Three Big Country high school girls are rodeo lovers above all else. Barrel racing has been a part of their lives since they can remember, and now, they’ll compete in the National High School Rodeo Finals in Wyoming.
Lane Wood of Stephenville qualified by placing second in girls cutting. She will be joined by Jackie Ganter of Abilene who tied for first place in the event at the Texas High School State Finals Rodeo, and Jacqueline Stockton of Ovalo who finished fourth. The three girls made the Texas team that will compete against best rodeo athletes in the country. Texas is the defending overall champion.
Last year, the Lone Star State beat out Oklahoma and Mississippi in the boys field and Kansas and Oklahoma in girls events. Ganter is just a freshman, but has competed in both pole bending and barrel racing since she was nine years old. She notes, “I used to do English riding, and I won 12 first places in 12 shows, but then my pony got hurt. Then, I told my mom I wanted to switch to barrel racing, which she’s been doing since she was my age. When we’re not at youth events, we do it together.”
Like Ganter, Stockton said she also developed an interest in barrel racing because of her mom. “My mom’s always done it, and she’s raised me up around horses,” she said. “I like the competition and the adrenaline rush.” She is a senior at Jim Ned High School who plans to compete in college rodeos with aspirations for the professional level.
Wood, a junior at Lingleville High School, said she can’t wait to compete against others from around the country. She adds, “I’ve been cutting all my life. My dad’s a trainer and I plan on doing this for the rest of my life like him, my mom, and younger sister. I want to bring the buckle back to Texas for the girls.”
Two Stephenville boys also qualified for the national finals. Marty Yates and Sawyer Barham finished in fourth place in the team roping event.
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Original Source: Stephenville Empire Tribune