Getting to the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee was definitely an ordeal for barrel racing contestant Laura Haight and her family.
Particularly coming from Kodiak, Alaska.
From a ferry ride to a blown transmission on their motor house to veterinary visits for their horses and even a theft of one of their associates, the Haight Family’s trek to the IFYR will be just one they before long is not going to overlook…make that hardly ever overlook.
Their journey, which also involved two puppies and two cats in tow, does not stop right here. Laura and her mom and dad, Mike and Robin Haight, are headed to subsequent week’s Countrywide Higher College Finals Rodeo in Lincoln, Neb.
But first for the journey, which incorporated a flat tire appropriate in advance of it begun, and commenced extra than two months ago.
“It was a journey,” mentioned Mike, using the situation in stride. “The income portion was annoying, but what other household has these encounters and have stories to notify. We discovered how to offer with disappointment and retain going. In reality it was fulfilling to in fact make it in this article. It is really a feeling of accomplishment.”
Their a lot more than two-thirty day period — approaching 3-month — journey commenced with a 12-hour ferry experience from Kodiak, situated on an island about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, to Homer, Alaska on the Alaskan mainland. Then arrived the lengthy push as a result of Canada. Laura really created the ferry experience with two of her horses just before Mike and Robin came afterwards.
Car or truck problems, theft plague Laura Haight’s household on vacation from Alaska to Oklahoma
The family members created it to Wyoming when just one of many major complications occurred.
“Our motor household went cigarette smoking and the transmission was blown,” Robin said. “We had it towed into Laramie. We had to shove everything (own possessions) we could into the horse trailer and still left the camper in Wyoming.”
With no living quarters, that led to extra expenses in staying in their cars and motels.
“I even slept in the automobile a couple of evenings,” Laura said.
They eventually arrived at their desired destination right here in the point out in Sallisaw, wherever they get sponsorship help and help from Brian Muse and Mark Holder. They also manufactured a new buddy in Charlie Hunter, a Sallisaw resident and Vietnam veteran.
The loved ones purchased Hunter a bus ticket to go up to Laramie and decide up their motor dwelling, but at some stage Hunter’s wallet was stolen, which in the long run established the family back again even additional.
In Tuesday morning’s go-round, Laura Haight’s 1st consider in the barrels was not what she wished as she and horse Ayra obtained off to a excellent begin following the initial two barrels.
“By the time we hit the 3rd barrel, I understood anything was wrong for the reason that Ayra came up coughing and wheezing. We just enable up and coasted the relaxation of the way,” claimed Laura. “We purchased a equipment (an equine nebulizer) at the trade present to ideally enable her.”
Not all has been doom and gloom for Laura, who received at a rodeo at Purcell and finished to start with at rodeos in Checotah and Wilburton right here in the condition. She completed fourth at another rodeo at Checotah.
Even so, it is been an high-priced undertaking for Laura and her relatives. The fees have exceeded very well over $30,000. Mike suggests that won’t consist of food items, some vet expenditures and some instruction classes to title a handful of.
Regardless of the several problems, Mike has been appreciative of the support and support his household has received.
“There have been a good deal of beneficial persons like vets and trainers, all those who gave an additional effort to help us,” Mike said.