Whataburger's Whatakid: Elizabeth Barta
Congratulations to the Whatakid of the month, Elizabeth Barta! This eighteen-year-old senior from Fort Worth, Texas is a beast in competitions. In the arena, she competes in barrel racing and pole bending. Of the two, she likes competing in barrels more.
Elizabeth rides two horses, Dobie and Cupid. Dobie, a 22-year-old quarter horse, is her barrel horse and one of the biggest reasons she is still riding today. She recalled how Dobie once jumped out of his stall while she was cleaning it and she had to chase him all the way across the building. Elizabeth rides poles on Cupid, a 16-year-old quarter horse. She loves how both of her horses have their own big personality, and that she can have fun with them.
Elizabeth got involved in rodeo because of her cousin, Jared Barta. “I grew up around that side of my family a lot and was always around horses. I thought that I might as well just do it too,” Elizabeth said. So, she started practicing and competed in her first rodeo when she was in eighth grade. At that time, she had no idea how much she would grow to love rodeo. “It is one of those things that you start just for fun,” Elizabeth said. “But then it just gets to the point where you are so competitive and want to be the best. I didn’t expect to get as far I have.”
In addition to THSRA, Elizabeth also competes with the Barrel Racing Association of Texas (BRAT).
Elizabeth said that her favorite rodeo is always the state finals. She has qualified for state three times in pole-bending. This year, she is currently sitting second for barrels with only two rodeos left and is hungry to compete again at the state finals. Elizabeth also mentioned that her greatest achievement is placing in the top 20 average for poles her freshman year of high school.
Elizabeth is so thankful to THSRA for bringing her some of her best friends. “We have all grown so close,” Elizabeth said. “Most times when I go to region rodeos, I don’t stay in my own trailer. I stay with the girls I have met and known the last four or five years. That’s as much family as we could be.”
She also talked about how willing everyone is to help out those that they are competing against. “I had half of my tack break on me during my pole run at the last rodeo, and I had countless people offer me whatever I needed to make safe runs,” Elizabeth said.
In addition to rodeo, Elizabeth takes her academic very seriously. She is in the top 10% of her class and has consistently been on honor roll throughout high school. Elizabeth is also a three-time student of the year for her high school. At school, her agriculture classes are always her favorite. Currently, she is taking practicum in agriculture, which is how she has an internship at an equine vet clinic in Grandview, Texas.
Additionally, Elizabeth is a member of National Honor Society, FFA, and A.V.I.D. (advancement via individual determination) club at her high school, Mansfield Legacy High School. She also does some community service through her school. During her free time, Elizabeth loves to play around with photography and take photos.
Because of her schedule, Elizabeth chose to go virtual with her high school this year. She usually starts her day by doing her online classes, both the ones through her high school and the ones through her local community college. After that, she will either work horses or go to work at the equine vet clinic. Then she works on her homework to finish out the day.
When asked what her motto on life is, Elizabeth said it is “do no harm but take no bull.” She saw this on social media her freshman year of high school and knew that’s what she wanted her life motto to be. “I am very outgoing and will stand up for myself without a doubt, but I also have gone through things that make me turn into a little more of a timid person where I won’t stand up for myself,” Elizabeth said. “So, it is a wakeup call to me to remember that I can protect myself and stand up for myself.”
Elizabeth really looks up to her mom, Rachelle Barta. When Elizabeth was two years old, Rachelle beat stage three pancreatic cancer. “Stage three has about a 5% chance of living,” Elizabeth said. “And she did it with a toddler none the less.” Rachelle is now going on her 17th year cancer free! Elizabeth talked about how her mom is always there for her. “We are really close,” Elizabeth said. “My mom is the thing that has kept me going over the years.”
Elizabeth recognizes the sacrifices that come along with having horses. “I have sacrificed a lot of my time and energy from a social standpoint,” Elizabeth said. “I don’t get to spend the night with my friends or hangout during the weekend as much as others do. But horses is what I chose and what I love to do.”
In the future, Elizabeth plans to attend Tarleton State University and major in animal science. She hopes to get her vetineray tech and equine reproduction certification, so she can work as a vet tech for a breeding center. “I want to help further the sport of rodeo and give back to the horses and the community that made me the person that I am,” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth is honored to be this month’s Whatakid!