence, leadership, honesty, integrity and responsibility.” That’s a solid foundation to build a winning career in the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association (CSHSRA) and a future career in the law.
“The whole family runs on adrenaline,” Shea admits. Dad Chuck, a sales representative for Rocky Boots, used to race motorcycles. Her mom, Jennifer, a massage therapist, started competing in rodeos with Shea because she wanted to share the experience with her daughter. In fact, her mom has won two buckles already. Brother Karsten plays football and constantly tries to beat her to the kitchen for the last piece of bacon.
Growing up in suburban Fort Collins, Colorado, Shea had to travel to Loveland, Colorado where her horses were boarded. At three, she was riding on her own. At six, she was showing and at age seven, started rodeoing with the Dickens family who own the boarding stable. As competitive as she is, Shea soon started racking up the prizes, including a seventh place finish the first year she ever rodeoed, Colorado reserve state champion in goat tying the 2018/2919 season and year-over-year qualifying for the national junior high school and national high school finals.
Though Shea is usually practicing or training horses at the boarding barn in Windsor, Colorado, where her horses, Rockstar and Dusty, live, she also rides a pretty mean snowboard. Country music is her favorite, though she listens to a little bit of everything while studying and spending time with her boyfriend.
Not content to just compete, as a seventh-grader, Shea got involved with the CSHSRA at the organizational level, becoming the goat tying and ribbon roping event director for junior high girls and boys. In that role, Shea has learned that leadership comes with big responsibility. Making decisions based on the rules leads to outcomes that can impact someone’s rodeo career. It is not always easy, but she has learned valuable lessons over the years. “I feel bad that a talented person might not get to showcase their talent, but if they break the rules, it’s my responsibility to see that the event is fair to all competitors.” It’s in making those tough decisions that Shea appreciates getting essential support from the adults and the athletes in her Team Colorado community.
Tragedy, too, is a key element to Shea’s winning ways. In 2015, she lost a very dear friend she described as a “ball of sunshine.” At the 2018-2019 state finals in Craig, Colorado, Shea happened to glance up at the clouds while getting ready for a run. They were shaped like angel wings. Then a favorite song came on and she knew her friend was letting her know that she was there. She then whispered to her horse, “It’s just you and me,” and they won the round. Once the last girl finished and Shea’s name was announced as the winner, she burst into tears. With that win, Shea realized that she had accomplished one of her biggest goals. She finally beat the girl she had looked up to and been inspired by for years.
Shea’s maturity and responsibility were recognized by Professional’s Choice, the equine products company, through two, one thousand-dollar scholarships. Shea was awarded one in seventh grade and again as a freshman. Not wanting to take anything for granted, Shea views the scholarships as a way of giving back to her parents. She also has assembled a variety of local and national sponsorships to offset the costs of rodeoing and understands her obligations to those sponsors, wearing their logos, posting about them on social media and sending thank you gifts.
College and rodeo are in Shea’s future and she has already visited schools in Texas and New Mexico. After a recent eye-opening job-shadow experience with a criminal defense attorney, Shea will pursue criminal justice in college. Based on her duties as an event director, Shea has set her sights on a position with the National High School Rodeo Association next year. She “wants to represent an organization that gives kids a chance to continue their western heritage.”
At the heart of all these activities and rodeos and goals, Shea is having fun and when she’s having fun, she wins. “I gotta keep my head and keep doing what I know how to do and keep having fun. The rest is in God’s hands.”