N. Summit rider ready for Utah High School Rodeo | ParkRecord.com

N. Summit rider ready for Utah High School Rodeo

For Cassidy Black, participating in rodeos runs in the family.

Her mother, Gena, was the winner of Miss Rodeo Utah in 1981. Her father, Glen, was a steer wrestler (also known as a bulldogger) in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. And her brother, Chase, is the club president for Utah State University’s rodeo team.

"I’m a fourth-generation cowgirl," she said. "It’s kind of a family tradition."

The North Summit High School senior, who will also attend USU this fall, is hoping to finish up her high school career with a solid performance at the Utah High School Rodeo in Heber next week.

She’ll participate in the barrel racing and breakaway events at the rodeo, which begins on Wednesday and runs through Friday.

In barrel racing, riders attempt to complete a clover pattern around barrels in the fastest time. Breakaway roping is a version of calf roping which features a calf getting lassoed, but not taken to the ground and tied.

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"I’m sitting 20th in barrel racing right now," she said. "So I’m hoping to go out and make strong, clean runs and do the best that I can do."

She’ll ride Sassy, her 18-year-old quarter horse, in the barrel racing event. In the breakaway, she’ll saddle up on Clyde, a 14-year-old gelding. Getting her horses ready for the event is the biggest challenge, she said.

"I ride the horses every day to keep them in shape," she said. "And we compete every weekend."

She added that she’s looking forward to the challenges, especially in the breakaway.

"These girls that are roping are tough," she said.

She’ll also compete for the Utah High School Rodeo Queen crown. Last year, she finished as the first runner-up to the title.

Black said it’ll be sad to see her high school rodeo career end on Friday, though she’s excited for the next chapter.

"It’s been such a neat experience to meet new friends and have a rodeo family every weekend," she said.

If she does well at the high school rodeo, she might once again qualify for the Silver State International Rodeo in Winnemucca, Nev., June 30-July 6. She competed in the queen contest at that event last year, taking home first place.

"It was a total blast," she said.

From there, she’ll turn her attention to Utah State and her college career.

Then, perhaps, Black can follow in the footsteps of her mother and win the Miss Rodeo Utah crown.

"That would be a dream come true," she said. "Ever since I was a little girl, I was always surrounded by rodeo queens and I’ve always looked up to them. I hope to be that example to other little girls someday."