Wimberly sisters of Morristown achieving rodeo goals

By Cathy Loupy

Sun Correspondent

The difference between a wish and goal is that a wish is a mere desire or a hope often frivolous, whereas a goal is based on a culmination of hard work, skill and the result of attempting to achieve something attainable.

Sisters Shayna and Timber Wimberly of Morristown have one goal this year and that’s to qualify for the National Junior High School and High School Rodeo Finals. As of today, they are within reach.

Shayna Wimberly, a 14-year old freshman at Wickenburg High School, has been “doing” rodeo as long as she can remember.

“Our family does rodeo,” Shayna said. “I love rodeo. It’s just what we do.”

According to her single-mom Tori Wimberly, the girls have been in a saddle since they could sit up.

Shayna specializes in four events: pole bending, running barrels, breakaway roping and goat tying. Depending on which competition, the Arizona Junior Rodeo (AZJR) circuit or the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA), determines the event she enters, which determines the horse she chooses.

All rodeo athletes sit on top of an equine athlete and Shayna sits on a few. There’s Rare Bar, Cookie and Kitty.

“Cookie, she does pole bending, goat-tying and breakaway,” said Shayna, “so I’ll use her for those. Kitty does barrels.”

Kitty is the most recent addition to the Wimberly remuda, given to Shayna by her Uncle Christopher after his wife (Aunt) Melissa passed away in November 2019.

When Shayna is not on a horse, she’s on a basketball court.

“I’ve loved basketball since first grade,” Shayna said, “so I make time for both.”

She also makes time for volleyball and track, depending on the season, while maintaining 3.8 grade point average and honor roll status. Math is her favorite subject.

After high school, Shayna wants go to college to be a veterinarian. She plans on applying for scholarships in both basketball and rodeo. “I’ll just do both,” she said.

With that type of desire and determination, there is no telling what Shayna will achieve in her future.

Shayna’s 13-year old sister, Timber Wimberly, is in eighth grade at Morristown Elementary and shares the family rodeo spirit. Last year, Timber qualified for the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo in Huron, South Dakota and placed 12th in barrels.

Along with running barrels, Timber competes in ribbon roping and goat tying, riding three different horses – Cowboy, Alley Cat or Gus – to get the job done.

There are no favorite horses, just special. Right now, Gus is Timber’s No. 1 special horse since he won the “Horse with the Most Heart” Award at the Sherry Cervi annual youth barrel racing event in January.

“This is a huge honor,” her mother Tori said. “Gus is not your typical rodeo horse. He’s smaller in stature than what one would expect, but he’s fast.”

Gus arrived after Timber lost her barrel horse, Blur.

“Aunt Lindsey gave him (Gus) to me to run poles on,” said Timber. “But then we started running barrels and he showed us what he had.”

Taking care of the horses comes as easy as breathing and doesn’t even count as chores. Plus, it’s outside. When Timber thinks of chores, she frowns at the thought of doing laundry.

Timber described her typical day. “I wake up at 6 a.m., get ready for school, leave to go feed the horses by 7 and be at school by 7:45. Go to school, then go to track practice, then mom picks me up and I do rodeo stuff; run barrel and tie goats.”

What about homework? “I don’t have homework,” she said. “It all gets done at school.”

Timber maintains honor roll status while participating in school basketball, volleyball and track, depending on the season.

Timber and Shayna also have the important role of being older sister to 7-year old Callie Wimberly.

When asked “who are your heroes?” all three girls say, “my mom.”

“The girls have probably had to grow up a little faster than they wanted, but they’ve done an amazing job and have helped me a lot,” Tori said. “Shayna will be driving soon, so that will be even more help.”

Shayna and Timber want to thank Papa Mike and all their aunts and uncles who have supported them while achieving their goals.

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