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Jackpine Gypsies feature pint-sized hill climbers

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STURGIS — Haisley Schaff kept her eyes forward and her hand on the throttle as she rode toward Jackpine Gypsies’s hill climb track Friday morning.

The 4-year-old only made it through her first run, though, after falling near the finish line. Catchers were in place and caught her and her bike before sliding down the hill.

Schaff said she started racing when she was 2 years old, and she likes having fun, going fast and beating her 6-year-old brother Trexton.

Trexton also raced Friday morning. He said he puts his nervousness behind him.

Taylor Scott, Haisley and Trexton’s mother, said it’s a competitive family. She said her husband is a professional archer and is traveling. Scott said the family drove down after competing in flat track in Billings, Montana, Sunday night, got to Sturgis Monday for the hill climb, drove back to Montana for her husband’s Tuesday flight, and then drove back down Thursday night for the Friday hill climb.

They head back home Saturday.

Scott said she and her husband don’t ride, but the kids’ grandfather does. She said neither she nor her husband knew much about the sport before the kids started racing, and it’s been a learning experience for everyone.

“I try not to get nervous because I feel like they feed off the bad energy, but they wear protective equipment,” she said.

Scott said the hill climb at the Jackpine Gypsies is one of their favorites because the crowd is so supportive. She said they know a few of the families that come down from Billings, but don’t know some of the locals yet.

After a week-long rally, the Jackpine Gypsies closed out the 82nd rally with flat track Friday night.

— Contact Siandhara Bonnet at

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