Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Local student set to compete in the Texas Jr. High Rodeo

By Stephanie Hill
May 16, 2017 at 3:55 p.m.

A local student is preparing to compete in the Texas Jr. High Rodeo this weekend.

Abi DePriest, a sixth grader at Baker Koonce, will be competing in ribbon roping, barrel racing and for the title of Miss Texas Jr. High Princess in Gonzales, Texas from May 19- 21. The rodeo will begin after the coronation on Sunday. She was the reserve champion in ribbon roping and placed in third for barrel racing in region 5.

DePriest said she grew up around horses, so it was natural for her to get involved in the rodeo.

"My mom and my aunt always rode horses, so they kind of introduced me to it when I was about three," she said. "Then I have been doing it since then."

DePriest has competed for other princess titles before. She won the Shelby County Posse Rodeo Princess in 2012, and in 2016, she won the Tops in Texas Rodeo Jacksonville. She was also awarded the Shelby County Posse Rodeo Duchess in 2016.

This is her first time to compete in the Miss Texas competition.

"I'm very excited, I've put a lot of work into this and I'm ready to see what I can do," she said.

To compete for the Princess title in the Texas Jr. High Rodeo, DePriest said she has to take a 50 question written test, horsemanship, modeling intro, interview and modeling to a song that is drawn for the contestant.

She competed in several events in region 5 and in those events the contestant has to make the top 10. She said her region had 89 contestants, which was very big. She made it to state in ribbon roping and barrel racing. If she places this weekend, she'll go to the nationals, which are June 18-24 in Lebanon, Tennessee.

DePriest said she has been preparing since October and has done a lot of work to get ready for the competition. She has read the rule book and practiced her speech and intro. She even went before the Carthage ISD Board of Trustees last month to practice her speech and intro.

"You have to put a lot of effort into this to make it successful," she said.

The theme of her speech is Western Heritage Texas.

"My intro is mostly about where I'm from, who is with me this weekend and that I'm excited to be at Gonzales," she said. "My speech, we kind of put a little bit of everything. We threw in some serious parts of rodeo and some funny parts of the rodeo."

While preparing for the upcoming rodeo, DePriest said she has learned a great deal.

"Your personality will reflect in what you do in your way of life."

When she's not busy preparing for the rodeo, DePriest said she goes to jackpot barrel racing, plays volleyball, homework for school, fishing for catfish and bass and more. She is a member of First Baptist in Center, Texas.

She is the daughter of David and Colette DePriest and the sister of the late Cole DePriest, who passed away when she was in 4th grade.



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