story by Ruth Nicolaus Teige Whetham is a busy man during football and rodeo seasons. The Nebraska High School Rodeo Association member plays ball for […]
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Meet the Member Rachael Calvo
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Rachael Calvo and her horse make a dynamite pair.
The Bassett, Neb. cowgirl is partnered up with her ten year old bay mare named Stella, and the two have set the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association barrel racing on fire for the past three years.
Stella was purchased during a bull sale in Bertrand, Nebraska, and started her rodeo life as a head horse. But Rachael’s dad saw potential in her and had his daughter train her for barrel racing. During Rachael’s sophomore year, they won the first five rodeos of the season. This past fall, she and Stella have won six of the thirteen fall rodeos, and placed in five others. Rachael knows to Whom the glory belongs, however; she knows God blessed her with an incredible horse that loves rodeo as much as she does.
The bay has the characteristics of a good barrel horse. She is sixteen hands, “with a big stride, and the right breeding,” Rachael said. She’s not pretty though. The mare is “one of the ugliest headed horses I’ve ever seen. But she can run.”
Stella doesn’t have the typical barrel horse personality. “She’s an absolute sweetheart,” Rachael said. “I’ve loved her since the moment I got her. All I can say is, she loves to run barrels, absolutely loves it. We make a great team, and I really couldn’t do it without her.”
In addition to barrel racing, Rachael competes in the pole bending and goat tying and added breakaway roping to her repertoire last year.
She is a senior at Rock County High School in Bassett, where accounting is her favorite class, which is ironic, since math is her least favorite. She also enjoys weight lifting, is on her school’s honor roll, and is a member of the FFA and the National Honor Society. She was crowned as the 2016 homecoming queen for her school.
The Calvo family hosts an annual bull sale, and this year’s sale is February 7. Rachael plays an integral part of their red Angus bull program, acting as registration manager, and helping prepare bulls for the sale.
Currently, Rachael and Stella are ranked first in the state barrel standings. But things don’t always go as planned at the state finals in Hastings, Nebraska. Stella has been hurt the last two years during state finals, and she’s “ground-touchy,” Rachael reports. Rachael has competed at state finals in all of her events for the past three years.
This fall, she will attend the University of Wyoming and major in marketing management with a minor in entrepreneurship. She will compete in college rodeo, and has received rodeo and academic scholarships to the University.
Rachael has an older brother, Joe. She is the daughter of Susan and Rick Calvo.