Southern Utah University cowgirl, Valarie Burke is soaking it all in at the College National Finals Rodeo.
"Today just sitting in that alley, I just realized I made it this far. I belong here just as much as anyone else," Burke said.
As you look at Burke riding her horse Boo in the goat tying event, she looks normal, but when she was younger her back did not.
one day I was looking in the mirror and one side of my back, the muscle
was super huge and I asked my mom what the heck was going on," Burke
After some x-rays, the doctors could see the problem, scoliosis.
hate to talk about surgery on a first consultation, but that's where we
are going with this," Burke said. "I was in 8th grade when I got my
Two metal rods were placed on each side of Burke's back.
didn't really hit me I would be out for six months and not able to
ride. I was on bed rest for a month," Burke said. "I almost didn't rodeo
in college because I didn't want to hurt my back because there's always
that kind of risk that it'll hurt."
want that to hold me back. I didn't want something as silly as back
surgery to keep me from going and being my best and I wanted to be the
best," Burke said.
Boo was by her side, helping Burke in a fast recovery.
got my horse that I'm riding right now my senior year of high
school...At one rodeo I was like okay let's go and she was stinking
fast," Burke said. "My horse has just blown me away. she's just help me
through it all."
"You can do anything you want
like if you want it bad enough and you practice hard enough. Even though
sometimes I felt it was weird and it was holding me back. I'm just
like get this out of your mind and just go do it," Burke said.
go two, Burke has a combined time of 7 and 1 with her 3rd go remaining,
but either way what a journey into CNFR. Reporting in Casper, Megan
Salle, K2 Sports