story by Lindsay Humphrey Unlike many of her peers, 13-year-old Sage Putnam didn’t get her start with horses in rodeo. She did, however, always have […]
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Meet the Member: Cassidy Blank
By Lily Weinacht
Cassidy Blank started rodeoing as soon as she was able, competing in her first rodeo when she was three. Now 13 and a member of the KJHSRA, she competes in breakaway roping and team roping as a header. “My dad team roped in high school, and now he competes in the CPRA and KPRA. Most of my cousins on his side of the family rodeo, so I’ve grown up around it,” says the cowgirl from Murdock, Kan. And while she enjoys entering team ropings with her dad, Cassidy says breakaway roping is definitely her favorite. “I just love the momentum and going fast, and the horse stopping really hard,” she explains.
“What really influences me to rodeo is the people that go to The American and the NFR – it’s amazing to be on TV, especially doing what you love!” says Cassidy. “I really look up to Marty Yates, Tuf Cooper, and Sherry Cervi. I met Tuf Cooper at Dodge City Days this summer, as well as Patrick Smith and Trevor Brazile.” Closer to home, Cassidy’s role model is her cousin and roping partner, Chance Frampton. “He ropes really well, and he’s won quite a few all-around saddles,” says Cassidy, adding, “I also look up to Shawn Hollenbeck. He’s a tie-down roper, and his daughter, Brandi, won the breakaway roping at the NHSFR in 2011.”
The Blank family – Cassidy, her parents, Nick and Tiffany, and her ten-year-old brother, Payton, live in Murdock. Since both Cassidy and Payton are headers, they help each other run the chutes when they practice at their grandma’s house, who lives about five miles away. Payton competes in the HYRA and jackpots in the area, riding one of Cassidy’s old rodeo horses. Cassidy’s team roping horse is a big gray gelding named Chip, who came by his name because of the spots on his coat that resemble chocolate chips. Her mount in the breakaway is Poker, another gray gelding that is new to her this season. Cassidy rodeoed on Poker for the first time in the Concordia rodeo in August, where they took first place. Her dog, Fletcher, also accompanies the Blanks to their rodeos, unless it’s too muddy. “I like it to be dry for my horse’s sake, but sometimes it can be fun to get dirty,” says Cassidy.
An eighth grader at Kingman Elementary School, Cassidy uses the 20 mile bus ride to talk with her cousin, Bailey, who goes to the same school, or listen to music, with George Strait ranking first on her list of favorites. Cassidy’s best subject is math, and she has been working on several writing projects, but her favorite part of the day is volleyball practice. Once volleyball season ends, she’ll start basketball, while she goes to Wichita to play softball. “I didn’t go to as many rodeos this summer since I had a new horse, but I went to several softball tournaments,” says Cassidy. “My favorite tournament was in Wichita – we played seven games and placed third overall!”
Cassidy’s focus is now primarily on rodeo as she enters her third and final year of junior high rodeo. “I want to win a National title more than anything!” she says. “I’d definitely like to college rodeo, and I’m also interested in being a school teacher. If I start barrel racing, maybe I’ll be like Trula Churchill and teach and run barrels!” Though she didn’t qualify for the NJHFR this summer, Cassidy has competed three times at the Future Stars Calf Roping, held in Oklahoma, making the short-go on two occasions. She finishes, “I want to give a big thank you to my parents for supporting me, taking me places, helping me practice, and just being awesome parents!”