story by Hannah Crandall Down an eight-mile dirt road near Long Valley, South Dakota, 30 miles from Kadoka, Denton Good lives on his family’s ranch. […]
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Meet the Member Wacey Brown
story by Lily Weinacht
Wacey Brown is the 2018 SDHSRA Barrel Racing Champion, tying for first place with Sydney Maher after a tight competition at state finals last summer. “I was kind of surprised because everyone is really tough and competitive when you get to state, but me and my horse put a lot of time into it,” says the 17-year-old from Piedmont, South Dakota. “I trained him myself and I have a pretty good feeling of how he’ll run or work. It was a pretty good feeling when I found out we won.”
She made her debut at the NHSFR after finishing second at state in pole bending in 2017, while the barrel racing was Wacey’s first state title. Her barrel horse, Cowboy, was injured after state finals but healed up in time to run at the NHSFR. “It didn’t go as good as I hoped, but it was still okay,” says Wacey, who plans to compete in the 20X Extreme Showcase in February if Cowboy is ready. In 2017 she was also the SDRA Rookie Cowgirl, and competed in the NHRA finals as the youngest barrel racer there that same year.
Along with barrel racing, she competes in the SDHSRA in pole bending, goat tying, and breakaway roping, and enters the occasional 4-H and NLBRA rodeo where she started her rodeo career. “Both my parents rodeoed. My mom (Teri Brown) competed in barrels, poles, and breakaway in high school and a was a pretty great pole bender, and my dad (Bill Brown) was a bull rider. I just love the experience of rodeo and getting to meet all the people I have. It’s a really good feeling when you do well and the work you put in amounts to something.”
“My entire family has helped me out and they all inspire me because they’re all really hard working. A woman named Gale Beebe, who has been to the NFR, helped me train Cowboy and was such a good help, and another inspiration in my life is Lisa Lockhart. She’s from the same state I am, and she’s such a great person and a great barrel racer. I grew up rodeoing with her kids, and I used to ribbon rope with her son.”
Wacey and her two sisters, Wregan (13) and Wraylee (10) enjoy riding and traveling to all of their rodeos together, while their older brother, Winston, is college rodeoing for West Texas A&M University. Both Wacey and Wregan share a breakaway roping horse, Chuckie. “Cowboy is my barrel and pole horse—I trained him myself with the help of Gale Beebe, and my goat horse is Mabel and she’s a real sweetheart.” Wacey also never leaves for a rodeo without her miniature Australian shepherd, Ringo, whom she calls her good luck charm.
While rodeo season is slow for Wacey this time of year, she says her school schedule as a senior at Sturgis Brown High School is packed. “I’m taking a lot of college classes and dual credits. I really like my weight lifting class, and my college chemistry class is pretty fun. I have a couple of colleges in mind, and I’m thinking about studying health. I’m definitely looking for a rodeo team that I would fit in good with.”
“I hope to make it to the SDRA and NHRA finals, and I hope during college or after to turn semi pro or pro in rodeo,” she finishes. “I just want to keep getting better and get to the highest level I possibly can.”