story by Hope Raley Neola, Utah mother of four, Chelsie Jensen was raised at horse shows, taking naps in the stalls with the horses and […]
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Meet the Member Katherine Quast
story by Michele Toberer
Twenty-two-year-old Katherine Quast, is living life to the fullest since moving cross-country from New York State to Utah in 2015. Her family moved from north of New York City to Santa Clara, Utah when she was 17 and her father, Ken Quast, had retired from his position in the NYS Department of Corrections. Katherine’s mom, Lisa was glad to move back near her hometown so they could be close to Katherine’s grandmother, Jane Bronsema. Katherine has two older brothers, William and Tyler, and although it was a bit of a culture shock for Katherine, spending her senior year of high school at Snow Canyon High School, she has a way of finding the silver lining in every situation. Part of that silver comes from her 10-year-old black gelding, Banker.
Katherine began riding horses when she was 9 years old and started out competing in gymkhanas before giving jumping a try. “I liked riding English but wasn’t as good at it, and I definitely like to go fast more than being proper; so, I went back to gymkhana and then just focused on barrel racing about 6 years ago.” Katherine bought Banker as a 3-year-old and he’s been a big part of her life and adventures ever since. “I went to Texas for 9 months, after I graduated from high school, and interned under a futurity barrel racing trainer and seasoned Banker there to see if he had what it takes to be competitive. I joined the Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Association last year and was so proud of how he did at the RMPRA rodeos. I know I’m biased, but I haven’t met another horse that has as much try as he does, he gives 110% at everything he does.”
Her rookie season with the RMPRA was everything Katherine hoped it would be, and she looks forward to 2020 being even better. “The association has been wonderful, especially for someone like me who has never seriously rodeoed. All of the committees and places we went were so welcoming and made it so easy. I’m very thankful to the Mascaro family, who owns Circle J Livestock, Tammy and Mindy Mascaro have been amazing and so kind to explain everything to me.”
Katherine qualified for the RMPRA finals and she and Banker ran in the middle of the pack in round one, but won round two, placed second in the finals average, and finished in fifth place for the 2019 season. With her relocation, she looks forward to being closer to more of the rodeos for the 2020 season and hopes to attend as many as she can to qualify for her second RMPRA finals this November. “I’ve found that rodeo is not just a hobby, it’s a way of life. It’s meant to be enjoyable and social, and the main thing I want to do is never get so focused on winning that I forget to enjoy all of it along the way.”
Currently, Katherine is training horses full time and preparing to move to Salt Lake City, Utah where she’ll begin a vet tech position at an equine hospital. “I’m so excited about moving up there, and grateful to Val Catton, for telling me about the opportunity! That’s just one example of how cool the people in the rodeo world are. I’ve been so blessed, and it seems like the more I appreciate all of my blessings, the more abundantly they keep coming!”
With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the entire rodeo world, Katherine is ready for things to start opening up again so she can get back to what she loves. She’s spent some extra time reading, with a love for fiction and world war II centered books; as well as hiking and spending as much time outside as possible. “I didn’t realize how much of a social person I was until I didn’t have the social interaction during this time! I think after this experience I’m going to me more mentally tough and confident when it comes to getting back out there this season.” Katherine is especially thankful to her supporters as she prepares to get back on the rodeo trail: Snowy Mountain Horse Shop, Redmond Equine, and Rafter V Farrier Supply.