January's Student Spotlight goes to a young cowgirl who has truly impressed our Dare To Be A Cowboy team: Claire Conine. Claire is a 12 year old, first-generation cowgirl based out of Reno, NV that is truly one of the toughest cowgirls we have been around. Our founder and Claire's coach, Hannah Beth, documents what her journey with Claire has looked like over the past few years below:
"In the very beginning of our journey together, Claire began lessons on our prized lesson horse, Armita. Her natural riding capabilities and her confidence to push outside of her comfort zone always impressed me, and it didn't take me long to know that this little cowgirl will make a name for herself within the industry, so long as she keeps working at it.
About a year into our lessons together, Claire's mom, Jessica let me know that it was time to start looking for Claire's first horse (YAY). After they did some searching, our lessons geared to helping Claire and her new horse Buddy not only get to know each other, but to start their journey together on the rodeo road! We were so happy for her to finally have her heart horse after working so hard at perfecting the craft of being a horsewoman.
After a couple of years of working through obstacles, stepping outside of their comfort zone, and entering gymkhanas/barrel races that haven't always gone their way, Claire and Buddy are looking at the 2024 season ready to take on anything. As a coach, I am so proud of the way that Claire has relentlessly worked through hard times with her horse and whatever else life has thrown at her. She is the definition of a tough cowgirl and continues to prove that to me, and everyone around her, everyday.
This year, Claire's goal is to be an all-around cowgirl entering events like Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, Team Roping, Breakaway, and Goat Tying at Nevada Jr. High School Rodeo, local gymkhanas, and barrel races throughout the West Coast. She even aims to qualify for the Vegas Tuffest Jr. World Championship Rodeo in the Goat Tying during this year's NFR. I do not doubt that this girl can accomplish anything she sets her mind to."
We are with Claire every step of the way and are so honored to have her as a part of our student team. Congratulations on DTBAC's student spotlight of the month, Claire. You are more than deserving!