KINGMAN – Taliyah Bowman Crook may be from a small town, but that isn’t stopping her from reaching for the stars.
The Peach Springs resident will be one of 147 cowgirls competing in the Junior National Finals Rodeo Barrel Race starting Tuesday in Las Vegas.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Taliyah said. “I’ve been blessed with some great opportunities this year. I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without the great people in my life.”
It will be Taliyah’s first trip to the Jr. NFR and she and her horse Baby are ready to compete on the biggest stage of them all.
“I am really nervous, but mostly excited,” Taliyah said. “Baby and I have been practicing, so I’m praying we will make the short go.”
The top 20 girls with the fastest two-run cumulative times will advance to the championship round, where the winner will be crowned.
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by these kids, and they have all earned the right to compete in Las Vegas,” said Kelly Kaminski, the event’s organizer and a two-time world champion barrel racer in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. “Each of these kids will be competing for over $130,000 in cash and prizes and a chance to earn a qualifying spot in The American Semifinals next February in Fort Worth.”
Taliyah has her sights set high, but she also knows that no matter what happens she will still enjoy the experience.
“My parents remind me that God has a plan and every win and every loss is a blessing all the same,” Taliyah said.
She is also thankful for many friends, family and her trainers Dolli and Jolee Lautaret. But most importantly, she is grateful for her horse which is owned by Dolli and Darrel Lautaret.
“I couldn’t do this without Baby,” Taliyah said.