Meet the 11-Year-Old Las Cruces Girl Taking the Rodeo World by Storm
An 11-year-old student at Mesilla Elementary school is making a name for herself in the Rodeo world and it’s all thanks to her love of horses.
Morgan Parra was recently featured in the NHSRA (National High School Rodeo Association) Times magazine as the “Professional’s Choice Student-Athlete of the Month” for barrel racing making her one of the youngest student athletes to be recognized in the magazine.
Morgan was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM and has loved horses and rodeos since she can remember and it was her father that helped her grow that passion even more throughout the years.
“My dad got me into riding horses and has always wanted me to compete in rodeos with him,” said Morgan. “I’ve been riding horses since before I could walk. My dad would ride with me, I always loved it.”
Earlier this month, Morgan set a goal for herself to qualify for the YETI Junior World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The YETI Junior World Finals will host more than 800 contestants within the Wrangler Rodeo Arena over 10 days in December. Young athletes will compete for more than $1 million in combined cash and prize payout on their quest to claim a coveted Montana Silversmiths championship buckle.
To qualify, Morgan entered a qualifier race in Clovis NM, and the two fastest times from the top junior racers and top senior racers qualified. Morgan took second and third place in two separate events during the competition which helped her land a spot to compete in the barrel racing competition at the YETI Junior World Finals this December.
For barrel racing, the rider takes off as fast as they can around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern and out the alley again. The rider must be skilled to make tight turns around the barrel without knocking it over. If a barrel is knocked over, time is added to the rider’s final race time.
“I work hard every time I compete and work to become better than I was the last time,” Morgan said. “When I give my horses my best efforts, they give their best to me, too.”
Way to go, Morgan! We will all be cheering you on this December.
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