story by Lindsay Humphrey “To me, there’s nothing better than pulling back on two feet; it’s almost euphoric,” said Colter Snook who’s only been heeling […]
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Meet the Member Cassidy Blank
story by Michele Toberer
Kansas High School Rodeo Association senior, Cassidy Blank, is enjoying her final year with the association she’s been a part of since she was a 6th grader. While she completes her studies at Kingman High School, the Murdock, Kansas cowgirl is packing as much into this season as she possibly can. Not only does she compete as a breakaway and team roper, but she also juggles a full schedule playing basketball for the school, serving as the FFA president, and as the FFA representative for student council, which she’s been involved in for all four years of high school. Cassidy is very involved in the Future Leaders in Business Association and was part of the state’s national qualifying competition team. “I went to San Antonio, Texas as part of the parliamentary procedure team, which was an amazing experience.” At the completion of Cassidy’s senior year, she’ll move up the rodeo ranks to Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas where she’ll begin her ag business studies while competing in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
Rodeo started at 3 years old for Cassidy, as she grew up surrounded by her team roping dad, Nick Blank, and multiple aunts, uncles and cousins on his side of the family that rodeoed. “My dad’s family used to run 100 head of horses and ran cattle on a lot of land, and the most of them rodeo. My mom, Tiffany Blank, has never rodeoed but she’s supportive of all that we do.” Cassidy’s 15-year-old brother, Payton, is also a KHSRA member and competes as a heeler. Cassidy started out in multiple events, but by the 6th grade, she knew her main passion was roping, and has stuck to roping calves and steers ever since. Cassidy qualified for nationals her sophomore year in breakaway and missed qualifying for nationals last season by one point. “Breakaway roping is my favorite event, by a mile! I’m so excited to see how the sport is growing and really, really hope they bring it to the NFR soon!”
Cassidy is heading for her partner, Avery Brown, this season, and is glad to be doing it on her flea-bitten-grey gelding, Chip. “Chip is 20, and we found him at a feedlot about 10 years ago. We brought him home and started roping on him, and he’s honestly pretty much the best horse ever! He’s gentle and one of those go with the flow horses. He’s reliable and makes the same run every time.” Cassidy’s breakaway horse Poker is a 13-year-old twin gelding to Chip as far as looks, but completely opposite when it comes to personality. “I’ve been riding Poker for 5 years and he and Chip look exactly alike but are completely different; Poker is very scatterbrained until we get in the arena.”
Cassidy appreciates the help of several people in her rodeo career and will miss the people of the KHSRA that have become like family to her. “I’m so grateful to have grown up in the KHSRA. They all treat you like family and it’s fun at the rodeos to be around people that love the same things you do. I really appreciate the help of Junior Lewis, Shawn Hollenbeck, and Dave Flickner with my calf roping. Junior really got me started, and now anytime I have trouble roping calves I see Shawn or Dave. My dad and my cousin, Chance Frampton always help me out with team roping. I couldn’t do it without them all. I really appreciate my parents, if they didn’t haul me up and down the road, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Cassidy is very artistic and loves to paint and draw when she has the time. She’ll be following her parents into the agricultural field; her dad is a regional manager of crop adjusters in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and her mom works at the Farm Service Agency in Kingman, Kansas. Cassidy worked as harvest help this summer for Skyland Grain Co-Op and hopes to gain an internship there and secure a position as their Eastern Area Manager after obtaining her ag business degree. For now, she’ll continue towards her goal of finishing the final season with KHSRA as the champion breakaway roper.