Youth wranglers from DeKalb County joined in competition with others from across the country as the Alabama Little Britches Rodeo Association visited the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center in Rainsville last weekend.
Among the weekend’s biggest winners was DeKalb’s own Kallie Mattox, claiming the all-around championship in the trail hand division, along with first-place wins in barrel racing, goat tail untying, pole bending and flag racing. She also placed seventh overall in dummy roping.
Harley Wilkins, an incoming senior at Fyffe High School and seven-year rodeo veteran, said she didn’t have one of her best performances over the weekend, but still finished with an award in pole bending in the senior girl division.
“This weekend was very stressful, actually, because we’ve been keeping up with points all year and I didn’t have the best weekend this weekend,” said Wilkins, who thanked First State Bank of Rainsville for their sponsorship. “It’s kind of stressful but it was really worth it. I had a great year and it was really fun, but it’s really competitive and there’s a bunch of competition here.”
Wilkins has been competing in the Alabama Little Britches Rodeo Association for three years. Her next event will be at the national competition in Oklahoma in June. She’ll enter the event as the No. 2-ranked competitor in pole bending in her division. She came away with a third-place finish in her last national showing and said it was the one career achievement she’s most proud to have accomplished.
Fellow Fyffe classmate Olivia Wilks garnered a second-place award in goat tying over the weekend. Another seven-year rodeo veteran, Wilks said her rodeo roots began as a family activity, as her dad was a rodeo competitor in his youth.
Wilks said winning a breakaway competition in 2018 served as her proudest achievement on the rodeo circuit. In 2021, the thrill of competing remains as potent with her as ever.
“It was really fun; I enjoyed it a lot,” Wilks said of her weekend experience in Rainsville. “I’m just happy to be able to come out here and compete.”
Here’s a look at how other DeKalb residents fared at the competition in Rainsville:
In the little wrangler division, Cash Berry finished with a reserve championship win in flag racing and Ava George placed seventh in flag racing.
In the trail hand division, Sawyer Ledbetter won the dummy roping competition, placed second in mutton busting and sixth in goat tail untying, and Andy Mattox garnered fifth-place finishes in goat tail untying, flags and dummy roping.
In the senior boy division, Eli Samples won the ribbon roping contest and placed third in team roping and all-around. Eli Day won the ribbon roping competition and was third in team roping.