Girl, 3, Follows Family Tradition in the Rodeo Arena

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Something good happened in the rodeo arena in Canton, and Esther Erwin hopes others find the joy in it she did.

“Anything that makes our heart smile I think needs to be shared during these days when a lot of people don't have a lot to smile about,” she told NBC 5.

Erwin found a lot to smile about in her great granddaughter’s first solo barrel race; a very big accomplishment for anyone but especially for Sawyer Wilkerson who is just 3 years old.

“When the children are small, either their mother or dad has to lead them, so they take the reins and they lead them. And with Sawyer, she was never going fast enough,” Erwin said. “And so, to see her doing this at just a little over three years of age and be by herself fearless, happy. Just made my heart sing.”

“It amazes me to watch her at three years old and amazing how in the last few months, her riding has just blossomed. It's crazy.  Love watchin' her,” said Sawyer’s mom Aryn Wilkerson.

Sawyer’s comfort in the saddle runs in the family. Her mom and dad both compete in rodeo. Aryn Wilkerson races barrels and husband Garrett team ropes. 

“That's what we did growing up as a family. And that's pretty much what Sawyer loves to do,” Aryn Wilkerson said.

Ask Sawyer what she likes best about her horse Sadie and she’s quick to say, “She goes fast.”

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