Sisters cowgirl is a champion

 

Last updated 7/11/2023 at 10:31am

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Adriene Steffen is headed to the National High School Rodeo Finals.

Adriene Steffen of Sisters is closing out a stellar high school rodeo career with a trip to the National High School Rodeo Finals in Gillette, Wyoming to be held this July 16-22. She will compete in four events: Breakaway Roping, Barrel Racing, Cutting and Reined Cow Horse.

Steffen is coming into the worlds largest rodeo in a strong position: She is Oregon's High School Rodeo State Champion in Breakaway Roping, Barrel Racing and All-Around Cowgirl.

That designation is on goal for Steffen, who likes competing in multiple events.

"I kind of grew up being an all-around cowgirl because I enjoyed it," she told The Nugget. "This year, I competed in every single event a girl could compete in."

Pure enjoyment is the bedrock of Steffens' effort. It keeps her motivated in a demanding training schedule. As she says, success at this level requires practice.

"A lot of practice," she said.

She trains on her cutting horse once a week, on her reining horse every day, and roping is also an everyday practice.

"I have two roping horses so I can practice every day without overusing one of them," she said.

The Sisters High School student transferred to Baker Academy online to facilitate her rodeo work. She had a light academic load in her senior year, which allowed intense focus on her sport. That sport is taking her to college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in California, a school with one of the top rodeo programs in the West.

What motivates her intense focus?

"I like it," she said. "I enjoy it - it makes me happy. There's not much more to it than that."

Her family has been supportive of a lifestyle that keeps them on the road traveling to rodeos across the region.

"When they've got a passion for it, you're going to support them as much as you can to help them meet their goals" Adriene's mother, Laurie Steffen said.

The Steffens are excited about the trip to Gillette.

"It's a super beautiful facility out there," Adriene said.

Huge, full grandstands make the event feel like a pro rodeo. Because she qualified in multiple events, Steffen will compete every day she's in Gillette.

The draw is massive.

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Adriene Steffen won championship saddles in four high school rodeo events this season.

Featuring more than 1,700 contestants from 44 states, five Canadian Provinces, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand, the NHSFR is the world's largest rodeo. In addition to competing for more than $150,000 in prizes and over $150,000 in added money, NHSFR contestants will also be competing for more than $375,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named an NHSFR World Champion. To earn this title, contestants must finish in the top 20 – based on their combined times/scores in the first two rounds – to advance to Saturday evening's final round.

World Champions will then be determined based on their third-round combined times/scores. The Saturday championship performance will be televised nationally as a part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour telecast series on RFD-TV. LIVE broadcasts of each NHSFR performance will air online at http://www.thecowboychannel.

com. Performance times begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 16, and competition continues daily at 9 a.m. and

7 p.m. through Saturday, July 22. Steffen like her chances.

"This year, I feel like I'm really going in my strongest events," she said. "If it goes the way I planned, we could be successful."

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit www.frontierpartisans.com.

 

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