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 Members: Team Ropers
stories by Ruth Nicolaus
Tanner Pallesen is a team roper and tie-down roper in the Utah High School Rodeo Association.
The 17-year-old cowboy lives in Manila, Utah, and heads for Whitt Crozier. His head horse is an eight-year-old palomino named Diesel. The Pallesens got him two years ago, and he started out as a calf roping horse but was better at heading so Tanner switched his event.
His calf horse is a nine-year-old sorrel named Curly who the family acquired two years ago. Curly has made Tanner a better roper, he says. “He’s improved my calf roping one hundred percent since I got him. I’ve been very fortunate to have my dad help me do whatever he can to get the horses I have. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
Tanner is a senior at Manila High School, where he enjoys the social aspect of school. His favorite subject is animal science, which is taught by his ag teacher. The class studies production animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry. His least favorite class is English.
Tanner is a member of 4-H and shows steers, heifers and bulls at the Sweetwater (Wyo.) County Fair.
After high school, he plans to attend college and major in ag business or farm management. He’d like to compete in college rodeo.
He has qualified for state finals every year since eighth grade. He finished last year in sixth place in the team roping with Leroy Dansie. He also competed at the Silver State Rodeo last year. Last month, he was at the National FFA Convention with the Manila FFA livestock judging team, which won state and competed at the national level.
In his spare time, Tanner helps with the family farm, which includes 200 head of beef cattle. Each year they put up between 1,500 and 2,000 tons of hay in big round bales, and during hay season, he can be found in the swather, baler or hauling hay.
He has a younger brother, Zippy, who is 16. He is the son of Donald and Keri Pallesen.
Hailey Kesler is ready to be done with school.
The 18-year-old cowgirl, a member of the Utah High School Rodeo Association, loves the social aspect of school, but isn’t so crazy about the schoolwork. She’s more of an outside, hands-on type of person.
Which makes rodeo a perfect fit for her. She competes in the barrel racing, breakaway roping, and as a header for Kaden Atkinson.
She is a senior at Millard High School, where she enjoys English class. Hailey loves to read, especially the fantasy genre, and her favorite books are the Harry Potter series. She owns all of the Harry Potter movies and estimates she’s seen them each about five times. Her least favorite class is college algebra.
She used to play soccer, but now spends her time roping. She comes home from school every day and heads to the arena to team rope.
After graduation, she will go on her mission trip for a year and a half and then attend college. She is unsure of her major, but is leaning towards being a veterinarian technician.
She has qualified for state finals the past three years and is headed there again, she hopes. She and Kaden are ranked fifth in the state. This is the second year they have roped together.
Hailey has five siblings: Camille, Landon, Nicole, Lindsay, and Quinn.
She is the daughter of Allyson and Greg Kesler.
Ty Gordon competes in the Utah High School Rodeo Association as a tie-down roper and team roper.
The 18-year-old cowboy who lives in Huntington, Utah heads for Taylor Wilstead. His head horse is a nine-year-old sorrel named Duster who Ty obtained as a weanling. He, with the help of his dad, trained him, and the calm horse, who his mom and 10-year-old brother also ride, has four stocking legs and a blaze face.
Ty’s calf horse is a 12-year-old sorrel named Homer. The family has had Homer for three years.
As a senior at Emery High School, Ty’s favorite class is welding. The class often makes flat beds, cattle racks and feeders, for sale to the public, as fundraisers for the program. He is vice-president of his school’s FFA chapter and is on the livestock judging team. He was president of the Emery High School Rodeo team last year, and is also on the honor roll. He also ropes in the USTRC.
After high school, Ty will attend Snow College’s Richfield campus and get his welding and machining associate’s degree.
He helps his parents on their farm and ranch, with 250 head of mother cows, 50 horses, and hay business.
Ty has competed at state finals three times and at the Silver State Rodeo twice, all in the team roping.
He has an older sister, Erin Behling, and a younger brother, Race, who is ten.
He is the son of Dawnette and Kevin Gordon.