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Meet the Member Oceane Veilleux
Oceane Veilleux traveled 10 hours from Saint Alfred, Canada, to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, in May, qualifying for her first Junior World Finals and also winning the senior barrels. The 14-year-old heard about the qualifier while competing at the BFA World Show in Oklahoma City last year, and she and her dad, Julien Veilleux, knew they had to give it a try. Oceane and her mare Dr. Rise N Shine “Sid” ran a 16.022 to win it, a run that delighted Oceane in more ways than one. “I was very happy because she was very easy during the run, and she’s not usually as easy as that,” she says.
Only a week prior to the qualifier, Oceane and Sid took a fall when the mare slipped on some ice, but the pair was okay with the exception of a broken saddle. With four horses to ride at the Bloomsburg qualifier and two saddles, Oceane and her dad had to hustle. Their next adventure starts in late October when they head to Oklahoma for the 2019 BFA World Championship, the first of several stops that will break up what would be a 48-hour trip from her front door to Las Vegas. “We’re going to go to a ranch and a couple futurities, and then we’re going to Las Vegas,” says Oceane, who is switching to homeschooling for a semester while she travels for several months. She’s also competed in Texas, and traveled as far south as Cancun, Mexico, for vacation.
When she’s home, Oceane competes in youth barrel races, rodeos, and futurities. She started riding horses before she could even walk, and began entering competitions when she was 8. “My dad is the person who’s always helped me with the horses and taught me how to ride. Caroline Boucher is one of my trainers too.” Along with her main barrel horse, Oceane also has several barrel futurity horses coming up. She and her dad raise horses and purchase yearlings as well, training them for barrels. Both Caroline and Oceane ride for Julien at futurities, and Oceane exercises her own three horses every day. Her futurity horse Heaven Guy ran the fastest time at a futurity this summer and is currently in second place in the futurity standings in eastern Canada. “My horse My Derby won the BFA World Futurity with me last year,” Oceane adds. “I have to do something with Sid every day because she has a big personality. Sid is the Latin word for one every day. We named her that because she requires attention daily.” Oceane also enjoys swimming and water skiing in the summer, along with snow skiing in the winter.
“I have goals at the beginning of the year and I try to achieve them. And once I achieve one, I try to achieve another. One of my goals is to win a big youth race here in Quebec, the Legacy Cup. We have to accumulate points and right now I’m first, and in a couple of weekends it’s state,” she explains. “I love barrels because it’s speed and I love speed, and it’s really challenging. In futurities, your horse may go very well, and then the next day you could do anything. We always have problems to solve. I would like to one day go to the NFR. It was one of my goals to do the youth NFR too, and one day I hope I can win them. I want to continue barrel racing as I get older, and keep doing futurities too.”