WEST JEFFERSON-Addie Fairchild is buckin’ the status quo on the professional rodeo circuit this fall.
While most 16-year-old girls might spend their weekends binging on “Gossip Girl” or following the latest social trend via Twitter, the precocious Ashe County High teen is saddle bound, as she tries to lasso yet another highly coveted trophy buckle on circuits nationwide.
Most recently, Fairchild stuck her spurs into a team roping event in Nashville, Tenn. that won her a brand new pick-up truck as the ultimate bragging rights in a sport that is gaining national attention.
The team roping event pits two ropers against an unwieldy steer in a timed event. The two mounted riders tried to rope both ends of the steer.
“I started team roping back in March,” said Fairchild of the growing sport. “I roped breakaway rope before, which is (roping) alone and then I picked up teaming roping because I wanted to do something different. My Dad also team ropes.”
The contest was not without its challenges, however.
For one, Fairchild didn’t have the chance to meet her partner from Miami prior to the event.
“It actually worked pretty well not being able to talk very much,” said Fairchild as she reflects on the recent event.
The win was quite an accomplishment for the young wrangler and a first on many levels.
“She’s the first girl in 15 years to win a truck and she’s only 16,” said her father, Chad Fairchild. “Usually, it’s folks in the adult division, like men and women.”
For Fairchild, the rodeo circuit and roping events are almost a way of life for her and her family. She spends the overwhelming majority of her weekends traveling to and from events.
“She’s been in rodeo for a long time,” said her dad. “She’s been involved in horses for a long time, too. She just stepped right into it. She use to barrel race and do rodeo type events. Her sister just recently placed in the Top 15 in the world in Lebanon, Tenn. They are very competitive. They work at it everyday.”
And it’s not the highly sought after buckles or saddles that keeps the young Fairchild engaged in the sport either.
“I like the adrenaline rush that I get from it,” said Addie. “It’s taught me a lot of responsibility. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons through it.”
And what does the future hold for Fairchild?
“I want to put my career first,” she said. “I want to go into healthcare. After getting my career set, I want to continue to do rodeo as a hobby or something on the weekend.”
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.