Meet the Member Paxton Clark
story by Lindsay Humphrey It was during the HYRA Winter Series in Kingman, Kansas, that Paxton Clark nabbed his highest score to date. The 78-point […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Rodeo makes Cashen Turner’s world go ‘round, and the 14 year old from Plains, Kan., has several milestones to mark the way, including winning the barrel racing at the 2015 World Youth Rodeo (WYR) in Mount Pleasant, Texas. She took home a trailer for winning the all-around at the 2015 WYR, two years after a new trailer was riding home on the hitch for winning both the 2013 Martha Josey Junior World Champion and World Reserve Champion. She was also the youngest competitor to qualify during The American’s inaugural year at age 11, riding her grandmother’s horse. “I didn’t advance to the Semi Finals, but I would trade the experience for anything!” says Cashen.
She credits much of her success to her family. “They are a major part of what I do. My mom (Amy) has always barrel raced and she’s won numerous awards, and my dad (Dusty) helps me with my horses and roping. They’re out there every day helping me,” she says. Cashen started rodeoing competitively as a five year old and climbed the ranks, now competing in the KJHSRA in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, and running ribbons for Tanner Meier, as well as trail course in the NLBRA. She was a member of the 2015-2016 Jr. High Cinch Team, and plans to add reined cow horse to her events next season. “It does get a little busy with practicing sometimes,” says Cashen. “When I had basketball this winter, I didn’t get home until six, then I’d come home and ride in the dark. I ride about two horses a night and spread my events out, plus my mom helps a bunch since we have five horses that need attention every day.” Her motivation to rodeo comes from both a love for the sport, and an understanding of what it can teach her. “I love rodeo – it’s been my favorite thing since I was little, and I love how it helps with the work ethic and responsibility. You can carry it into real life situations.”
Her horses are behind a number of these lessons. “Salty is my first pole horse, and we won the NLBRA finals in pole bending in 2012. My barrel racing horse is Hashtag, and I’m still trying to get with him, but he’s an awesome horse. I also use Salty for goats, as well as Sugar, and I breakaway off of Snip. He is a cool little horse, and he’s a past AQHA reined cow horse, so I’m really excited about competing with him next year!” Cashen and her mom are also training two younger barrel horses. Cashen’s brother, Ransen (16), is the family videographer and can always be depended on to help with water buckets and stalls. He’s pursuing his passion of golf in Fort Worth, Texas, attending one of Jim McLean’s golf schools. “That’s been a major blessing for him, but it’s been really different without him here,” says Cashen. “But he’s coming home for the summer, and he’s also a major part of what I do.”
The Turners travel the rodeo trail in their Platinum Trailer, which Signature Quarters built living quarters into two years ago, when they asked Cashen to join their Pro Team. “They made my brother and I bunk beds with sliding doors, and an area on the wall with a white board and bulletin board to keep us organized. I keep my back numbers and programs there, and write quotes on the board every weekend. My friends come in and write on it too. It’s fun!”
Cashen recently finished eighth grade at Southwestern Heights Junior High School, and she’s a member of the National Junior High Honor Society. She also played basketball and percussion for her school, and enjoys working on fashion design, from working in pencil and paper, to graphic design. “I’ve been focusing mainly on T-shirts and baseball tee designs, like follow your arrow,” Cashen explains. “I have an aunt who owns a store in Tulsa (Okla.), and she helps me out and looks at my designs.” She also writes for the Youth Forum of Barrel Horse News. “I write about different things within barrel racing, like your mental attitude and how barrel racing has shaped my life. I also love to cook with my mom, so I include a recipe with each article that can be fixed in your trailer or on the grill.”
Cashen’s main goal for the summer is a third trip to the NJHFR, where she hopes to win the all-around and barrel racing titles. “I write a lot of my goals down and hang them on my mirror,” Cashen finishes. “It would be fun to be involved with the ERA in the future since they don’t have an age limit, and my main goal is to qualify for The American again and make it to the AT&T Stadium.”
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