Cassie Peake, a Binscarth junior high student involved in rodeo, definitely feels she was born a cowgirl. She started riding at the age of three, and attended cattle-branding get-togethers at a young age. Initiating her membership within the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association (MHSRA) last fall in Russell, Peake is following in her brother Kade’s footsteps.
“This is my rookie year in the junior high division,” said Peake. “I compete in barrels, poles, goat tying, ribbon roping and breakaway roping — everything available in girls’ competition with the exception of team roping.”
The Grade 6 student says she loves the speed needed to churn out a fast time in barrel racing, with her horse Tucker, a 17-year-old quarter-horse. A positive moment in her rodeo involvement so far has been making a clean barrel run and as the runner marking a qualified time in ribbon roping, along with roping partner Ryan Eyre of Winnipegosis.
At the family ranch, the 12-year-old loves working with the cattle and hanging out with her horses.
“My mom Helen and dad Dan have taught me to ride and have taken me to rodeos, and my brother has also been a big influence and support,” said Peake. “You can also add in friends, Tara Moran and Daniel Moran, both of Russell, Josie Millward of Garland, Shannon Jackson of Inglis and many more of my friends who have helped me feel more comfortable at the rodeos.”
Peake looks at high school rodeo as giving her scholarship opportunities at the end of the junior high level all the way up to Grade 12, taking on leadership roles, and doing what she loves.
With her mom now holding the position within the MHSRA as rodeo queen co-ordinator, perhaps one day Peake will compete on the national stage in that role. However, for now, the strict guidelines in the MHSRA make her be accountable in other parts of life including school, family and community involvement.