A Hernando e-School teacher and well-known barrel racer has died.
Lara Dewees passed away last weekend after a rodeo accident, one day before her 28th birthday.
Dewees loved rodeo life and the spotlight. She was perfectly at home on the back of her horse. She was a professional barrel racer.
"From the time she was three she has been riding in the rodeo arena," said her mother, Lisa Dewees-Belcher.
Last month, Dewees and her horse ran their last race together. At a rodeo in Mississippi, Dewees' horse took off out of the ring and slipped on pavement. They both went down. Dewees passed away from her injuries last Sunday.
"She died doing what she loved," Dewees-Belcher said.
"From the time she was little bitty I put her on her first horse, right over there behind the barn," said her uncle, Spunk Sasser.
"She had a lot of fans, but I was her biggest fan," Dewees-Belcher said.
A heartbreaking loss, but her memory will live on inside the rodeo ring and out. Dewees' family says she was a fighter. She battled and beat cancer back in 2009.