By: Julia Dondero
Stockings are hung with merry smiles and horse trailers are parked as many rodeo families enjoy the holiday with loved ones. Tis’ the season for spending time with loved ones and reflecting on the many opportunities 2023 has brought. The tight-knit community of rodeo families does not know the boundaries of state lines or time zones and embraces others with open arms during the holiday season.
One World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) family is also taking this Christmas season to take a momentary pause from the rodeo road and prepare for a bright and merry 2024 season. The Sonnier family from Boling, Texas is often seen traveling and competing together, truly embodying the spirit of a rodeo family.
Collectively, the Sonnier family has nominated and competed in WCRA major events and division youth showcases for years, providing them with countless opportunities to compete and travel together. Most recently, the family traveled to Mill Spring, North Carolina to compete at Rodeo Carolina and experience the first-class equestrian facility as a family.
Coby, husband of Tiffani and father to 17-year-old Carson recently had the opportunity to turn steers for his son at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. This was a moment far more precious than the opportunities at stake, explained mother and wife, Tiffani.
“It was so special to see them rope together. It’s a unique opportunity to nominate, qualify for major events and compete together. These are moments we’ll cherish forever” explained Tiffani.
Tiffani also had the opportunity to compete for a piece of the richest rodeo east of the Mississippi River in barrel racing. Having competed professionally alongside her husband for many years, the WCRA has allowed the family the opportunity to nominate different events and be able to compete together at one event.
When the husband-wife duo is not in the arena competing, they are often seen training horses and working at their day jobs, at Coby’s trucking services, and at Tiffiani’s insurance agency. However, at the root of all their hard work and dedication to the sport, is their love and support for their son Carson.
“It’s why we do it”, explained Tiffani. “It’s all for him [Carson] and the success of his future.”
Carson, a 17-year-old high school senior has been making a name of his own over the past few years. After deciding to put other sports aside, Carson picked up a rope full-time 5 years ago and hasn’t looked back since. Competing in events like WCRA Division Youth Showcases and WCRA major events has laid a solid foundation for him to compete for years to come.
“The WCRA has truly prepared these kids to compete at the next level. From learning to handle the media to learning to compete on a major platform, we’re appreciative of these opportunities” said Tiffani.
As the family looks to prepare for the 2024 season, they will spend the holiday season with loved ones and practicing in the arena.
“While we don’t take much of a break from practicing or spending time in the arena, this holiday season will be nice to take some downtime and celebrate with our loved ones,” said Tiffani.
Stockings are hung with care and the hope that a VRQ bucks gift card or two is hidden under the tree. This year, we express our gratitude for the many blessings 2023 has offered and wish your rodeo family a very merry holiday season from our WCRA rodeo family to yours.