4th grader is latest champion in Clatterbuck ‘horse clan’
Caybrie Clatterbuck, Warm Springs Intermediate School fourth grader, started competing in Saddle Club barrel racing and pole bending events at age five.
Clatterbuck continued in those events and also went into roping and goat-tying events when she joined the Central Pennsylvania Youth Rodeo Association, said her dad Ross Clatterbuck.
She and her dad both grew up around horses, the Honey C Stables and rodeo competitions. Each has competed in Morgan County Saddle Club events and at regional rodeos.
Caybrie Clatterbuck, who is 10 years old now, won the 2012 All-Round Champion award in the youth rodeo association’s age seven-nine youth division. She competed in five events and also won champion barrel racing and pole-bending awards in her division.
In addition, Clatterbuck won second place in dummy roping, third place in break-away calf-roping and fourth place in goat tying in her division. She has won numerous buckles since she began competing.
Clatterbuck started riding ponies at Triple B Arena when she was age two and a half and did lead line classes at the Morgan County Saddle Club at age three. That’s where kids can be led through rodeo events so they know what to do before they try it on their own, said Ross Clatterbuck.
During barrel racing, contestants are timed as they ride around barrels that are in a cloverleaf formation.
For pole bending, they ride a straight line past six poles, then weave in and out between the poles in one direction and then the other, and then run a straight line to the finish.
Dummy roping is an elimination event that tests how far away from the dummy contestants can rope it. The dummy starts out at around eight feet away and is moved back until it’s about 30 feet away, he said.
For goat-tying, those in the age seven-nine division ride and jump off the horse, run to the goat and tie three of its legs together. In the age five-six division, contestants run from a starting line on the ground to tie the goat.
In break-away calf-roping, contestants ride after and lasso a calf. Time is called when a light string that is attached to the rope and the saddle horn breaks and a flag goes up.
Riding at Saddle Club events gave Clatterbuck her roots to go on to youth rodeo, said her dad. Their family has a ball at the youth rodeos and camps out for the weekend, where there are many youth activities.
“It’s a super, super thing for the kids,” he said.
Clatterbuck said her favorite competition event is barrel racing. She wants to continue competing and be a professional rodeo rider.
“She’s a cowgirl,” said her father.
Caybrie likes to ride and practice for rodeo events in the arena they’ve set up for her on their farm. She helps take care of the horses and feeds, brushes and bathes them.
She’s ridden Badger, a 17-year-old horse that her aunt Kelley Moss gave her, for four years and also has another horse Lily. Her aunt won numerous awards riding Badger.
Clatterbuck does Biddy Buddy Basketball and gymnastics and is an intermediate school cheerleader. She also likes to read and swim.
Clatterbuck did her social studies fair project on rodeo history in the United States and in Morgan County. Rodeo began out west in the 1800s.
All in the family
Ross Clatterbuck’s grandfather Reuben Clatterbuck moved to Morgan County in the 1950’s, began the Honey C Stables off Luther Michael Road and started riding shows. The stable’s name came from Honey, a horse that his grandfather and his dad Ron Clatterbuck had on the farm, and the initial “C” for their last name, Ross Clatterbuck said.
His grandfather, his father and other folks helped begin the Morgan County Saddle Club and barrel racing and pole bending events in 1963. His dad continued the Honey C Stables and also had stables at Coolfont and Cacapon State Park.
Ross Clatterbuck started in speed riding events at the Saddle Club when he was a kid. He enjoys team-roping and dummy-roping.
He’s a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and just returned from his Circuit Finals in team-roping in Harrisburg, where the top regional contenders in each rodeo event compete to go on to the nationals.
The rodeo competitions are a family event, Clatterbuck said. His wife Stacy Clatterbuck does Caybrie’s clothes and hair for competitions and keeps track of her event times. His mom Wanda Clatterbuck helps too and takes 95% of the rodeo photos.
Ross and Stacy Clatterbuck’s son Chaston helps set up his sister’s practice arena, pulls the dummy on a four-wheeler and helps with the horses.
A rich heritage
Ross Clatterbuck said he’d love to get more kids involved in the rodeo. It gets families out doing things together. The awards are phenomenal and the rodeo heritage is rich.
Both sides of his wife’s family—the Millers and McCumbees—used to ride at the Saddle Club, Clatterbuck said. Caybrie started out by going to Saddle Club and rodeo events with him. The Saddle Club is still active today off Johnsons Mill Road.
Clatterbuck goes to a full-fledged professional rodeo circuit with bucking horses. At the end of every night’s competition, cowboys sign autographs for the kids, who are often youth rodeo members.
“It gives kids something to shoot for,” he said.