Where’s Ward? On the Road with Loralee (7)

Loralee Ward, Staff Writer

A taste of professional rodeo intensified my senioritis tenfold. I inserted a picture of a roadmap to show what the past few weeks consisted of. My dad and I left for Midland, Texas, on January 6 at about 8:00 pm. We arrived Saturday morning, and I ran two horses that afternoon. My horse Dupree placed fifth in a high stakes side pot. I let him rest on Sunday to prepare for Odessa and Uvalde.

I ran in Odessa on Monday morning. I finished 35th in Odessa with about 200 entries. Although this did not pay dividends, this run boosted my confidence knowing that I can compete with these girls. I needed to be about .2 seconds faster to get a check. From Odessa, we drove south to Uvalde. I made a respectable run in Uvalde, but I was about .2 seconds from advancing to the second round. We left Uvalde at 10 am on Tuesday and drove 16 hours straight home. I went to school on Wednesday.

I ran Thursday night in Denver. Denver was my first “rodeo performance,” meaning my first time to compete with a crowd and environment of that magnitude. My first run went well—a little off the pace. The second performance on Friday afternoon went better. Unfortunately, I missed advancing to the semifinals by .09 seconds. The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo implemented a bracket style for the rodeo. My combined time would have advanced in other brackets, but as they say, “That’s rodeo!”. *I hate this remark with a burning passion.*

My brother met my dad and I in Denver with a separate truck/trailer. We left Denver on Friday afternoon and drove to Queen Creek, Arizona. My uncle and mom drove the barrel horses home. We made it to Arizona with approximately 30 minutes to spare before leaving for a my brother’s show. I competed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (1/17-19) at Art of the Cowgirl. More to come on that later…

We are headed home for a few weeks. My outline of February is incomplete, but it is looking pretty full so far. A mentor told me “Take your licks.” I responded by saying I am more than happy to take a beating if it entails running barrels and missing school.