Mt. Juliet High School sophomore heads to Oklahoma in July
Lily Jean Crickmar, a sophomore at Mt. Juliet High School, recently earned a spot on the Alabama Little Britches Rodeo Association team and will travel with fellow teammates to Guthrie, Okla. in July to compete in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals.
Crickmar will compete in pole bending, goat tying and roping at the Lazy E Arena.
The NLBRA is a large and prestigious youth rodeo, and its principal goal is to develop a spirit of fair competition and appreciation of good sportsmanship throughout the experience of healthy rodeo competition. There are about 1,400 contestants from across the United States expected to compete in the finals with nearly 5,000 competition runs in six days. These contestants will compete for NLBFR titles, cash, prizes and scholarships.
“Rodeo is one big family,” said Crickmar. “Your competitors become your best friends. It’s one of the strangest and best things about sport of rodeo.”
It is not uncommon to see competitors roping bales of hay for hours helping each other tweak their form or to see the competitors cheering for each other as they make their runs.
“I also owe a lot of gratitude to the good Lord for blessing me with good horses, good health and good people in my life that support me chasing this rodeo dream,” Crickmar said.
Crickmar was introduced to horses by her grandfather, Sam Beaty, of Jamestown, while she was still toddling around in diapers. She started showing walking horses for Beaty but later transitioned to quarter horses and rodeo.
“He created a monster,” said Rachel Beaty Crickmar, Lily’s mother. “He brought a walking horse down to Mt. Juliet for her to have to ride as a hobby. Next thing I know, she’s running it on the barrel pattern, and now I’m spending every weekend hauling all over the southeast to rodeo.”
But her mother wouldn’t have it any other way. The life lessons learned from owning, caring for and showing horses will serve Lily Crickmar for the rest of her life. Leadership, problem solving, determination and hard work, goal setting, responsibility, relationship building, winning and losing are all life skills children develop on the rodeo circuit.
Lily Crickmar is the daughter of David and Rachel Crickmar, of Mt. Juliet, the granddaughter of Sam and Helen Beaty, of Jamestown, and the great-granddaughter of the late Dorman and Jean Beaty.