In July Sophie Kodet traveled to Oklahoma in order to compete in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association contest, which was held at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.
At the end of this year’s competition, Kodet, of rural Morgan, came home with a few prizes having qualified for the finals in five events.
The National Little Britches Rodeo is one of the oldest youth based rodeo organizations. It was founded in 1952 and sanctions rodeos in more than 33 states.
The NLBRA allows children ages five to 18 to compete. Its championship event is the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo.
Contestants qualify for finals by placing in the top seven in each event five times. All of the points from the top five rides go with them to finals.
Kodet competed in barrels, pole bending, trail, breakaway roping and goat tying. All events are timed events meaning the fastest time wins. Penalties are accessed for tipping obstacles/barrels or poles and added to your time.
At the end of the competition, Kodet placed seventh in short go round, fourth in world average and sixth in world points.
During the contest there are two chances for each event called a First Go and a Second Go. If a competitor is in the top 10 in the fastest average time of those two, they advance to the short go.
If they qualify for the most points and are in the top 10, they are also able to advance to the short go. So 20 competitors total are able to advance in each event to the final go.
Kodet has been a member of NLBRA for several years and started when she was six. Kodet had two sisters riding before her, and, according to her mom, Rondi, when it was Kodet’s turn, she “took to horses like a fish takes to water.”
She started out on a pony named Chip and kept moving up to faster horses as her riding skills progressed.
Kodet is active in the 4-H horse program, NLBRA, is a youth member of AQHA and APHA (American Quarter Horse Association and American Paint Horse Association).
She competed in Junior High Rodeo last year, Western Heritage, local barrel races and roping events.
She also recently joined a new team called Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) and will do something completely different called hunt seat. This will allow her to keep things fun and fresh, making new horse friends along the way.
“I like seeing my friends and riding around together. I like trying to beat my personal best time from prior rodeos. It is challenging and competitive to try to get better at each event,” explained Sophie Kodet. “I was super excited to make it to the short go because that was my goal coming into finals. I wanted to make it in two events (poles and trail) but only made it in one event which was trail. The pole competition was moved outside to a larger pen and my horse runs better in small, inside pens. Last year I came in 11th in the pole average and they only took the top 10, so I stayed to watch my friends compete.
"This year I was able to be there as a competitor, not a spectator. Next year I am hoping to get more consistent with my pole pattern so that we can make that goal. They give away saddles to the winner of the world in both points and the average. One day I hope to win a saddle.”