Rodeo: Riding to Vegas – Bailey to compete in junior national finals

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, December 9, 2017
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Ready for Big Time

READY FOR BIG TIME – Paradise resident and Victory Christian junior Carsyn Bailey will ride in the Junior National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas Tuesday and Thursday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

As a budding barrel racer, Carsyn Bailey’s grandfather bought her a horse in Kansas “sight unseen.”

Without the benefit of riding the mare beforehand, Bailey admits there was a brief period of adjustment for her and Bebe.

“It was rocky the first couple of months. Then we hit it off. It’s been a match made in heaven,” Bailey said.

The duo have formed a formidable team, piling up buckles and eight saddles. The Paradise 16-year-old and Victory Christian junior and Bebe are now heading to Las Vegas to compete in the Junior National Finals Rodeo at the Wrangler Rodeo Arena. Bailey will ride Tuesday and Thursday and hopes to make Saturday’s short-go.

She leaves for Las Vegas Saturday.

“I’ve made a couple of runs the last couple of weeks. I’m confident. We want to go out and have as much success as we can,” Bailey said.

The Junior National Finals Rodeo is held at the same time as the professional finals, bringing the sport’s best to Las Vegas.

“It’s going to be an experience that I won’t forget,” Bailey said. “I’ve focused hard and put a lot of dedication into this to make it this far. I’m going to pretend like it’s another rodeo. It’s going to be hard to keep my head in the right place.”

Bailey qualified for the finals by winning a qualifier in Waco in May.

Bailey started riding when she was 11. She has been around rodeo throughout her life.

“My dad always rodeoed in high school and college,” she said.

The teamwork aspect of barrel racing quickly grew on her.

“I like the partnership and trust you have to have with your horse. You become a team,” Bailey said.

But the thrill of rushing into an arena with Bebe in full gallop and making a precise turn around a barrel keeps her competing.

“It’s like a rush that comes over you,” Bailey said. “You have so much trust in your horse and know they are going to do everything right.”

Throughout 2017, Bebe and Bailey have been on a roll. They captured the AJRA Junior barrel racing championship in July in Sweetwater.

After high school, Bailey hopes to rodeo in college and one day earn a spot in the National Finals Rodeo.

For now, she’s just preparing for the next ride on her trusty steed.

“She’s my best friend,” Bailey said.

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