Briar “Bleu” Hubbs was on a horse eight days after she was born, instilling a passion that continues to this day.
Her mother, Jordán Hubbs, started riding again just days after having Briar.
“She’s been on a horse her whole life,” Jordán, an Amboy resident, said.
As an 18-month-old child, Briar found her voice early on and told her parents exactly what she wanted to do. That included riding on her horse alone.
Briar, who is now 5, is about to enter kindergarten.
“She’s been itching to go into kindergarten,” Jordán said. “Last year was really hard because she felt like she needed to be in kindergarten, but wasn’t old enough.”
She is a member of the Northwest Youth Rodeo Association, where she competes in the Pre Pee-Wee Division with other riders ages 4 to 6.
She competes in speed poles, dummy roping, barrel racing and dummy goat flanking.
Speed poles and barrels consist of riding a horse quickly while weaving in-between barrels or poles, while roping and flanking include using rope to “capture” a dummy with horns.
For junior rodeo, Briar and her family have traveled to places in Oregon, like Cottage Grove, Canyonville and Canby.
For the weekend of Aug. 20-22, she will head to Philomath, Oregon to compete in another rodeo.
Briar’s eyes lit up when she started talking about her first-ever competition. As the only girl among several boys, she placed second for the mutton busting event, where she rode a sheep.
She said she fell off and was sore for the next two days, but that didn’t keep her from practicing more.
Whenever Briar is practicing or competing, she goes by the motto of “having fun and doing my best.”
She’s also discovered a love for singing, which has led to her performance debut at a recent junior rodeo.
“She loves singing any song on the radio. She knows every word,” Jordán said.
During a friend’s wedding last summer, Briar went around to different guests singing “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs.
Afterward, one friend thought Briar would be interested in singing the national anthem at one of the junior rodeos. This year, Jordán noticed a recording would play for the anthem rather than a live performance, so she sent an audio recording of Briar singing to one of the rodeo announcers. Afterwards, he said she could perform live.
For Briar, that signaled it was time to get to work.
She set up her karaoke machine and practiced every night before bed.
When it came to performance day, Briar said she was a little nervous, but she still remembered every word. The crowd erupted in applause when she ended on the last phrase of the anthem.
To help pay for rodeo and travel costs, Briar has been housesitting, completing chores and even finding sponsorships. She watched her family friend’s animals, including cats, dogs and a horse.
North County Coffee, along Lewisville Highway in Battle Ground, offered to sponsor Briar so she could attend more rodeos. In return, Briar volunteered to plant flowers at the coffee stand and she proudly wears a patch displaying their logo to all events.
Jordán grew up in Vancouver, while her husband, Decker Hubbs, lived in Wyoming for a while before moving to Clark County. Together, they have lived in Battle Ground and Amboy.