story by Kailey Pickering After pursuing a passion for English jumping for four years, Grace Barnett turned back to her love of rodeo when her […]
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Meet the Member Carsyn Bailey
story by Lily Weinacht
This year marked Carsyn Bailey’s rookie year in the AJRA, and the 16-year-old from Decatur, Texas, came home the AJRA World Barrel Racing Champion in the 16–19 division. She went into the finals with a 12-point lead, and her confidence in herself and her horse did the rest. “I just made clean, consistent runs all year, and I only hit two barrels. I only won about two rodeos, but I just stayed in the top three and in the long run, those points added up.”
While Carsyn’s dad, Clay Bailey, used to compete in tie-down roping and steer wrestling, Carsyn truly fell in love with the sport after he married her step-mom, Angela Bailey. “Her mom, Mimi, introduced me to horses, and I fell in love with it. I was probably 10 when I went to my first rodeo,” says Carsyn. “My friends did the AJRA rodeos and told me how fun they were, and this past year when my parents asked me what associations I wanted to do, the AJs were at the top of my list. I think my favorites were either San Angelo or Eden. I really like the setup at Eden, especially the barrels—it’s really fun to come out of the side gate—and in San Angelo, I really like the pen.”
Along with continuing her career in the AJRA, Carsyn competes in the THSRA Region 10, and competed at state finals her freshman year. She enters the barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway roping, and ribbon roping in the AJRA, and narrows her favorites down to barrels and goats. “I think it’s cool how you’re so in time with your horse in barrels, how you have so much trust in each other, and knowing that if you put forth your best effort, they’ll go out and put forth theirs, too.
“Spending hours upon hours working hard in the practice pen—it’s just dedication. If you love it, you’re going to keep doing it,” Carsyn adds. “There are so many people that have helped me. Shae Franklin has helped me a ton with my riding in the barrels, and Loni Pearce has really stepped up my game in the goat tying this last year.”
Carsyn rides an 11-year-old mare, Shez a Blushing Sin, whom she calls Bebe, in the barrels. Bebe carried Carsyn through all of the AJRA rodeos last season, while Carsyn also rides a 15-year-old gelding, Buggem Down Kelly, or Kelly, in the barrels. “I have special connections with both of them,” she says. “My goat horse is Lola. She was bred to be a barrel horse, but I trained her about three years ago to be a goat horse. I can rope calves on her, but my calf horse is a palomino mare, Goldie. I have goats at my house to practice on, and my grandparents, CL and Patti Gage, own a cattle business, so we just go out and pick the cattle we want.” Carsyn’s grandparents come to watch her rodeos, along with her mom, Traci Peacock, and Carsyn’s 9-year-old brother, Paxton Peacock.
A junior at Victory Christian Academy, Carsyn especially enjoys English, and recently finished reading The Great Gatsby for a school project. She is on the varsity cheerleading team, and following cheer practice, she heads straight for the practice pen, though she also enjoys shopping and spending time with friends in her spare time.
This summer, Carsyn, competed at the IFYR for the second time, entering the breakaway roping, goat tying, and barrel racing. “My biggest goal is to do good at The American Semi-Finals—I got an exemption for that from winning the AJRA finals—and hopefully make The American. I want to qualify for state and go to Nationals, and from there, I want to try to do good and succeed in every rodeo I enter.”
Carsyn also extends her thanks to her sponsors: Lone Star Land and Cattle Company, Elite Therapy, NRS Trailers, OE Nutraceuticals, Western Hauler, Fast N Forward Stirrups, Wild Eye Ranch, and Thunderbird Brand.