Freshman Uses Learning Off-Campus Time to School Her Teammates

Freshman Uses Learning Off-Campus Time to School Her Teammates
Posted on 04/28/2020
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As we are all well aware, life is on pause due to COVID-19. The winter high school sports season ended abruptly, leaving many championship games not played. The spring sports season never had the opportunity to begin. The same holds true for the New York High School Rodeo Association (NYHSRA) and its members, as they remain on pause. Salem-Washington Academy freshman, Lacey Winslow, and her equine teammate Gin are in limbo, as the rodeo season remains in question.

NYHSRA is a non-profit organization promoting youth in the sport of rodeo. Members earn points throughout the season by competing in NYHSRA sanctioned competitions. Just like
school-sponsored sports, NYHSRA members must maintain a certain grade level, and there is a code of conduct to adhere to. There are scholarship opportunities too. 

Last season, Lacey placed 5th in New York state in the all-around girls’ division. This ranking is determined by averaging the number of points earned throughout the season from competing in three timed events:  barrel racing, pole bending, and goat tying. 

 Lacey attributes some of her success in the rodeo arena to lessons learned in Mrs. Maxwell’s animal science class. “Understanding the musculoskeletal system certainly helps in getting your horse to use its’ body properly efficiently,” stated Lacey. “I’ve also learned so much about how nutrition impacts performance,” she added.

One of Lacey’s many goals is to qualify in pole bending (she ranked 4th last last) at the national competition scheduled to be held this summer in Nebraska. This means Lacey would need to finish in the top three in the state. However, with the start of this year’s season in question, that goal might have to be put on hold. However, Lacey is keeping the optimistic mindset that competition will resume soon, and she continues schooling her horses while she schools from home.

In addition to her 11 year old Quarter Horse, Gin,  Lacey has a 5 year old Quarter Horse named Hammer, who she is training. Just like people, horses learn at different levels and speeds. Just as teachers do, Lacey adjusts her teaching (or training) to help bring out the best from her two pupils. "What works well for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. As a good teacher and teammate, it’s my job to figure out what works best for them,” said Lacey. 

Lacey is a third-generation horsewoman, as her family own and operate Chipman Stables in Danby, VT. Lacey’s grandmother, Billie Coburn, founded the business at age 12 by providing trail rides so those without horses could experience the joy of being with them. The business has vastly expanded, as riding lessons and boarding are available. At the moment, the lesson program and trail rides are currently on pause, as only the essential workers are permitted on the premises. Lacey said she is grateful that during the temporary shut-down of boarding facilities she is able to work with her horses. “You’ll never learn more patience nor get more honest feedback than time spent with horses,” Lacey said.

Lacey and her older sister Lauren are also very active in the community. When they are not working with their horses or doing house chores, they can be found volunteering at the Salem Food Pantry. They regularly help on Saturday mornings with organizing and delivering food to community members, and recently helped with the milk distribution initiative.

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