by Ruth Nicolaus Four people have been recognized for their work with rodeos in Hastings. For the Nebraska High School Finals Rodeo, which is held […]
OJHSRA Meet the Member: Cheyenne Semmel
Very few people can say their horse shares bloodlines with their role model, but that’s exactly the case for Cheyenne Semmel. Her mare MP One Day Hayday, Sylvia for short, is a first-generation daughter of Dinero just like Hailey Kinsel Lockwood’s mare, Sister. “Sylvia is really fun to ride; I feel like she keeps me safe. She has quite the personality though, she can be really sassy but is also super sweet,” said the Woodward, Oklahoma, barrel racer, pole bender and ribbon racer. Cheyenne has ran Sylvia for just over a year and a half. Sylvia was a step-up horse for Cheyenne between the OKJHSRA’s fall and spring season.
She started out junior high rodeo on Duke, another great mount. In 2018, Duke and Cheyenne were the NBHA OK 07 Youth 3D Champions and won the NWOJRA year-end barrel saddle. The following year followed suit, but this time with Sylvia; Cheyenne once again won the NWOJRA year-end saddle, the Young Guns barrel saddle and tied for first in the NBHA District 7 Youth 1D and 2D Open. “I was really proud and felt accomplished when I won the state championship in the NBHA youth, but I also am proud of myself when people talk about me being kind both inside and out of the arena.”
Cheyenne is simply thankful every day that God blessed her with good horses, the ability to rodeo and all the people who have helped and encouraged her. That’s something Cheyenne said she also admires about Haley. “I’ve learned that you don’t always win, but good things will still come out of it. You can learn from your mistakes and you always have the opportunity to do well next time.” These are all lessons Cheyenne has learned from first-hand experience, but she has also watched her parents – Lacey and Jason – lead by example. “My parents always help me work on my events and they encourage me. I’m very thankful for them. My dad always hauls me to rodeos and my mom helps me with horses at home.” Cheyenne’s sister – Callie, 8 – is also an avid rodeo competitor. “It’s fun to see how much she has grown and the difference between us; how she is good at one thing and I am good at another.”
Working hard and having fun go hand-in-hand for Cheyenne. Learning how to make adjustments when something isn’t working proves to be a challenge for this 12-year-old, but she’s working hard at learning from her mistakes and using them to her advantage. “I just really want to work hard and have fun. I practice as much as I can, but sometimes I just ride around for fun. I like to spend quality time with my horses.” Just like her fellow OKJHSRA competitors, Cheyenne hopes to make it to nationals next year as an 8th grader. “The competition in the OKJHSRA is very tough, so it makes me push myself a lot harder. I also have lots of fun and love all the people I meet.” Although Cheyenne enjoys all the rodeos, her favorite is in Thomas, Oklahoma. “I just like having fun with my friends and I really like the shaving cream fight we always have there.”
This Woodward Middle Schooler aspires to one day become a physical therapist. “One time I hurt my knee and I had to go to physical therapy for it. I want to do something that helps people, but I am not very good with blood. I decided physical therapy was the way to go.” Cheyenne got her first pony at just 2 years old and got led around the barrels at the local round-up club. At about the same time, Cheyenne took up dancing at the local studio. She continues to dance in tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet to this day. Of course, rodeo is her favorite sport, but Cheyenne enjoys mixing it up between rodeo, basketball and dance.