Brumley joins rodeo team at SAU
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]
Ask Georgia Brumley, a senior at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School, how long she has been riding horses and she will tell you “since I was born.”
“I come from a very long line of cowboys and cowgirls,” said the 17-year-old New Albany native. “Both of my maternal great-grandfathers were accomplished horsemen. Historically speaking, my great-grandfather Oval Farris trained mules during World War II, and my great-grandfather Rex Sheets brought in the first registered quarter horses to Southern Indiana. My papaw, Richard Farris, is an accomplished horseman with several AQHA world qualifications and top 10 finishes. My great-uncle Tommy Sheets is world renowned in the quarter-horse industry.”
Georgia took her love of horses to the rodeo circuit when she was in kindergarten when her mom, Brooklyn Brumley, looked into her daughter becoming a 4-H member.
“But they said I couldn’t ride alone until third grade,” Georgia said. “Knowing I could already ride alone, my mom and dad (Kyle Brumley) decided 4-H was not the place for me. That’s when we came across the Southern Indiana Junior Rodeo Association. I was hooked after my first rodeo.”
Rodeo competitions will continue for Georgia when she starts college at Southern Arkansas University, where she will major in agricultural business, as she signed to be a member of the school’s rodeo team.
“I reached out to multiple colleges and multiple colleges reached out to me,” Georgia said, “but at the end of the day Southern Arkansas was the perfect fit for me. I was very interested in SAU because I have had several friends go there and really love it. I sent my emails to the coaches of the school I was interested in at the same time. When I received a call from (SAU) coach Hayse in 20 minutes after my email had been delivered, I knew it was the No. 1 on my list. When I went for my visit, I wanted to find something I disliked about the school because I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that far from home. After I fell in love with the campus, horse facility and the town, I knew it was perfect for my future.”
Through the years, rodeo competitions have taken Georgia throughout Indiana as well as to Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. Some of her accomplishments include six times All Around Cowgirl, state champion in goat tying, state champion breakaway roper, state champion team roper (header), National High School Rodeo Finals No. 21 breakaway roper and AQHA World Champion pole bender. She has won more than 30 buckles and eight saddles.
Asked about her favorite rodeo memory, Georgia said, “For me, I can’t pick one memory that was my absolute favorite. Rodeo does have its ups and downs, but every memory is a good one to me. Whether it be winning, learning or sitting at the campfire with my friends, it’s never a bad time at a rodeo, and the thousands of memories I have made over the years will always be remembered.”
The senior also finds it difficult to pick a favorite event of the five she competes in.
“I can limit it down to two,” Georgia said. “The goat tying and the breakaway roping are by far my favorite two events.”
At SAU, she will focus on breakaway roping, goat tying and team roping.
Georgia said there are 73 post-secondary schools that sponsor varsity rodeo teams.
“In college rodeo, you compete against the other teams in your region,” she said. “In my case, I will compete against the other schools in the Ozark Region.”
While a student at Lanesville, Georgia played basketball for seven years and has been a member of FFA, where she serves as chapter president, National Honor Society and Student Council, serving as senior class secretary. She also serves as the Southern Indiana Junior Rodeo Association’s arena director.
The soon-to-be high school graduate said she will miss the family environment of Lanesville schools most.
“I have a very busy abnormal life I live with rodeo, which causes me to miss school more than the average student,” Georgia said. “Lanesville High School staff has been extremely supportive through my time here at this school, always wishing me the best of luck and asking how I did the minute I walk back into the school building. I will truly miss the amazing staff and friends that I have grown so close to over the last 12 years.”
However, she is looking forward to being around more people who share her passion for horses and rodeo competition.
“To have a passion that sticks out like a sore thumb is sometimes very difficult,” Georgia said. “Sometimes people don’t understand why I have to go right home when school is over or why I’m gone every weekend. It’s a whole other life when you have four horses, goats and cows who depend on you for food, water, exercise and a clean living area.”
Georgia expressed her appreciation to her parents for always helping her achieve her goals.
“Whether it was getting the horses I needed, driving me to practice, getting me with the correct coaches or just being there to support me, they have never let me down,” she said. “I would also like to give a big thank you to Beverly Dietrich for coaching me from the time I was 5 years old to now … always pushing me to be the very best I can be inside and outside the arena.”