Northwest NEWS

January 11, 1999

Sports

Bothell High senior selected for All-Star Rodeo Team

Lottie Whitman

Lottie Whitman was selected for the Wrangler All Star Rodeo Team.
Photo courtesy of Lottie Whitman.

by Deborah Stone

   Lottie Whitman, a Bothell High School senior, has been selected for the Wrangler All Star Rodeo Team for 1998-1999.

   The Wrangler High School All Star Rodeo Team is fashioned after Wrangler's Champion Pro Rodeo Team which includes superstars like Ty Murray, Joe Beaver, and Hall-of-Famer Jim Shoulders and is the first-ever corporate-sponsored youth rodeo team.

   Whitman earned a position on the team based on leadership qualities, academic eligibility, and athletic achievements. Members of the team serve as goodwill ambassadors for the sport of rodeo.

   Whitman began riding horses as a young child on her family's property in Clearview. She started competing at age 9 in English form and jumping competitions. Four years ago, she took up barrel racing and began entering rodeos.

   "Barrel racing is lots of fun and I really like the speed element involved," comments Whitman. "It's never boring and you try to better your times at each competition."

   Whitman also competes in pole bending and goat tying. She says, "My best event is pole bending, which involves riding around six poles without touching them as fast and as accurately as you can. With goat tying, you ride real fast down to where the goat is, get off your horse, and tie up the legs of the goat. I never thought I'd enjoy this, but it's a real adrenaline rush."

   To help her practice, Whitman now has her own goat at home. She is very devoted to riding and practices about three hours a day during spring and summer, the most active seasons for competitions. From April through June, she competes each weekend in Eastern Washington.

   "The sport is very popular east of the mountains," explains Whitman. "Over here, in Western Washington, very few high schoolers are involved. All the competitions are in eastern Washington."

   There's not much time in Whitman's schedule to have many other interests, although she enjoys playing tennis and was on the Bothell High tennis team last year.

   "You really have to have total dedication if you want to compete successfully," explains Whitman. "This means making choices and often saying 'no' to school activities and hanging out with friends. What's most important to me is riding, and I constantly push myself to do better."

   Whitman is very focused on riding, as she loves the sport and the horses for their beauty and the joy they bring her. She says, "Horses are such wise creatures and they have taught me patience. I have learned a lot from them."

   Whitman enjoys the rodeos because they allow her opportunities to meet people and travel to different places. She hopes to receive an invitation to compete on a college rodeo team at WSU or Montana State in Bozeman.

   Bozeman is Whitman's first choice because of its noted rodeo team and good agriculture department. She plans to study agriculture and business for a future career, which would combine both fields.