Meet the Member Ashley Smith & Charles Daniels
Story by Heidi Geesen The 2022 Colorado Junior Rodeo Association Senior Girls Horse of the Year, has a story that is very unique. It is […]
By Laurie Dineen
This little cowgirl does it all and with great enthusiasm. Rayne, an 11-year-old from Wheatland, WY, lives with her parents, Mike and Becky and older sister, Allie on the family ranch her great-grandparents started in 1884. Rayne has been exposed to all aspects of ranch life and has become a great little hand alongside her dad when helping with chores. She also helps with the team roping jackpots that her parents put on throughout the summer in addition with furthering her own rodeo career.
Riding horses since she was 3 years old, Rayne is very confident on her mounts that she rides in her events at the CJRA rodeos. She owes that all to her first horse Yeller. “He taught me a lot at an early age,” she said. Rayne was exposed to CJRA at an early age, cheering on her sister when she competed before she herself could compete. As soon as she turned 5, she was ready and anxious to begin her rodeo career. Now in the second year of the junior division, Rayne enters all the events possible: barrels, poles, goats, breakaway, ribbon roping and the parent child team roping. She enjoys all the events; however, barrel racing is her favorite event.
Rayne uses 3 different horses for her events. A rope horse that she also runs goats on, a pole horse and a barrel horse. “I practice as much as I can, after school and before my rodeos with my dad and sister. They help me a lot with my horsemanship and techniques that help me improve in the arena,” said Rayne. “The most challenging events for me are barrels and breakaway,” she continued. “Working on the perfect barrel pattern and keeping your horse calm and collect at the same time can be challenging and breakaway has a lot of steps to think about in a short amount of time. When we practice, I will do my roping events then the barrel, poles and goats. I try to get a couple of nice, slow, perfect runs and call it good.”
Competing at the CJRA’s has been a lot of fun for Rayne. She likes how the rodeos are run and enjoys hanging out with her friends. Competing in all the events takes hard work, dedication and a passion for the sport. With these qualities, Rayne ended up in the top 10 of each of her events at the 2015 CJRA finals. ”It was a lot of fun! And I am looking to next summer to improve on my events with my goal to win a saddle.”
Rayne attends Wheatland Middle School where math and social studies are her favorite classes. She also plays basketball, volleyball, figure skates and takes ballet. “All of these help me to be stronger and more balanced which helps with my rodeo events as well.” In between school and all her extra circular activities, Rayne also finds time to travel with her dad to rodeos that he competes in. The most memorable one was the Ft. Worth Stockyards rodeo where Rayne ran barrels during the open rodeo. “That was a lot of fun,” she exclaimed, “I won 4th and it was a thrill running in that arena with so many people watching and cheering.” That just may have been the fire that has ignited her flame,” her mom Becky said. Rayne’s long term goal is to make it to the NFR and train barrel horses.
Rayne gives credit to her mom and dad and sister for all their help and support in and out of the arena. She also looks up to Sherry Cervi whom she had the opportunity to visit with at Cheyenne Frontier Days. “That was a pretty special moment,” Rayne said. “She rides really nice horses and is very confident. And she was really nice.” Rayne also appreciates all the help that Vickie Segelke has given her on tying goats. “Vickie has helped me with my horse, the get off and tying. It is a fun event and I am always trying to get faster. Vickie helps me find the ways to achieve that.”
This year Rayne will compete at the Wyoming JH rodeos in the spring in addition to CJRA rodeos during the summer. With her passion and drive, I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of this cowgirl in the winners’ circle for years to come.
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