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Daughter of two rodeo stars carries on family legacy

Jacob Smith • Updated Jun 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Wilson County is home to several families involved with the National High School Rodeo Association, including the Davis family from Lebanon, who are using their experience with horses to help their daughter in her rodeo career. 

The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will be June 18-24 in Wilson County, the second time for the National High School Rodeo Association to bring its annual event east of the Mississippi River. It is also the second time the event will be at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. 

Tonya and Kenneth Davis have both been around horses their entire lives.

Tonya Davis started competing in rodeos when she was 7 and was a rodeo queen in 1995. She currently works at WANT radio. 

Kenneth Davis started training and competing when he was 6 years old. During his time as a competitor, he won five saddles and six buckles. He was even the Tennessee pole bending state champion in 2006.

While both parents still compete in local events, the current rodeo star in the family is their 9-year-old daughter, Jordan. 

Jordan Davis began competing in the rodeo circuit at 4 years old. In just five years, she has won 19 buckles and one all-around saddle, which she won when she was 7. She currently competes in the Middle Tennessee Junior Rodeo and is a member of the Tennessee Saddle Club Association.

She competes in dummy roping, barrels, poles and mutton busting.

“She’s done well and continues to do well,” said Kenneth Davis. “She’s competing a lot now and even competed last weekend.”

Kenneth and Tonya Davis originally met at a horse show. The two had both grown up around horses. After getting married, they passed their love for horses on to their daughter. Although they are now divorced, they both continue to support Jordan Davis in her rodeo career. 

“It’s something we do together,” said Kenneth Davis “We spend a lot of family time doing that, riding at home and teaching her the basics of how to ride.”

Jordan Davis is not yet old enough to compete in the National Junior High Rodeo, but will be at the event to watch. Her parents said she’s looking forward to competing at that level and hopefully beyond. 

“She has said since she was a small child that she wanted to get a rodeo scholarship and go to college and be on a rodeo team,” said Tonya Davis.

The family is excited about the upcoming event because of how big it is for the local rodeo community. 

“This junior high rodeo is a national event. There’s people here from every state,” said Kenneth Davis. “Last year, there were kids here from Australia. It’s a really big deal”

The opening ceremony for the National Junior High Rodeo Finals will be Sunday at 7 p.m. For more information on the event or to buy tickets, visit nhsra.com/junior-high-division. 

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