Marana graduate saddles up for rodeo nationals - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Marana graduate saddles up for rodeo nationals

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 4:00 am

Before the sun even rises, 18-year-old Braelyn Henry is in the rink with her boots on and reins in hand directing her quarter horse through a warm up. 

Daily morning practices since the age of two is what has earned Braelyn the opportunity to compete for the third time in the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rocky Springs, Wyo.

“I practice early mornings and have to give up every weekend to do this sport,” said Braelyn, a 2013 graduate from Marana High School. “The more years I do it the more I love every little bit of it. I get to bond with the different horses and the more I ride the better I get.”

Brought up by parents who rode competitively and surrounded by horses day in and day out, Braelyn quickly found a love for riding.

“The sport is just always so interesting,” said Braelyn. “You get to go against other people, travel a lot and there are a lot of new experiences, which is exciting.”

Throughout the last 16 years, Braelyn’s competitiveness and desire to win has shined brightly through her accomplishments. In 2010, she was named Rookie of the Year and ranked in the top four for pole bending by the Arizona High School Association. During the next three years, Braelyn won a national title with the Arizona National High School team, was one of the top 10 in the nation in pole bending for the National High School Association and received numerous accolades at the local and state level.

Braelyn not only excelled in the rink, but also in the classroom where she took honors classes, one advanced placement class and completed her high school years with a cumulative 3.5 grade point average. 

Arizona Team Cinch, an organization that honors elite cowgirls and cowboys for their accomplishments in the classroom and in the arena, recognized Braelyn’s hard work her senior year.

Along with the support of her family and friends, Braelyn says that she couldn’t have accomplished what she has in the arena without her quarter horse, Spring N Lena, who she has ridden since age five.

“When I ride her, she knows what to do before I even do it. She’s already one step ahead of me all the time,” said Braelyn. “I like pole bending the best because I get to ride her in it and we do well.”

There is no doubt that the two make a strong team. From July 14 to 20 Braelyn will stand among 1,500 competitors from Canada, Australia and 41 states at the world’s largest rodeo competition. Monetary prizes, college scholarships and a national title for each event will be given. 

“I hope to get three clean runs,” said Braelyn, who will compete in pole bending. “In my short-go, which is the third-go I’d like to run a 19. The average is 20 seconds so I want to get just below that.”

After the national competition Braelyn will continue to ride at Cochise Community College where she will pursue a degree in animal science.

© 2015 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

HS Schedule


Aug. 13

Seton Catholic @ Marana (scrimmage)

Aug. 21

Hamilton @ Ironwood Ridge

Rio Rico @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Desert Edge

Aug. 28

CDO @ Gilbert

Mountain View @ La Joya Community

Pueblo @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Bisbee

Sep. 4

CDO @ Tucson High Magnet School

Westwood @ Ironwood Ridge

Horizon @ Mountain View

Marana @ Pueblo

Benson @ Pusch Ridge

Catalina Foothills @ Cienega

Sep. 11

CDO @ Sahuaro

Salpointe @Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View @ Sunnyside

Arcadia @ Marana

McClintock @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Combs

Sep. 18

Cienega @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Tucson High

Buena @ Mountain View

Marana @ Tempe

Catalina Foothills @ Rincon/University

Pusch Ridge @ Amphi

Sep. 25

Buena @ CDO

Sahuaro @ Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View at Cienega

Marana @ Catalina Foothills

Cholla @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 2

CDO @ Ironwood Ridge

Queen Creek @ Mountain View

Nogales @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Safford

Sahuarita @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 9

Poston Butte @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Queen Creek

Shadow Ridge @ Mountain View

Marana @ Desert View

Nogales @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Flowing Wells

Oct 16

CDO @ Queen Creek

Ironwood Ridge @ Marcos de Niza

Mountain View @ Poston Butte

Rincon/University @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Sabino

Pueblo @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 23

Mountain View @ CDO

Poston Butte @ Ironwood Ridge

Marana @ Safford

Desert View @ Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 30

CDO @ Campo Verde 

Ironwood Ridge @ Mountain View

Sabino @ Marana

Pusch Ridge @ Rio Rico

MPD Ramming with Chief Rozema Commentary

More Featured Videos

Follow us on Facebook