Meet the Member Daniel Taylor
story by Ruth Nicolaus At the suggestion of a good friend, Daniel Taylor began his Colorado High School Rodeo Association career last fall. The Greeley, […]
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Sydney May is applying physics to the rodeo arena.
The Colorado High School Rodeo Association cowgirl took advanced physics class this year and loved it. The learning applies to real world situations, so Sidney used what she learned in the barrel racing.
She takes her videos and determines how long it takes to get from the eye to the barrel, when she should start slowing down, and when she should stop. She knows the difference between her two horses, so she understands how long it takes for each of them to accelerate and turn.
A 2022 graduate of Monarch High School in Louisville, Sydney competes in the barrel racing, pole bending and breakaway.
For the barrels, she rides a thirteen-year-old mare named Sobe who is cow-bred with no race horse in her, but she’s “just very, very quick and nice around the barrels,” Sydney said. She’s also high strung, but when she’s in the arena, she knows her job. “As soon as we go in the arena, I can tell she’s very confident and that’s where she loves to be.” Outside the arena, she can be “nutty and doesn’t know what to do with herself.”
For the poles and breakaway, Sydney rides a seven-year-old bay roan mare named Bella, who was working cow horse trained. But she loves to run, “and I needed a pole horse, so I thought let’s see what she’ll do with the poles.” She picked it up quickly and does it really well.
Sobe is super friendly and loves people and other horses, but is high anxiety. Bella is “in your pocket, super-calm and will do anything for you,” Sydney said.
She does leatherwork and has made belts, purses, wallets and a set of coasters. Her next project is a breast collar and headstall set with lots of tooled flowers on it, painting them so they stand out.
She is in her second year as Miss Colorado High School Rodeo queen, being only the second girl in Colorado High School Rodeo history to serve two terms.
Queening has been a great experience, she said. “I fell in love with it in 2020 when I went to our state pageant.” She’s learned a lot from it. “Two years ago, if you’d have asked me to speak in front of a group of three people, I’d have been mortified. It broke me out of my shell and gave me the confidence to speak” in public. It’s also made her a better rider, having forced her to spend more hours in the saddle. “It’s helped to get to know people, get comfortable talking to people and speaking to those I’d never met before.”
She spent over sixty-five hours volunteering as Miss Colorado High School Rodeo at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver and at the Rodeo All-Stars event.
Sydney will attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva this fall, working towards an ag degree with a minor in business. She loves the campus and the small-town feel. “I fell in love with the town, the school and the people,” she said. “Growing up so close to Denver, I didn’t get that small-town atmosphere.”
Sidney will rodeo for Northwestern Oklahoma State.
At the 2021 National High School Finals Rodeo in Lincoln, Neb., she finished in the top twenty in the queen pageant. She had fun at Nationals. It was a “big, big atmosphere, and the shopping was fantastic.”
She and her parents, Curtis and Diana May, live in Arvada, Colo.
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