ORANGE, Texas — Lynnley Rekieta is a seven year old barrel racer who almost let go of her love for rodeo.
"If you would’ve asked us last summer if she be here going to the National Little Britches Finals, there’s no way we would’ve thought because we were finished,” said Lynnley's mom Casi Rekieta.
Lynnley's mom says she's always had a knack for rodeo.
“Since she was really young she loved horses," said Rekieta. "Most kids wanted to play with dolls but she always wanted horses. When she was first born six months old was the first time she ever got on a horse and when she got old enough to actually ride at 3 she actually entered her first play day.”
Four years later Lynnley is heading to Oklahoma to compete in the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo.
“She told me the other night, and told myself and Ms.Pam the other night, that she said those people had beat her one too many times and she was coming home with first place,” said Rekieta.
Lynnley rides with confidence now but one year ago she almost gave up riding because she got stuck under her horse.
“She fell on me and if she standed up she’d step on me so she had to lay on me," said Lynnley. "She had no choice.”
“She was so anxious about riding," said Rekieta. "Went from going really really fast at three to terrified to go fast so this past year, last summer, we actually had given up on speed events.”
When Lynnley found her new horse cookie she wanted back in the arena.
“I just wanted to ride and I feel brave enough to ride her again, ride a new horse,” said Lynnley.
Lynnley's year of hard work is about to put to the test.
“After going through the year long slump I never dreamed we’d be back doing this and even going to the National Little Britches Finals so I feel really proud,” said Rekieta.
Lynnley’s saddling up to take the crown.
“I’m gonna win a bunch and I’m gonna have fun,” said Lynnley.