Valley Information – Have horse, will journey: West Fairlee teen goes a great distance for rodeo


Lexus Austin was born round horses.

It’s straightforward to do when rising up in a household working Austin’s Ranch and Trucking in West Fairlee. She bought her first pony when she was 2 years previous and discovered English driving — a European type with a flat saddle and with out a saddle horn — at an early age.

It’s one thing like a full-time job: waking up at early hours, feeding all of the horses, ensuring they get their train. For somebody who was born in that world, it’s work that shortly turns into a labor of affection.

Rodeo, alternatively, occurred by pleased accident.

Cory, Austin’s father, was scrolling by means of his Fb feed final yr when, by probability, he got here throughout a publish concerning the New York State Excessive College Rodeo Affiliation, a regionwide varsity rodeo group that operates underneath the Nationwide Excessive College Rodeo Affiliation for athletes in grades 6-12.

“I simply checked into it,” Cory Austin mentioned over the telephone on Tuesday. “Anyone in any of the New England states can be part of the New York Excessive College Rodeo Affiliation. … So we went up there sooner or later to observe, simply to test it out. We by no means thought we’d be up there to run.”

One rodeo — the atmosphere, the scent, the noise, the camaraderie, the power — and Lexus was hooked.

Two years later, Austin — a rising freshman at Rivendell Academy — is a veteran racer with three horses to her title and is one in all six Vermonters to compete within the Empire State’s highschool rodeo ranks. She lately competed on the NYSHSRA’s rodeo at Pond Hill Ranch in Castleton, Vt., taking 10th in barrel racing within the morning and 12th in pole bending within the afternoon.

“It’s one thing you possibly can at all times get higher at,” Austin mentioned on Tuesday. “Once you get good at one thing, you’re by no means doing the identical factor. ……



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