Sharing a love for rodeo

Fletcher sisters ready to teach at ‘unique camp’

Natalie Fletcher, left, and sister, Lucinda Fletcher, with a group of last year’s campers, once again are preparing to share their enthusiasm and skills with area youngsters during three separate Rodeo Camps this summer.
Natalie and Lucinda Fletcher aren’t satisfied with knowing the ropes of all things rodeo — they want to teach and encourage youngsters in the sport they love so much.

The locally- and regionally-renowned sisters are sharing their skills through their Rodeo Camp at Lakeside Stables for youngsters during three sessions: Monday-through-Friday, June 4-8, June 18-22 and July 16-20.

Located on the family’s Prater Farm property, just across Northshore Drive from Davis Family YMCA, it is the third consecutive year the unique camp is being offered to youngsters ages 5 to 14.

Fliers for the camp promise “five exciting days of horse and rodeo action, including barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and roping, in addition to trail riding, swimming and team games.”

The Fletchers first started the camp eight years ago when they were home from college during the summers, but took a break until resuming the camp two years ago.

“We’ve always given riding lessons to kids in the community and the surrounding areas, and the camps were a chance to bring all the ages and level of riders together for a fun week, but also to improve their riding skills as well,” Natalie said.

“The kids have a blast, and some of them end up coming all three weeks,” she added. “Rodeo is so unusual in this area, and the camp really opens the door for” potential competitors.

Cost for the camp is $450 per week, with siblings enjoying a $50 per-child discount.

For more information, or to register, call 865-809-2431 or e-mail

Sisters’ rodeo history

The sisters began riding very young, and enjoyed the sport so much they began participating in junior rodeo competitions in elementary and middle school.

“Then we competed for the state of Tennessee in high school rodeo, where we qualified for the national high school rodeo finals each year,” Natalie said, taking them to New Mexico and Wyoming.

They both attended the University of Tennessee, Martin, on full-ride college rodeo scholarships. While there, Natalie qualified three out of four years for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, where she competed in breakaway roping.

Natalie currently is in College of Veterinary Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University, while Lucinda has studied to be nurse, and currently works for a surgery center in Oak Ridge.

“In the meantime, we compete (almost) every weekend in rodeos across the Southeast for the International Professional Rodeo Association, the Southern Rodeo Association and the National Cowboys Association,” Natalie said.

Natalie said she “studies to, and from the rodeos” and spends any extra time she has “practicing and keeping my horses exercised.”