Story by Ruth Nicolaus Because of his parents, Scott and Jenee Holub, and his granddad, George Rachau, Dillin Holub is involved in the sport he […]
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Meet the Member Eryn Cardinale
story by Lily Weinacht
“My family has competed in rodeos for many generations, and I’ve always had rodeo horses and the opportunity to ride, so I’ve loved it from the start,” says Eryn Cardinale. “I was about two when I started barrel racing, and from there I took up roping.” The 17-year-old from Ballston Spa, New York, has qualified twice for the AFR in breakaway roping, placing third in the first-go at AFR 39. Her most recent accomplishments have been in high school rodeo, winning the NYHSRA All-Around Cowgirl title for the second consecutive year. Eryn has won numerous champion and reserve champion titles, while at least one of her horses has taken home a Horse of the Year award the last three years.
Eryn competes in the APRA in breakaway roping and barrel racing, along with goat tying, pole bending, and team roping in the NYHSRA, but breakaway is her favorite. “I’ve been the most successful in that event, and I have a really strong bond with the horse I ride. I’ve watched my aunt Emily (Arnold) Fabian make it to the IPRA finals, and I’ve always looked up to her and I want to be as great as her one day. She’s taught me that if I’m consistent and positive, good things will come. We spend a lot of hours in the practice pen, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Some of the other people who have supported me are my uncle Eric Fabian; Chris and Tracy Brennen for lending me a horse; Payton Jones; Cynthia Kennedy; Sarah Arnold; my farrier, Darren Morgan; and my vet, Dr. Rodney Stewart. My mom, Jennifer, is my mental support, and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this without her. The people I compete and haul with and my aunt and mom have a really strong outlook, and they are very positive when I go to these rodeos. That’s how most of my success has come – my family is very supportive.”
Eryn’s rope horse, Stitch, came from Eric Fabian several years ago. “Stitch is my favorite out of all my horses. He has a pretty big attitude and he’s good at his job and pushes me to do my best. I ride Sadie and Honey, my Aunt Sarah’s barrel horse, in all my events in high school. At first Sadie was a barrel horse, and I trained her to do all the other events, so she’s pretty special to me. I’ve won almost twenty buckles on her, and she’s won Horse of the Year three times. Stitch has won Horse of the Year as well. I keep my horses at my grandmother’s (Cynthia Kennedy) farm. She also makes sure we have calves so we can practice, which I do pretty much every day. Emily and Eric come and help, and so does Payton Jones, who boards her horses there too.”
Abigail, Eryn’s eight-year-old sister, enjoys riding, but soccer is her favorite sport. “My step-dad, Andrew Werner, takes her to soccer games, and my mom always brings me to rodeos,” says Eryn. “We always make sure to get to one another’s events, and we’re very supportive of each other.” The family also enjoys taking their boat to Saratoga Lake in the summer, or having cookouts.
Eryn just finished her junior year at Ballston Spa High School, while she’s also attending cosmetology school. “Once I’m finished, I’ll have completed one thousand hours of training, and then I’ll take the state board exam and become a licensed cosmetologist. My life goal is becoming a successful business owner of my own salon, and my rodeo goals are to make it to the APRA finals in both my events this year and hopefully to win the all-around.”