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In the world of rodeo, where dust, determination, and legacy intertwine, an 11-year-old black cowgirl from Texas, Kortnee Solomon, etched her name in history by competing in the first nationally televised Black rodeo in 2021. Hailing from a lineage deeply rooted in rodeo culture, Kortnee’s journey is an affirmation to the rich history and tradition passed down through generations. Kortnee’s family reads like a rodeo hall of fame. Her mother, Kanesha Jackson, boasts an impressive 11-time invitational championship, while her father, Cory Solomon, is a seasoned Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association tie-down roper. Grandmother Stephanie Haynes, with 18 invitational championships, not only served on the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo board but left a powerful mark on the sport. 

Kortnee’s late grandfather, Sedgwick Haynes, managed the Bill Pickett Rodeo, leaving behind a legacy that paved the way for the family’s continued success.  Remarkably, Kortnee made her rodeo debut at the tender age of 5 at the Bill Pickett Rodeo, quickly rising through the ranks to secure championships in ladies’ barrel and junior breakaway events. The Bill Pickett Invitational, one of the oldest Black-owned rodeo circuits, partnered with the Professional Bull Riders for the Showdown in Vegas in 2021, a groundbreaking event that featured seven pro rodeo events, including bareback riding and calf roping.  Kortnee, alongside her fellow cowboys and cowgirls, entered the history books as part of the first nationally televised Black Rodeo. The significance of this event goes beyond the arena; it is a celebration of diversity, heritage, and the resilience of a community that has often been underrepresented in the rodeo world.  However, Kortnee’s journey is not solely about rodeo glory. 

Nestled in Hempstead, Texas, she and her mother care for their horses, forging a unique bond that extends beyond the arena. The rodeo season, spanning from May to September, demands dedication not only to mastering techniques but also to the horses’ well-being – from feeding and grooming to training and riding.  Despite her commitment to rodeo, Kortnee’s childhood remains balanced. She participates in dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, and basketball, emphasizing the importance of experiencing a well-rounded childhood. In a sport where she often stands as the lone girl in the competition, Kortnee remains focused on her performance, setting aside moments of solitary contemplation before each run.  

As Kortnee Solomon continues to make strides in the rodeo arena, she not only upholds a family legacy but also serves as an inspiration for young aspiring cowgirls, breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes in a world where resilience and passion reign supreme.

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