The 87th annual North Texas Fair and Rodeo (NTFR) has sadly come to a close, and that means the preparation for next year’s event begins! The nine days were full of carnival rides, funnel cake, concerts to write home about and (a personal favorite) nights of action-packed rodeos!
Smack dab in the middle of the week were two nights of events for the 21 and under group of cowboys and cowgirls. In that crowd was local Sadie Hairford competing in breakaway roping, goat tying and barrel racing. Wednesday night Sadie hooked on, loaded three horses and headed to the North Texas Fairgrounds to show the crowd what she’s made of.
Sadie saddled her grey mare and headed to warm up before she took the arena for the first event of the rodeo, girls breakaway roping. Once the national anthem was sung and the prayer was said, Sadie trotted into the arena with her Dad to make her run. Being last to rope in that event made Sadie see what she was up against before she backed in the box. Finally she took her turn and pulled out a run of 5.2 seconds, placing her third in Breakaway.
“I drew right and got out fast,” Sadie explained. “My horse and I were on two different pages, but we made it work as best we could!”
The next event for Sadie was goat tying. Goat tying is one of those events that Sadie won’t do much of after high school ends, but she makes the most of it while she can. An impressive time of 9.4 seconds won the goat tying, and Sadie followed in third place with a time of 10.9 seconds.
“I was happy with how my horse worked my dismount and tie,” Sadie described. “The goat was tangled up and facing backwards which cost me a little bit of time. We made it work though!”
The final event of the night for Sadie was barrel racing. Sadie has been working on getting back into barrel racing for her professional career after taking a little hiatus during her high school years. The horse she is working with is a colt her family gave her, and she has been training her for events like the NTFR. The duo had a time of 18.46 seconds to complete the pattern. Unfortunately they didn’t place in the top three, but they kept all the barrels up, and that was a victory.
“I ran my colt who has only been to one other rodeo that has a bit of a crowd, and she handled it great,” Sadie boasted. “She may not be the fastest yet, but I am looking forward to what she will become. I couldn’t be happier with her!”
The NTFR is an event that draws in a large crowd of kids from the area. The fair encourages them to be the best they can be and to give back to the community. Sadie has been trying her hardest to make her own horses and encourage aspiring rodeo athletes.
Sadie has been coaching a boy for around a year who wants to be a calf-tier but is starting out in breakaway roping. She is helping him on a weekly basis to become the best roper he can be and help him reach his goals. Helping people while doing what she loves is something Sadie thrives off of, and it helps her become better at the event she is coaching.
The NTFR has been a huge success this year and can only get better from here on out. There have been exciting steps taken in improvement for future years including the purchase of 109 acres less than ten miles down I-35 from the existing fairgrounds to house the growing crowds from year to year.
Keep up to date with all things regarding next year’s North Texas Fair and Rodeo by following them on all of their social media channels. Follow Discover Denton on social media and check discoverdenton.com to stay up-to-date on fun things going on in Denton all year!