Pampa teen wins World Title in breakaway roping

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Sixteen-year-old Pampa resident Marlee Quarles has been on quite a run this summer as she competed in several rodeos.

“I love the competition,” Quarles said. “And meeting all of the new people.”

Quarles won the World Title in breakaway roping at the Little Britches National Rodeo in Guthrie, Okla. the weekend of July 7-12.

Aside from the grand prize, she also won pole-bending at the State Finals in Lakin, Kan. the weekend of June 17-21 and finished 12th in pole-bending (out of 250 competitors) at the High School Nationals in Guthrie, Okla. on July 17-23.

“It was awesome (to win the World Championship),” Quarles said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock.”

Little Britches is a national rodeo competition allowing teens to compete across the nation until the age of 19. Quarles worked her way to the world competition by competing in several rodeos throughout the year.

“You qualify to go to World Nationals,” her father Chad Quarles said. “They call it the World Nationals cause there’s people from Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hawaii, etc. People from all over come to the World Nationals.”

Quarles competes in the barrel-race, pole-bending, breakaway, team-roping, ribbon-roping and the trail course.

“Breakaway and pole-bending are probably my favorites,” Quarles said. “Breakaway had never been my strongest event until this last year. I got a lot of help from our close friends and my parents’ friends. 

“I’ve also had some really good help in poles. Me and George (her horse), we trained him on poles. When we got him he had never done poles. It’s exciting to see how far he has come in poles.”

The event has two rounds throughout the week and the Top 20 competitors go to the “short” round (final round).

Quarles has been competing in rodeos since she was eight years old and it’s no surprise that her school work and rodeo come first.

“My horses and my homework always come first,” Quarles said. “The horses get fed before anything else. Rodeo can be very challenging. You’ll have 10 runs in a row and then see other people doing so good and get down on yourself. You’ve got to push past that.”

Quarles reminds herself of her good runs to help will herself to have better runs.

“I think about my good runs and tell myself ‘You can do this, you’ve got this,’” Quarles said. “‘Let’s go have a good run.’”

Quarles said her next event will be in two weeks as high school rodeo starts up.

Quarles is the daughter of Amy and Chad, who own Prestige Autobody and Accessories.

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