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Congratulations to the Whatakid of the month, Caroline Aleigh Rains! The Region V senior is starting her fourth and final year of Texas High School Rodeo. She is a competitor in the barrel racing and pole bending; although, she claims to enjoy them both equally as much thanks to her equine partners, Sweet-T and Smarty.

While the competition and overall atmosphere of the THSRA organization is satisfying, Caroline said her favorite part about being a member “especially of Region V, is the glory being given back to Christ. Prayer and flying the Christian flag at each rodeo makes me proud to be a part of such a great association,” Caroline said.

One of the character traits Caroline said she has gained from her experience in the THSRA is dedica- tion. “You can have no true success in the rodeo world if you are not 100% dedicated to [the sport] and your horse,” Caroline said. She also explained how she has learned the importance of “bonding with an animal and learning how to deal with winning or losing everything in a moment.”

Caroline has qualified for the state finals each year she has competed; how- ever, throughout the successes, many sac- rifices have been made. “Freshman year is when it really hit...I gave up cheerlead- ing, basketball and spending time with friends because all of the time that needed to be dedicated to my horses,” she said. She also explained how rodeo has taught her the importance of money man- agement, as well as, hard work. “It has taught me what bills and responsibilities truly are in this world. Most kids will never know what a bill is until after high school or college, but horses have always made sure I have had some type of job.”

Outside of the rodeo arena, Caroline is involved in cross country, track, FFA, FCA, Key Club, Interact Club, Mock Trial, and NHS. She is a very accomplished individual both inside and outside of the arena as she is the NHS Vice President, FFA Ford Leadership Scholar, a 2-time state cross country runner, an All East Texas Best Prep Runner, Honor Roll student, Soil Stewardship Public Speaking State Qualifier, Greenland and Senior Champion and Reserve Creed Speaker, Nominated Best Defense Mock Trail Attorney, and a 2016 National Youth Conference Nominee.

“None of my success or accomplishments could have been made without my family, and I am so grateful they support me every step of the way,” Caroline said. In addition to her family, Caroline’s heroes are her riding and running coaches, Jodi Waggoner, Tina Cooper and Shantae Truelock. “They truly are the best in their business, and I am so blessed to have been able to have them as my mentors and friends,” she said.

In the future Caroline said she plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in bio- medical science for her pre-med, and then attend medical school to become a pediatrician. After that she said she wants to travel with Orphan Outreach, a ministry group that travels to third world countries with little or no medical attention to provide medical care to chil- dren in need. Through it all, Caroline explained how her her main goal is to be the person people see Jesus through and always have a smile on her face.

“It is such an honor and good feeling to know that all of my hard work outside of one sport/organization means something to others and that hard work does pay off,” Caroline said. We wish Caroline much luck and many blessings as she finishes up her final year of THSRA competition and embarks on a new chapter in her life!

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