At the state finals, one kid will be selected as the Whatakid of the Year, an honor that comes with the added benefit of free Whataburgers for the entire year.
Although actively competing in rodeos across Texas on weekends, the Woodsboro High School 10th-grader has never missed at day of school in Woodsboro since she began kindergarten.
“My mother is a schoolteacher,” Lacie says. “She goes every day so I go every day.”
Her parents, Richard and Kellie Beall, have shared their knowledge of horses with both their children, Lacie and Ty.
“My mom rodeoed all her life and my dad works on a ranch,” Lacie said. “I’ve been rodeoing since I was 3 or 4 in lead-line events.”
Lacie’s been in the saddle since she was a toddler. But the fun of riding and competing in the rodeo arena are partnered with many responsibilities, including a lot of practice and chores that begin every morning at 6 o’clock, seven days a week.
“I am responsible for feeding my three horses and my mom’s colt,” she said. “Plus my brother and I show goats in the county fair, so about eight months of the year, I’m also feeding goats. On the weekends, I feed the roping calves and goat tying goats.”
In the evening, she feeds two more horses, six dogs and a cat. She also puts out feed for the deer that eat in front of their home and helps her mother cook supper.
As busy as the high school sophomore’s days are, her mom makes sure Lacie has time to practice.
“When I don’t feel like practicing, I resort to my mother’s own words of wisdom,” Lacie said. “My mom always says ‘the person who is going to beat you is practicing.’”
Her practice paid off with numerous wins in the THSR and World Barrel Racing Events, Wrap 3 Barrel Races and open rodeos. Her three horses helped to get her there.
She rides American Quarter Horse Quincy Maiden Bar, a 2-year-old her mother trained, Ms Roany Holly, a 7-year-old red roan, and Miss Vena Bar Lynx, an 11-year-old red roan.
Quincy is her favorite.
“She is so easy to ride and in the last two months, we have improved our time within about one-half second off the top horse,” Lacie said. “I can do any of the rodeo events on Quincy. But she is a pain to tie in the trailer.”
When her family bought Roany, the mare was a ranch cow-horse.
“She is well-patterned on the barrels and started on the barrels, break-away and heeling,” Lacie said.
Lacie and her brother Ty rope calves on Vena Bar.
After all the animals are fed for the morning, Mom and the kids drive the 10 miles to Woodsboro for school.
Lacie’s accomplishments are not only in the rodeo arena. She is an accomplished student as well. She has earned a commended performance on the TAKS test and is a distinguished honor roll student. A member of the National Honor Society, she also serves as the treasurer of the county 4-H council and is a county 4-H ambassador.
She also knows what she wants to do after high school.
“I would like to attend Sul Ross State University where I plan to major in education,” she says. “I would like to teach elementary school.”