One woman's rodeo life
By Robin Scott
High School Rodeo has given Laramie Wing, who just finished her senior year at Dalhart High School early, the opportunity to improve leadership and teamwork skills, compete in rodeo events, and pursue college scholarships. Rodeo isn’t work for Laramie so much as a way of life.
Laramie has been involved in rodeo since she was a small tyke. She stated, “I’ve been involved in the rodeo for as long as I can remember. My first competition was probably a little play day in Dalhart at age three or four. I did barrels and poles.”
For the last four years, Laramie has competed in the goat tying and breakaway events at the State Level on behalf of Region I. She has served the local high school rodeo club as President and was voted by goat tying members to lead and guide them as the goat tying director for Region I. She held the position for two years. Rodeo keeps her very busy and she noted, “I really don’t have any other interests other than the rodeo, that’s all I do.”
Laramie has encouraged the Region I rodeo participants to become more involved with the coaches, adult directors and judges. She discovered if one person makes a move then others will follow. Before the High School State Finals in Abilene, it was brought to Laramie’s attention that it had been a long while since anyone from Region 1 had served as an officer at the state level. Laramie stepped up to the challenge and ran for State Vice-President. She gave a speech to the state members, their families and friends. A second speech was given to a room of peers and members of the Texas State Rodeo Board. She was elected to represent Texas high school rodeo as the Vice-President.
In that position, Laramie will embrace travel opportunities to Austin and San Antonio, as well as Gonzales, Louisiana. Wherever these travels take her, she will be a strong supporter for the sport of rodeo.
The State Officers recently participated in a photo shoot at McCoy Ranch outside of Austin. In February, she will travel to San Antonio for the Livestock Show and Rodeo where the officers will use their public relations skills to promote the opening of a new Whataburger. The McCoy Ranch and Whataburger are both National Sponsors for High School Rodeo.
In addition to her role as the state Vice-President, Laramie also represents Region I as First Vice-President. The closer Laramie approaches her May 2010 graduation ceremony date, the more she realizes the benefits that high school rodeo has offered. She recently moved to Portales, NM. She stated, “I’m working at Applebee’s in Clovis now and I live in Portales. I just moved over the Christmas break after I graduated early. I hope to attend Eastern New Mexico University and study physical therapy.”
College rodeo coaches are looking to extend scholarships to those persons that will best represent their college both in and out of the arena. This spring, Laramie will be busy. She has leadership commitments to fulfill and will also be competing at high school rodeos, showing the world that she has acquired the skills it takes to succeed.
With the rodeo season fast approaching, Laramie is gathering her energy. She noted, “The rodeo season starts back up on February 27th and it will run to the end of the year. In the summer, I’ll begin as an amateur, and in the fall, I’ll start college rodeo.” The opportunity to enter in leadership roles has motivated Laramie. She commented, “My favorite thing about the rodeo is that I get to meet a lot of people through it, and I’ve taken a lot of leadership roles. I get to do what I love.”
Laramie ropes and ties goats, which she stated, “Isn’t that hard.” That may be true for a seasoned veteran such as Laramie, but most young women wouldn’t know what to do with a 30 to 60 pound goat, and roping and tying one is out of the question.
Another benefit that Laramie recognizes about rodeo is working with children. She noted, “I get to work with kids. The last semester at Dalhart High School I went to the Boys Ranch every Wednesday and worked with the kids. This year will be my fourth year to assist with the Special Olympics Rodeo. We teach them about the rodeo and let them use a stick horse. I really enjoy it.”