story by Michele Toberer Nineteen-year-old BJ Billingsley has been a member of the Arkansas Cowboys Association for four years, competing as a tie-down roper. BJ […]
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Meet the Member Cassidy Frazier
story by Michele Toberer
A freak trail riding accident that resulted in a spiral fracture to Cassidy Frazier’s leg, taking three operations and months of recovery to get past, stopped her quest for the 2016 Arkansas Cowboys Association Champion Breakaway Rookie of the year title, and nearly her hope of riding at all. But the determined Floral, Arkansas cowgirl didn’t have quit in her vocabulary and although she had to fight to regain her coordination and balance, Cassidy did just that, and she’s now right back in the swing of the rodeo world and recently achieved her goal of becoming the 2018 ACA Champion Breakaway Roper. “I’ll never forget walking out one day while she was recovering, and seeing Cassidy sitting on her horse trying to rope the dummy. She looked at me with tears running down her face and said ‘mom, I’ll never get it,’ and I told her anyone that will keep roping with tears running down their face WILL get it! It wasn’t much longer, and she caught, and it started coming back to her. It showed me just how much grit and determination she had,” explained Cassidy’s mom, Laura.
Although Cassidy’s parents, Laura and Lennie Frazier, didn’t rodeo, they raise beef cattle and hauled bucking bulls to rodeos when Cassidy’s older brother, Cody, was riding bulls. The family is very involved in operating Laura’s family trucking business where they run 30 to 50 trucks hauling oil or gas well pipe. Cassidy started out riding cutting horses at just 9 years old, but after 5 years in the cutting pen, she was drawn to the rodeo world she’d been exposed to and started roping. “I got a little bored with cutting. I like the faster pace of rodeo; I love the music and the noise. Once I started roping, I didn’t want to go back.” Thanks to family and friends, Cassidy acquired the roping skills needed to get started as a team roping header. She went to Cave City, Arkansas to get help from Charlie Hastings in breakaway roping, and is grateful for all he’s shown her. She tried the typical rodeo events like barrel racing and pole bending, but roping is where her attention stayed.
The past three years Cassidy has held an ACA member card, and she has been competing on her sorrel gelding she purchased from Charlie Hastings, named Pogo. “He’s really fast on the jump; he’s quiet and calm in the box, but when I nod my head, he’s fast to the calf.” Cassidy, like many breakaway ropers today, is excited about the future of the sport and was grateful to be a part of the Rope for the Crown competition in Las Vegas, Nevada this past December. “It was the biggest thing I’ve ever competed at and very exciting. I think breakaway roping is going to get very big in the future.” Cassidy was just one hole out of making the short-round but couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity she had to compete there. Cassidy heads on her new chestnut gelding, Playboy, at local round robins and team roping jackpots. She is looking forward to putting her skills to work with the automatic gelding and plans to enter more ACA rodeos on him soon.
Cassidy was homeschooled, and after completing her high school education in 2016, she’s been studying business management at the University of Arkansas Community College Batesville. She plans to use her degree to continue working in the family’s trucking business, but also has hopes of getting into the cattle industry. Cassidy enjoys competing in the ACA and has hopes for another title this season. “I really do enjoy competing in the ACA, I enjoy being with old friends and have made several new friends. I live close enough to a few to get together and practice with them. I appreciate all the producers for doing their best to have good cattle and a good atmosphere for us all. I am very grateful to my family and friends for all the encouragement and advice along the way. But, am most grateful to God for His blessings in allowing me to do what I love and providing me with good horses to make this a much more do-able experience.