story by Linsday Humphrey Making the decision to commit to rodeo as a high school sophomore has forever changed Rylan Wildeman’s life for the better. […]
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Meet the Member Sidney Chapple
story by Lily Weinacht
For as far back as she can remember, chasing cans and the goals that go with them have been a part of Sidney Chapple’s life. The 18-year-old from Newton, Kansas, achieved one of those goals this year when she signed onto the Pratt Community College rodeo team. The rodeo scholarship will get her started on her animal science degree, which she plans to finish at Kansas State University, followed by their veterinarian program.
Barrel racing set many of Sidney’s goals in motion. Her grandmother Marlene Gleason ran barrels and trained horses for many years, and continues to give Sidney advice and encouragement. Sidney’s mom, Amy Chapple, also runs barrels and trains horses, and Sidney caught the fever for the sport when she was 10. “I enjoy barrels so much because I love horses in general. Also, with school sports, you’re a team, whereas with any rodeo event in general, you’re competing for yourself, and you also have the responsibility of caring for your horse.” She competes in numerous jackpots and the Kansas Central 4D Barrel Racers association, and she joined the KHSRA as a junior. “High school rodeo has been a big eye opener for me in a good way. It’s way different compared to jackpots and a lot tougher, but you just have to raise the bar up to be just as competitive.”
Raising the bar helped her win second in the barrels at Canton last summer. The August heat and a sore horse tested Sidney’s mental game, but the pair prevailed and ran a 16.75. “My motivation is just the joy of what I love to do. I go to school, go to work, and do homework and exercise horses. I’ve never thought of what else I would do—it’s always been a joy of mine. I definitely look up to my mom, because any problem I have, I’ll ask her what I can do to fix it. We always bounce ideas off each other of what to do next.” Sidney and her mom travel to KHSRA rodeos and all their barrel races together. “What makes it so fun is that my mom is my best friend, so taking a road trip every other weekend or every weekend together can be pretty fun.”
Sidney’s main barrel horse is Trixie, a mare that her mom trained. Sidney’s grandpa Ted Gleason broke all the colts that Sidney’s mom has trained. “His training establishes a great foundation with the horses in order for them to have a great disposition,” says Sidney. “I started to need more competitive horses and I ended up getting Trixie, and she’s just clicked and been the most fun thing to ride. This summer she had surgery, so I’ve been riding some of Mom’s colts. I also ride Juice and Snoopy, who are backups. I help my mom wherever I can. She’ll always critique me, which is helpful, because I’m always trying to learn.” Sidney also helps her dad, Wesley Chapple, with the family’s small cow/calf operation, and she has a younger brother, Carson, who loves to hunt and is interested in entering the rifle shoot in the KJHSRA.
Since graduating from Halstead High School in May, during which she also spent several hours of the school day working at a vet clinic, Sidney has been competing in jackpots this summer. She also competed in the KHSRA state finals in June and finished 17th in the state in barrel racing. “They take the top 15 for the short go with the most points collected throughout the whole year. That was disappointing and rewarding all at the same time. I was proud that I was close considering I didn’t go to all the rodeos in the spring,” says Sidney. Her latest focus is college rodeoing for PCC this fall. “I definitely want to college rodeo as long as I can. If it works out, I really hope that I can barrel race for as long as possible because it’s my main hobby that I just love to do.”