‘It’s in her blood’

Published 12:03 am Saturday, February 25, 2012


Rodeoing is a family tradition for the Tisdales, and 9-year-old Caitlin is no exception.

Decked out in her cowgirl hat, boots and buckle, Tisdale was ready to continue her weekly tradition. This week’s goal: barrel racing at the Civitan Rodeo.

Caitlin’s mother, ChaLea, said her father was a roper; she roped, and Caitlin’s older brother also participated in the rodeo, so it’s only natural for the Pleasant Home fourth grader to take part, too.

“I’ve been riding for four years,” she said. “I had a black horse called ‘Dollar.’ I finally got where I could lope him.

“One day there was a big stack of logs and he jumped,” she said. “I became more confident after that, and my skills built up from there.”

Caitlin said her favorite part is being able to “connect with her horse.”

“At night, I can play with my friends when my event is done,” she said. “But during the rodeo, I’m serious.

Caitlin said she rides nearly every day – weather permitting.

“Lately, the weather has been difficult,” she said. “But we rodeo nearly every weekend. The farthest I’ve been is Harpersville.

“Every Monday night I practice goat tying, and another night, I practice breakaway,” she said. “Rodeoing is my thing. I don’t have time for other activities, and if you’ll look at my phone, only about three out of 30 contacts are school friends, the rest are rodeoers.”

In addition to barrel racing, she participates in pole bending, ribbon roping, breakaway and goat tying.

“Breakaway is my favorite event,” she said. “With it, everything is a lot more sensitive. It feels so different.”

“Right now, she’s second in the state in goat tying,” her mother said.

But Caitlin’s no stranger to awards. She’s won the Jake Clemons buckle and a rookie buckle at the age of 6. She was also the reigning Little Miss Civitan.

The 25th annual Civitan Rodeo will continue tonight. Doors open at 6 p.m. Adult tickets are $12 at the gate and children 5 years and younger are admitted free. All seats are first come, first serve. There will be no reserved seating.