Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Member Taylor Porter
story by Riata Cummings
Taylor Porter is a high school rodeo athlete from the postcard town of Morgan, Utah. She is the daughter of Matt and Kellie Porter and has an older sister named Madi. As a family they spend a lot of time on the road, headed to various high school rodeos or cuttings across the state. Taylor says, “My family is just overall amazing. They haul me all over and are always so supportive, no matter how I do. They push me to be my best.” This fall, Taylor will be a junior at Morgan High School, and she is looking forward to another season of high school rodeo. After high school, Taylor would like to attend Colorado State University and study veterinary science. She would also like to continue working with her horses through the NCHA and UCHA.
Taylor has been riding horses as long as she has been walking, following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents. She currently competes in the girl’s cow cutting and pole bending. Cutting is her favorite, currently, because she has done it the longest and found success in the cutting pen. Pole bending is a recent addition; Taylor has been training her own pole horse and has discovered a love for the speed event. Cutting is different than the typical rodeo event because, although its roots are as old as any event it is, “More competitive and harder, in a way. You are judged on every move, and you earn a score rather than a time.” Taylor competes in the cutting on a horse named Fidge, a tiny, sorrel mare with a big heart and a feisty attitude. Her pole horse is Duck, a 14-year-old gelding and ranch horse. “People told me Duck would never be fast enough. They are starting to regret saying that now.”
Taylor finished 12th in the world at last years National High School Finals Rodeo, and this year she fought hard to make it back. Early this spring, about a week before the first qualifying rodeo, Taylor was messing around on a motorcycle and broke her collar bone. “I went to prom in a sling and had to stay off the horses for almost the whole season.” She healed up in time for the final qualifying rodeo of the season. “I was very lucky to make it to state and nationals.” At nationals this year, Taylor finished 2nd in the first go-round with 148, tied for 6th in the 2nd go-round with a 145, 15th in the final go-round with a 135, finishing 8th in the world for the NHSFR Girl’s Cow Cutting. This year nationals was a wonderful experience for Taylor. “I made friends from all over, and one of my best friends came and watched for a day.” She was prepared for the level of competition at nationals. “Utah is very competitive, especially for the girls. You had to have a 151 to win at state, which isn’t easy. The girls are so competitive, which is great.”
Taylor lives by the saying, “Smooth and aggressive.” In the cutting pen you, “have to make smooth cuts but be aggressive with the cows to win.” In life she tries to be smooth, rolling with the punches, but being aggressive enough to go after the things she wants. “Do your best, and work until you don’t have to introduce yourself. Rodeo is hard but you work at it hard enough and long enough, people will eventually know your name. Push yourself to always be better and it will pay off.”
Taylor’s hero is her father, who she says is, “always in my corner.” Regardless of the situation, her dad is there to support her or guide her.” Taylor would like to thank her parents for being so willing to help her chase her dreams and for always cheering her on. She would also like to thank her friends, especially Spencer Belinski, for encouraging her at nationals and through out the season.