Moved by compassion, a young equestrian from Fort Worth raised money for the families of the people killed in the mass shooting in Uvalde.
Brooklyn Ragan, 14, decided to organize a fundraiser featuring a barrel racing competition so that she could “give back” with the money she raised.
As Ragan and her mother faced the prospect of such an endeavor, trepidation filled them because it was the most significant task Ragan had ever undertaken. The target audience was people with a strong interest in horseback riding; nonetheless, participation in the activity was open to anybody and everyone.
Barrel racing is a rodeo event where horseback riders race in a cloverleaf pattern between and around 55-gallon metal barrels arranged in a course. The winner is the rider with the fastest time. Each race in the event is fast-paced and brief, lasting no more than 60 seconds.
Ragan raised a total of $3,000 thanks to the event. In addition to the generous support of event sponsors such as the National Barrel Horse Association, WE Consignment & Training, the North Texas High School Rodeo Association, and On The Square Trading Company, the success of the event may be attributed to the large number of rodeo enthusiasts who attended.
In addition, Ragan benefited from the aid of her mother during the event preparation stages. Ragan credits her mother with offering her a great deal of direction as they organized the event’s details.
Ragan shared that barrel racing had helped her get through a hard time in her life when she was being bullied at school.
“They bullied me into wanting to commit suicide, and it was a really hard time for me. I was only nine years old,” she explained. “I felt like I had no one. I felt like I was alone.”
Horses helped save Ragan from the depths of despair. Now, she uses her own experiences to speak out against bullying in hopes of reducing the number of young people who take their own lives. After the distressing mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Brooklyn felt compelled to put her love of horses and people to the service of others.