Latest in line of rodeo legends lives up to family name
HALLIDAY, N.D. - Some might say Sadie Gjermundson has a lot to live up to when it comes to rodeo competition. Even with the last name of Gjermundson, well-known around the country in rodeo, the Halliday native isn't going to let the pressure get ...
HALLIDAY, N.D. - Some might say Sadie Gjermundson has a lot to live up to when it comes to rodeo competition.
Even with the last name of Gjermundson, well-known around the country in rodeo, the Halliday native isn't going to let the pressure get to her.
"I feel I have a lot to live up to, but it doesn't feel like a lot of pressure," Gjermundson said. "What I've learned from competing in rodeo is sportsmanship. I know I can't always win."
Her father, Lyle Gjermundson, knows the family name has same weight to it but isn't worried about that for his daughter.
"The tougher the competition, the tougher you are," he said. "Our family encourages each other, no matter what. You learn how to lose, which is bigger than learning how to win all the time, but that's like any competition."
The 14-year-old Gjermundson is starting to carve out a name for herself. With her 14-year-old bay gelding, Surf, Gjermundson just won the 2007 Girls Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo AQHA Horse of the Year award at the third annual Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo in Gallup, N.M.
Gjermundson came away with a saddle and $500 scholarship.
She went to the national finals after winning state Horse of the Year honors, qualifying to compete against more than 40 other horses.
Gjermundson earned the award by accumulating points during competition that included goat tying, breakaway roping and pole bending. She placed second in the ribbon roping, where she used a different horse, Kourt Starr. She finished fourth in the breakaway roping and 19th in goat tying, and ended the year in seventh place in the girls all-around category at the nationals.
"You never know what's going to happen," Gjermundson said of competing.
Influences have come from her parents, Sharlene and Lyle Gjermundson, and many others in her family. Her uncle, Brad Gjermundson, was a four-time world saddle bronc champion and National Rodeo Hall of Fame inductee in 1995, and her cousins and siblings have racked up a fine set of recognition and scores.
"Brad won before I got into competition. He was already good, but I didn't feel like I had anything to prove," Lyle Gjermundson said.
"People may expect more because of where Sadie comes from, but we've taught her to just be herself."
The younger Gjermundson said the family support is great.
"My mom is so supportive and always ready to pick up and go," Gjermundson said. "She tapes all the big events and I have to give her credit because she helps me out whenever I need it."
Outside the arena, Gjermundson has been involved in basketball, student congress, volleyball and track. Due to her dedication to rodeo, Gjermundson is dropping the last two this school year.
"This (riding) is all year round for me," she said. "I grew up doing this. It's fun and I make a lot of friends."
As long as she's having fun and enjoying herself, the Gjermundson family hopes the best for her, Lyle Gjermundson said.
"She'll remember the people she met along the way. I know I did," he said. "People I knew and competed with are now going to events with their own children, too."
Sadie Gjermundson has been competing on horseback since she was 3, her father said.
"What makes her good is the work she does helping out with calving season on the ranch here," he said. "The everyday chores make her a better rider for rodeo competitions, which also is why she enjoys it."