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Lacey Scott Has Winning Recipe With "GRAVEY" by Kevin DeBusk Veteran IPRA cowgirls better watch out because the "GRAVEY" is running freely again. Twelve-year-old Lacey Scott of Hernando, Mississippi began her IPRA career by bringing her mother's eighteen-year-old mare (MISS ROCKIN M GRAVEY) out of retirement. Her mother, Darlene, rode this horse at the 1993 and 1995 IFR. "I've been riding since I was four-years-old," Lacey said. "I thought back then that I wasn't that good. Every time I would push my pony he would buck all the way through the pattern. Mom was going out and winning everything and my sister (Jessica) was starting to win; so I thought if they are doing it I want to do it." Do it is just what she has done. Lacey won the first event she entered, the AXA Liberty Bowl Rodeo in Memphis, Tennessee, and hasn't looked back. Lacey sits atop the IPRA Cowgirl Barrel Racing Rookie and World standings with earnings of $12,422.76. That gives her a lead of a thousand dollars over five time World Champion Betty Roper, of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, an a nine thousand dollar lead over the closest rookie Janis Wagner, of Dry Ridge, Kentucky. Lacey also leads the Longhorn World Championship Rodeo with 790 points and has secured the top position for the Longhorn World Championship Finals, in November. Lacey also received the IPRA Top Hand for March. This award is given to the top money winner in the IPRA. Lacey won $6,418.70 and finished in the top four nine times. "They called and I was real surprised," Lacey admitted. "With Betty Roper, Kathy Yerigan and Phyllis Porterfield all right there, I was surprised." "I was real proud of her for winning the Top Hand Award," Darlene added. "That was something I never did." "I'm excited because we are only a third of the way through the year and I've won that much and right now and I'm winning the World," Lacey said. "I'm nervous though because I don't think it's going to hold up that long. The mare I'm running doesn't run well in the summer so we are going to have to find another horse. "It's surprising "GRAVEY" has held up real good. I don't know how she does it." "She (GRAVEY) has a big heart," her mom added. "She likes to compete." "At the beginning of the year I was just wanting to get Rookie of the Year and maybe qualify for the finals," Lacey reported. "Now I want to win the World. "At the beginning of the year I rode, tried to win and had fun. Now I still do that but I work harder. I watch everything I do. We have a video camera and mom video's me so I can watch and see what I'm doing and where I can improve. "If I do well I'm blessed and happy but if I don't do well I'm thankful I have the ability to do this and try harder next time." Having an experienced mother has helped Lacey reach this point and allows the two of them to have a unique bond. "With horses I can bond with her," Lacey commented. "She knows more about that kind of stuff than some of my school stuff." "It's been a real God send," her mom said. "When I bought her card back in December we talked about her starting to go some rodeos. Our goal was for her to possibly win Rookie of the Year. "You don't go into it thinking you have to win it. So far it's just been happening for her and we hope that's the way it stays. It would be a thrill if she was to win it but that wasn't her goal. Her goal coming into this was to win Rookie of the Year. "I tell her there are a lot of changes between now and when school gets out. People, who work, like teachers, start going during the summer." Lacey has also utilized her mother's knowledge in determining the best locations to run. "Her dad (Jack) and I are doing our best to keep her on the road right now," she said. "I believe every barrel horse only has so many runs in them and with this horse being eighteen we have to pick the pens. If we are going to run her we might as well go to a thousand dollar rodeo in Oklahoma instead of a hundred dollar rodeo right here in our backyard. "One of the things the IPRA started this year was the Oklahoma Ford Truck Series. That's a long way but I have a friend who has said we can stay with them, so those might be a possibility." "She's going to wear out a new diesel truck this year," Jack added. "She is well on the way. We have traveled more than thirty thousand miles this year." "It felt more like a hundred thousand miles," Lacey said. "The farthest we have traveled was Winston/Salem, North Carolina and that was thirteen hours." Additionally, they have traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Greenville, South Carolina to name a few cities. Currently, they are looking at heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the final regular season Longhorn World Championship Rodeo. Looking at Lacey's parent's faces you can tell they are proud of her. They smile from ear to ear when talking about her. "It makes me very proud because she is so young," said Darlene. "My other daughter was about sixteen when she started. Lacey has been riding with me since she was an infant. It makes me proud of her because she has good grades and I don't have to push." With all of this success Lacey still places school first. "The main thing is school," she said. "You can only miss twenty days and I have already missed fifteen. They are sending notes home saying if you miss three more days unexcused you're going to fail. I make straight A's. I've never made a B. "The first thing I do when I get home is my homework. Then I go outside and ride. I keep my horses in shape and dad keeps the barn pretty much clean and I'm glad he does." "The principal has been real good," her mother commented. "They understand the family background of horses and he thinks it's important. He's been real good to excuse her absences. "In our area they are not very familiar with scholarship opportunities. In the lower part of Mississippi and Louisiana as well as Oklahoma and Texas they are very familiar with rodeo teams and scholarships. Instead of playing basketball or baseball some of the kids are excused for the horse riding and that's something I've thought about going to the school board about. "We've always tried to teach our kids to have a broad spectrum and let them choose what they enjoy doing. She has been involved in cheerleading, chess and horses of course but it's their choice. She didn't go out for cheerleading this year or student council because she knew her time on weekends for a while would be slim so this is what she wants to be doing right now." Maturity is another area her parents say she has won. "I can tell she has really matured," said her mom. "When she has a hundred dollar bill in her hand she has to make sure she has the right change. I usually go with her to pay her fees but I told her she was going to have to learn where to go and how to go because I won't always be there." "I'm proud of her," her father said with a big smile." When we used to pull up to a big rodeo at a fair, all she wanted to do was go ride the rides. Now she doesn't even see the rides. To me that's maturity. Most twelve-year-olds would see the rides first. When she is lined up to compete there are usually two that are fifty plus and the rest college age." So what about a mother-daughter combo in the future? "I would love to," her mom said. "I would like to go to the finals one more time. It would be neat if we could go the same year, but it's more fun to see her do it now and be in the spot light." Lacey has also won numerous awards in NBHA. "I ride "GRAVEY" in rodeos and then I ride a big bay gelding EASY MAC at the NBHA's because he's not real consistent at rodeos." "We've already missed the first few shows in NBHA and I don't know how we are going to do that," Darlene said. "She is qualified for the youth and open in the NBHA and has a wild card. Right now we are looking at where the rodeos are and going from there." When Lacey isn't doing homework or practicing she is a normal kid. "I paint and draw," Lacey commented. "I enjoy gymnastics, talking on the phone and watching TV."

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