Okeechobee girl wins rodeo title

OKEECHOBEE — Brighton Bauman of Okeechobee won the National High School Rodeo Association Breakaway Roping Title in Gillette, Wyo., July 22.

The Okeechobee High School sophomore has been challenging herself in rodeo for years. She won the Roy Cooper Junior Calf Roping title this year and had built up a lot of confidence for the nationals.

“I knew I was good enough to win. I just went and tried to be as fast as I could this year at Nationals,” she said.

Brighton is the daughter of Tory and Nye Bauman of Okeechobee. She finished near the top in all three rounds of the rodeo and won the average with a total of 7.49 seconds. Bauman finished in 2.55 seconds in the first round, and 2.38 seconds in the second round. She finished in 2.56 seconds in the finals.

Bauman beat out Jordi Evans of Gatesville, Texas for the average championship. Evans had a total of 7.59 seconds in her three rounds. She was in third place after the first round, and was fifth in the second round.

Bauman said the race was tight going into the finals and she knew she’d have to do well.
“The girl right behind me, there was only a 1/500th of a second that separated us. She was fast so I knew I had to be faster,” she said.

Josi Reno of Springfield, Oregon finished third in the average with a time of 7.78 seconds. She was ninth at the first round 2.69 seconds, and finished 14th in the second round with a time of 2.86 seconds.

Bauman said her horse, Alf, played a huge role in her victory. She said she practices on a number of horses but knows that Alf is her best breakaway horse. She also did her homework and studied the arena and the other contestants.

“I went and watched every performance of the rodeo. I figured out what to see out of the barrier, when to let my horse leave the box, and I figured out how fast I needed to rope one,” she explained.

She also thanked her coach, Gene Fulford, and her uncles Clint and Elton Boney. She also thanked her grandfather Boosty Boney. She said has grown up around rodeo and the sport was a natural for her. She said her family gave her a lot of help in learning rodeo and she appreciated their support.

She still won’t forget the feeling of winning a national title.

“It was kind of just shock at first, and then happiness when I realized I had won it,” she added.

Bauman also wasn’t intimidated by the large crowd and the anticipation due to all the rodeo competitions she has attended in her life.

“I’ve already faced all that. I just did what I knew how to do,” she added.

Allie Tate of Vincent, Ala. led after the first round with a time of 2.3 seconds. She ended up in 11th place.

Marissa Buisjoli had a lightning fast time of 2.11 to win the second performance of the rodeo. She had finished 89th in the first round.

Bauman plans to continue to work hard and remain on the Florida High School Rodeo Circuit for the next two years. She was reserve champion in the Florida State Finals in May.

Bauman also got to enjoy being a tourist in a month-long trip away from Okeechobee visiting Buffalo, Wyo. and Devil’s Tower.

She won three buckles, two for placing in rounds, and one for the national championship, along with a saddle, a trophy, and over $2,000 in scholarships.

Brighton Bauman (above) of Okeechobee won the National High School Rodeo Association Breakaway Roping Title in Gillette, Wyo., July 22, 2017.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment