|3R champion will
ride in Lions Team Roping
Ever since she can remember Shyan Souza has been dreaming
about the Three Rivers Lions Team Roping. In fact,
she first ran the barrels as a four-year-old and now
looks forward to the local competition as the best
event on the circuit and her highlight of an annual
schedule that becomes more hectic each year.
Shyan, now a senior at Woodlake
says it's indescribable the feeling she gets when
she's out in the Lions Arena. All the cheers of her
family, friends, and fans screaming her name echoing
up and down the North
and according to this tough-as-nails competitor, it
just doesn't get any better.
But wherever she finishes on the leader board this
weekend after roping on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,
it's going to be difficult to beat what she's already
accomplished in 2010.
That's because at the Challenge of Champions, the
2010 California High School Rodeo district championships
held March 19 through 21 at Plymouth, Calif., Shyan
and her partner, Lane Lowry of Bakersfield, finished
first in team roping. For their efforts, they came
away with the championship buckles and a $500 scholarship
to attend Cal Poly, San
Luis Obispo .
It's no small feat to be the best of California
districts with several hundred competitors in arguably
the premier competition of the rodeo's nine events.
Shyan said she chose team roping from the other events
— goat tying, pole bending, barrel racing, breakaway
roping (girls only), bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down
roping, and steer roping — because team roping is
something she plans on doing the rest of her life.
Shyan and her mom Tammy said the scholarship will
come in handy because college is going to be a financial
challenge, especially when she will be trying out
for the Cal Poly Mustangs' championship rodeo team.
That means when most students are taking their cars
to college, Shyan will be taking her championship
American quarter horses Brother Bear and Kahlua.
“Those horses are treated like royalty,” Shyan admitted.
“They get the attention first, then I might think
about what I need to do for me.”
Shyan, her roping career started in her middle school
years. As a youngster she always ran the barrels but
then it came time to make a decision.
“That's when I chose rodeo over playing the other
sports,” Shyan recalled. “I tried all the events I
could but eventually decided to concentrate on roping.”
That means like with all sports: practice, practice,
and then practice some more and a commitment by her
parents to take her and her horses all over the West
to compete in an endless series of rodeos. Shyan can
be often seen riding in her home arena along Sierra
that is, when she's not off somewhere competing.
“Whenever possible, I try to practice in the bigger
arenas on the Schrock Ranch or at my friend's place
in Ivanhoe,” Shyan said. “Some of the best high school
competitors and the other ropers live on big working
ranches so they have an advantage.”
Every roper knows the difference between rodeo and
a roping like this weekend's event at Three Rivers.
At a team roping, there are no events like the bronc
or bull riding or steer wrestling but there are the
more traditional ranch events like team roping, branding,
and barrel racing. Shyan says lots of ropers like
her dad, J.P. Souza, only rope one event a year and
it's at Three Rivers.