We recently had the opportunity to catch up with three members of the Smarty Young Pro Team. This week, we are joined by Jacie Naprstek of Gothenburg, Nebraska, Rylee Naprstek of Gothenburg, Nebraska, and Braxton Hughes of Canyon, Texas.

Tell us a little about yourself and what all events do you compete in?

  • Jacie: Breakaway, Goat tying, team roping, barrels, poles, Ribbon Roping (Heeler)

  • Rylee: Breakaway, Goat Tying, and Team Roping (Heeler)

  • Braxton: Team-Roping (Header)

At what age did you start riding?

  • Jacie: Around 2

  • Rylee: 2 or 3

  • Braxton: I started riding when I was about 4

Who is your favorite pro rodeo athlete?

  • Jacie: Jackie Crawford, I think that she was such a big impact in the breakaway roping and she is very determined.

  • Rylee: Jackie Crawford, she is so confident and determined.

  • Braxton: Trevor Bazile

How do you prepare yourself for an intense rodeo and school schedule?

  • Jacie: I will make a schedule and make sure I am able to get all the homework I have done and I make sure that I put time into practicing, and making sure that I have everything ready for the upcoming rodeo.

  • Rylee: I try to stay ahead of all of my schoolwork so its all done when it is time to practice or go to rodeos.

  • Braxton: Practice a lot

Tell us a little about your horse?

  • Jacie: I bring 4 different horses to rodeos, Sketch is my goat tying horse and he is probably my favorite. He is kind of an ugly horse, but he is an amazing goat horse. Wane is my breakaway horse. Me and my sister share him and he can be really crazy when he wants to be. Cherry is my barrel and pole horse. She has a huge attitude and is really stubborn, but she really knows what she is doing when it comes to barrels and poles. Clyde is my team roping horse, me and my sister also share this horse too. He is an old horse, but he is very gentle and sweet.

  • Rylee: Wayne is my breakaway horse. He is quick and has a big stop. Arwin is my goat horse. He is always ready to go and likes his job. Clyde is my heel horse. He is pretty laid back and doesn’t let anything get to him.

  • Braxton: Nacho is a 6-year old that just made It to the top of my string it's hard to pick one from because I got some great horses but I think that he is the best one, we have had him since he was 4 years old and my dad heeled on him for a year and then I took him and made him a head horse.

What songs gets you pumped up before a rodeo/roping?

  • Jacie: I don’t really like to listen to music before a rodeo/roping. Before a run/rodeo I like to be by myself and think of my run.

  • Rylee: Although I hate to admit it, my dad’s old 80s/90s music.

  • Braxton: Music/Rap

What’s your favorite meal on the road?

  • Jacie: Steak sandwiches and potato salad and coleslaw.

  • Rylee: Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.

  • Braxton: Subway

What do you want to major in college?

  • Rylee: I think I want to be a physical or occupational therapist, so my major would be biology.

  • Braxton: Ag business

What’s your favorite subject in school?

  • Jacie: My favorite subject is math and science, but something that interests me is being a pediatrician.

  • Braxton: Ag

You’re on the road a lot, when do you practice?

  • Jacie: Normally I’ll get home and finish all the homework I have for the day then me and my sister are able to go up and practice.

  • Rylee: Weekdays after school and weekends when we are not rodeoing.

  • Braxton: I practice between rodeos.

Who is your traveling partner(s):

  • Rylee: Since I am still in high school, I travel with my family but love to see friends when we get to the rodeo.

  • Braxton: John Hisel

What do you do when you are not rodeoing?

  • Jacie: Trying to be involved as much as I can in sports, school activities, Church, and spending time with family.

  • Rylee: Drive around and hang out with friends, help with our cattle operation, and cheer on the Swedes and the Huskers.

  • Braxton: Practice roping

What’s your favorite thing about rodeoing?

  • Jacie: Being able to have all the close friends that I do with the sport. And being able to compete, but not with a team. I get to choose whether I do good or not, It’s no one else’s fault if I do bad, but I am able to choose to do good also. It’s just you that has to have the drive to go out and practice to get better, no one else can do anything to make you better, it’s your choice.

  • Rylee: You get to meet people from all over the state and even the country that you will become life-long friends with. You also learn so many valuable lessons that will carry you through the rest of your life.

  • Braxton: The competition and experience and getting to know lots of people.

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