By: Makiah Osborne

The high school rodeo team is in the height of the rodeo pre-season.

The official season starts in April, but the training and preparation occur year-round.

“I’ve been riding since I was four years old and have been rodeoing since I was seven years old,” Sidney DeLancey, a paticipant in high school rodeo, said.

DeLancey is a competitor on the rodeo team whose primary events are barrel racing and pole bending, with the occasional goat-tying.

Rodeo has been passed down through the generations of DeLancey’s family and is being carried on by DeLancey and her cousins.

“My grandma and parents influenced me heavily. Both of my parents rodeoed as well as my grandma, who owned her own speed-training stable. My family has always had many influences regarding the sport,” DeLancey said.

The family influence in the sport has given her an advantage as far as experience, training, and connections within the rodeo community.

As well as connection, the training stable owned by DeLancey’s grandmother has also served as an outlet to finesse her skill and relationship with her horses in the off-season.

“I made it to Nationals for four years. At one of those, I got third place, and at another, I got the eleventh place in multiple events,” DeLancey said.

The training required of her has been significant from the evidence of her success.

“I train in the off-season as it is a year-round sport, which consists of riding the horses and practicing the patterns multiple times to make sure they’re in shape to run their best,” DeLancey said.

DeLancey owns three horses which all compete in pole bending and barrel racing.

Although the extra horses offer more chances to place well in competitions, the workload and preparation notably triple.

“Currently, I just need to get my horses running their best and into tip-top shape, to hopefully compete with the best,” DeLancey said.

The high school rodeos often are filled with competitors who regularly compete at national rodeos all over the country.

“I’m hoping this season goes well as this is my senior year and this is the last half of my senior season,” DeLancey said.

Based on the results from the summer season, DeLancey is provisioned to perform well, however, a recent shoulder injury may be a factor in her success.

The off-season will be a time filled with doting to rough areas noticed in her recent runs and making sure she, as well as her horses, are healthy.

“I hope to be riding consistently until then, but sometimes it’s hard with the weather and other responsibilities such as working and school,” DeLancey said.

A factor that has made her so successful in the past is the fact that she has stayed consistent with her training, regardless of outside responsibilities.

This season is not an exception to that standard as she hopes to end her high school rodeo career with a worthy appearance.