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Pole bender looks toward professional rodeo

Tiffany Coon rides Blue in the state junior rodeo in Omak Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Coon has had a successful season in barrel racing and pole bending -
Tiffany Coon rides Blue in the state junior rodeo in Omak Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Coon has had a successful season in barrel racing and pole bending
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BRYANT A 2005 graduate of Arlington High School who works by day as dog groomer in Burlington, Bryant resident Tiffany Coon competed at the state rodeo competition for teens in Omak last weekend, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
After a successful summer on the teen rodeo circuit, Coon accumulated a bucket full of buckles and some cash in pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying and break-away roping on a horse named Blue, a Toviano Paint which she acquired for $500 five years ago, after her first horse, Joker, died a mysterious death.
It was like losing a good friend, Coon said.
Her proud mother, who also rides regularly, but not in rodeos, is impressed with her daughters accomplishments.
She competed against girls who were riding $50,000 horses and won, said her proud mom.
All of a sudden last year, me and him clicked, said the young cow girl.
Hes been getting better and better since then, Coon said.
Lately weve been winning poles every time.
Coon has been riding the rodeo
circuit all summer, riding to different Northwest rodeos with friends and family, and she has won eight buckles and $100 cash, as well as a bunch of little prizes here and there, Coon said adding her father, Craig Coon, also competes in rodeos, but the adult rodeos are on a different schedule.
Coon and Joker did well in competitions up until six years ago when her first horse died after they had been in a minor car wreck with the horse in the trailer in back.
Blue was three when Joker died, and he hadnt been trained, Coon said.
Hes not really built for running barrels, but he keeps up with those other, professionally trained horses. Coon explained the reason those horses cost so much is all the time that is invested in their training.
Coon said her best time in pole bending was 21.26 seconds at Sedro Woolley on July 30 last summer.
Now everyone expects me to win poles, she said adding her horse doesnt run that fast, but hes good and turning sharp corners.
Coon said she will compete with about 49 other young women at Omak. Coon is sponsored by Arlington Family Chiropractor, who helps cover the cost of registration fees.
Each event costs $100.
She and her brother and mother and father all ride horses training regularly for rodeos as well as riding in the woods at Pilchuck Tree Farm.
Its really important to do that too, Coon said adding the horses need a break from training and trail rides develop a different set of muscles.
Coon said she decided to be a dog groomer to break out of the family mold.
We have 24 barbers in the family, and so I decided to do something different.
She studied dog grooming at dog styling academy in Marysville and then did some in-service training at Jennifers Pet Styling in Arlington. She is debating what to do with her future and one option is to attend college and participate in college rodeo.
Its just like sports, she said. Several Northwest schools have rodeo teams.
Or she might go do pro rodeo in Idaho or Wyoming.
There are many options, she said. Oh yea, I want to rodeo.

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