Allen Rheinheimer’s first job at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was raking around the barrels after the event ended. Now he’s running the show. The […]
The Lovelady Family
Written by: Lily Landreth< Back to Articles
Every member of the Lovelady family is involved in the NLBRA in one way or another. Being a part of the association is a lifestyle for them, and it enriches their lives in many areas. The family calls Palestine, Texas their home. Jimmy and Michelle Lovelady chose to start their children in the NLBRA in 2007 when their son, Brad, was 10. Jimmy had rodeoed for many years as a saddle bronc rider, and he wanted his children, Brad, Hannah, and Bailey, to experience the sport of rodeo as well. Jimmy and Michelle have coached their children in their events from day one. Coming from a roughstock background in rodeo, Jimmy has made the transition to coaching his kids in their timed events.
Their youngest daughter is Bailey, a 7-year-old Little Wrangler. She has been competing in the NLBRA for two years. Her events are barrel racing, goat tail untying, and flag racing. Bailey qualified for the NLBFR her very first year in the association in goat tail untying. Bailey competes in her events on Baby Girl and Pony Boy, two American Quarter Horses that she shares with her older sister, Hannah.
Bailey is a first grader at Neches School, where math is her favorite subject. She also likes to draw animals and ride her bike, but riding her horses is what she loves best. Like her brother and sister, Bailey is very excited to go to the NLBFR in Pueblo, Colo. As a sort of family tradition, the Loveladys always buy snow cones in Colorado, since the humidity in Texas makes snow cones shrink faster than they can be eaten.
Hannah is the second of the Lovelady kids. The 11-year-old competes in the Junior Girls division in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, and trail course. “My favorite thing about rodeo is seeing my friends and family,” said Hannah. She competes in all of her events on Baby Girl and Pony Boy. She and Bailey practice together, and Hannah helps her younger sister with her events. The two girls also enjoy riding outside of their arena. They go on what they call adventures, which is checking fence. Hannah is also a student at Neches School. She is in the sixth grade, and reading and writing are the subjects she enjoys most. Hannah is especially fond of Western stories and the Hank the Cowdog series.
This rodeo season, Hannah is working determinedly to qualify for the NLBFR in barrel racing. She has already qualified in goat tying, but her goal is to compete in both events at nationals in July. Because of her love of animals, Hannah also wants to become a veterinarian when she grows up.
Brad, 17, is the oldest of the Lovelady siblings, and he is a senior at Neches High School. Brad competes in tie-down roping, dally ribbon roping, and team roping on his three horses – Tooter, Poncho, and Turbo. In his seven years of rodeoing, he has qualified for the NLBFR six years in a row. He has already won a number of titles between his competition in the NLBRA and the Texas High School Rodeo Association in region 5. Most recently, he was the 2013 Reserve All-Around Champion and 2013 Tie-Down Roping Champion at the Cajun Little Britches rodeo.
Starting when he was a junior in high school, Brad has been working ahead on his required college courses by doing duel enrollment with a local community college. He plans to compete in college rodeo when he goes to a four year school. In his free time, Brad is an avid hunter and fisherman, but rodeo practice comes first for him.
The Lovelady family is very pleased with the family oriented qualities of the NLBRA, and they reflect those qualities with their further involvement in the association. Jimmy is an Executive Board member for the association, and he judges all of the events at many of the Little Britches rodeos. Michelle is an RN (Registered Nurse) and she serves at many of the NLBRA rodeos where medical assistance is needed. Michelle also works as a clinical manager and nurse at a hospice care center.
Jimmy works as a foreman for Union Pacific Railroad as well as running a cow-calf operation with the help of his children. From rodeo to running cows, the Lovelady siblings have a solid foundation in hard work and responsibility. Those outstanding qualities and the diligent support from their parents will be taking Brad, Hannah, and Bailey to the NLBFR in July. “There are so many life experiences that our children are learning (in rodeo) that they won’t learn in any other sport,” said Jimmy. “Teamwork is a big deal, but what you accomplish on your own, whether winning or losing, is important too. Our children have all been building a résumé since they started (rodeoing). They’re all good enough to qualify at the national level, and that will be an awesome thing for later in life – that’s a big accomplishment. Whether they decide to pursue the pro level doesn’t matter to me, but the life lessons they’ve learned up until this point do.”
Presented by: Noble Outfitters – Noble Outfitters recognizes youth accomplishments and supports programs like NLBRA.
Featured members this issue will receive a Noble Outfitters™ Duffle, Riata Rope Bag and some Noble Gear “swag” for the whole family!
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