Beaver young triple champion CTRA

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After three straight victories at the highest level of her sport, 14-year-old Tavi Pickles is taking a break from competition.

Tavi is one half of the trick-riding duo known as Daring Divas, which is based in Castor and led by Tavi’s mother, Tamona. Tavi is also the 2022 Canadian Trick Riding Association Champion, a position she has held since 2020.

Prior to the pandemic, champions would have had the opportunity to compete in the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegs, Nevada each fall, but things have changed and that option is no longer available, which is why Tavi has the feels like it’s a good time to take a break from competition.

Even without competition, she will have plenty to keep her busy during the 2023 rodeo season; the Daring Divas received their professional rodeo cards in 2022. The cards allow them to perform for higher paying and higher levels of rodeo.

According to Tamona, girls had to join the professional rodeo association and provide a show schedule. Members of the association randomly attended three shows during the season and decided whether the team would receive their pro cards.

It’s been a long road for Tavi and her teammate, Khloe Holte.

Tavi got the trick riding bug when she saw riders perform at the Halkirk Rodeo when she was very young, around the age of five.

“I said I was going to do it,” Tavi said.

After doing some research, Tamona found a trainer for her daughter, Taygan MacGillivray. Tavi trained with MacGillivray for a year before moving on to trainer Amber Millar from Wainwright.

While training with Millar, Tamona and Tavi traveled to Wainwright twice a week. It was also while working with Millar that Tavi and Khloe first started working together.

“We were paired up in a camp,” Tavi said.

Over time, the girls formed a good working bond and the couple’s mothers started talking. Soon the Daring Divas were born!

Since the team’s inception, the duo have been regulars at Castor Rodeo, as well as Stettler Steel Wheels Stampede and Halkirk Elks Bullarama. However, the pair travel much further than that.

According to Tamona, the team played in 18 rodeos during the 2022 season, with at least that many lining up for the 2023 season. The performances took the team from British Columbia to Manitoba and points in between.

Tavi’s favorite part of the performance?

“The adrenaline before a show,” Tavi said.

“That feeling of rushing as they announce your name.”

With rodeo season over for the year, the Divas have time off until things pick up again in March.

In the 2022 Canadian Trick Riding Association competitive season, the Divas finished first and second in the 12-18 age group, with Tavi as champion and Holte as reserve champion. According to Tavi, around 20 members competed in this category.

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Tavi Pickles demonstrates one of the many tricks the divas performed during intermission at the Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede on July 17, 2021. (File photo)

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