An 11-year-old rural Washta girl is one of only four Iowans to qualify for competition in the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) Youth World Championships later this month in Jackson, Mississippi.
Tally Roepke, daughter of Blake and Tammy Roepke, has been riding horses for as long as she can remember and is excited to be participating in the . Tammy said she took her daughter on her first horse ride when she was two weeks old.
Since the age of 4, Tally has advanced through the various classifications of barrel racing and now competes in both youth and open competitions with impressive results.
To qualify for the NHBA event, Tally had to earn points through various sanctioned competitions. This has included events at the Cherokee Arena which opened June of 2004. "The arena has been a big plus. It's really appreciated," Tammy said.
The Roepkes plan on arriving in Jackson on July 23. Tally's first run in on July 23 and the second is July 27. If she advances to the final competition, that will be on July 29. There will be 285 competitors. Various prizes will be awarded.
Tally is a student in the River Valley School District. Other interests include showing her Australian Shepard in dog shows and spending time with friends.
She is considering a career as a massage therapist. One thing is definite in her future plans, she intends to keep riding horses.
Both of her parents enjoy riding. Blake works at Little Sioux Corn Processors and Tammy is a horse shoer. Tammy said that Ethan, Tally's 15-year-old brother, can ride but other interests take precedence right now.
Going to national competition is expensive and the Roepkes would appreciate sponsors for the event. Those wishing to assist can call them at their home (447-6185) or contact Bob Leach at the Cherokee Saddle Shop (225-1228).