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Meet the Member: Casey Allen
By Lindsey Whelchel
For International Finals Rodeo qualifier, barrel racer, breakaway roper and yes, high school student, Casey Allen, 18, the rodeo road has been one big adventure.
Casey’s parents met at a rodeo. Her mom barrel raced and dad steer wrestled, but they slowed down after Casey was born, and Casey started out staying near home going to local barrel races in Pennsylvania.
“I just really loved it,” Casey says of her blossoming interest in horses and barrel racing. “Mom knew that, so she decided she was going to try to get back into it once I got a little bit older. She did it when I was younger then she kind of got out of it. She was like ‘hey let’s get back into it together,’ then we just started going all over together,” Casey describes.
She and her mom Cathy have all kinds of stories from their journey through professional rodeo in the International Professional Rodeo Association.
“All of the crazy adventures that we have on the road are ridiculous. We’ve had our trailer set on fire. We stumbled upon a WWE-style wrestling match in Quebec at a rodeo. We’ve gone to water parks with the Australians. We’ve just done so many things that are off the wall,” Casey laughs recalling.
The bigger result of being involved in the IPRA for Casey has been being able to see the U.S. and Canada, as well as the professional example it set for her at a young age. “I joined when I was 14, and I loved that I could run with my mom and against other adults. It just pushed me to get that much better at that young of an age, and that I’ve been to all of these really cool places,” she says.
Rodeo has allowed Casey to form great friendships and strengthened her family bond too.
“It’s gotten me really close with my mom, which is awesome. I think that’s the main thing. She’s pretty much my best friend and the best person ever. It’s just cool, my whole family has gotten involved with it. I think that I never realized what a big support system I had behind me for things until I started rodeoing and seeing all of that, and I just love it.”
Rodeo also inspired Casey to pursue marketing and broadcast journalism degrees when she goes on to college in the fall. “It’s hard to think about my life without it, because I just couldn’t picture that at all.”
Right now, she focuses on her studies along with her passion for rodeo. Her high school is flexible about letting her pursue her dreams, and she always has her homework with her on the road as well as books, because she loves to read.
“My school is really great about understanding I have to be on the road a lot. They actually let me take a solid three weeks off at the beginning of the year just to go on the road when they knew I was pushing to make IFR.”
Casey also credits all of her sponsors with helping her achieve her goals.
In January Casey made her first trip to the IFR in the barrel racing. Sadly, she was missing her partner in crime, her beloved barrel horse Switch who is coming back from injury. He was hurt just before making the trek west to the IFR.
“He’s my best friend and my No. 1, and I’m trying to take him to prom,” Casey laughs. “He’s just my absolute favorite creature in this world. It broke my heart that he couldn’t get to run at the IFR, because he put in a lot of work to get me there, and he’s just the best horse ever.”
Of course Casey plans to take Switch and her new breakaway horse with her to college rodeo in the Ozark region this fall.
It’s clear, for this cowgirl’s future, the road is wide open.