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GETTING READY TO RODEO UNION COUSINS TUNE UP FOR FIRST MAVERICKS JR. RODEO

FAMILY AFFAIR: Kyler Wright, Austin Woodward, Brittany Wright and Chelsey Haywood, left to right, ride together during a practice session Wednesday at the Wrights' backyard arena. The four are cousins and all will compete this weekend at the Mavericks Junior Rodeo.  ().
FAMILY AFFAIR: Kyler Wright, Austin Woodward, Brittany Wright and Chelsey Haywood, left to right, ride together during a practice session Wednesday at the Wrights' backyard arena. The four are cousins and all will compete this weekend at the Mavericks Junior Rodeo. ().

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

UNION — The first La Grande Mavericks Junior Rodeo is on its way.

On Wednesday afternoon, four related rodeo kids were practicing in Union for the event, which will take place Saturday and Sunday at the La Grande Mavericks Arena.

Sisters Kyler and Brittany Wright and their cousins Chelsey Haywood and Austin Woodward love rodeo.

Kyler, 13, will be competing in breakaway roping Saturday. She will be doing barrel racing and pole bending on Sunday.

Her favorite event is breakaway.

"It's mostly up to me what I have to get done, not my horse," she said.

Kyler plays basketball and volleyball in school and enjoys skiing.

Brittany, 18, graduated from Union High School this year.

She will be doing barrel racing, breakaway, pole bending and cow riding.

This will be her first time riding a cow.

"I have no experience," she said. "We'll have to see how it is."

Brittany, who enjoys breakaway for the same reasons as her sister, said she will try to catch the cow as fast as she can.

Will cow riding become a favorite event for her?

"No, I don't know what I'm doing," she said.

Brittany was a member of her school's basketball and volleyball teams.

Chelsey, 14, helped her brother Austin, 9, with his events Wednesday.

Chelsey advised Austin to kick his horse as he approached a barrel and to lean on his horse as he weaved through the poles.

Chelsey will be doing barrel racing and breakaway on Saturday and pole bending and goat tying on Sunday.

Barrel racing is her best event, she said.

Chelsey was momentarily interrupted by a cute little dog, which she picked up to pet.

This was natural for her. She has been around animals all her life, so it's not unusual for her to be surrounded by them.

Chelsey plays volleyball and basketball at school.

Austin will compete in pole bending, barrel racing and breakaway on Sunday.

Breakaway is his favorite event because "it's more competitive," he said.

Austin played on the minors All-Star baseball team as a pitcher and shortstop. He plays soccer and enjoys playing around with his two dogs. He also has two cats and six horses.

The rodeo starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, slack is at 8 a.m. and the performance begins around 1 p.m.

 
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