story by BreAnne Benson The first time Riley Isbell competed in barrel racing was in Waco, Texas. She was in pre-school, on her first pony […]
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Meet the Member Cassidy Evans
story by Lily Landreth
Cassidy Evans is the 2019 KKRFV and Junior World Finals Pole Bending Champion. The 13-year-old from Yuma, Colorado, clinched the inaugural KKRFV year-end pole bending title with 60.383 seconds in three runs. “I felt pretty good about myself,” says Cassidy, who flexed her competitive muscles running at the ALL IN Barrel Race several days prior to the Junior World Finals. “My first run I ended up second, and my second run I ran a 19, and I was really excited about that because it’s the fastest time I’ve ever had. My third run I was pretty nervous, but I felt good about our run there. I just kind of block everything out and focus on my horse and how he moves, and the poles. I got to do an autograph session one day, and one day we had a break and I went to the NFR, which was my first time,” she adds. “My little brother Cross is all about roller coasters, so we went to the New York New York roller coaster and the Stratosphere.” Cassidy also competed in the first-ever Junior American Qualifier for pole bending in Las Vegas, and she’ll run poles at the 2020 Junior American in December.
She heard about KKRFV from her friend Aspen Autry, who won the Junior NFR barrel racing title in the junior division in 2018. Cassidy went to her first KKRFV qualifier in Broken Bow, Nebraska, in April, where she and her horse Hotshot won the qualifier. “It was pretty fun, and it was new for me doing a big pole bending and barrel race like that,” says Cassidy. “Probably my favorite thing was being able to see everything (at the Junior World Finals) and being able to run in such a big place. I thought it was pretty amazing to experience all of it.”
Her 15-year-old brother, Coy, did most of the training on Hotshot, who carried Cassidy to Las Vegas. The gelding won Purina Super Horse of the Year in the NLBRA in 2014 and has also carried Cassidy and two of her brothers to the NLBRA Finals. “He’s an amazing horse and a character. He hates being alone and has to have a buddy with him, and he loves trying to untie himself or other horses.” Hotshot had company in Las Vegas with Coy and Cash’s roping horses. The brothers competed in the Las Vegas Stars Calf Roping. The whole family did NLBRA for several years, and this season they are doing the CJRA, Young Guns Timed Events rodeos in Dodge City, Kansas, as well as junior high and high school rodeos in Colorado. Along with poles and barrels, Cassidy competes in breakaway roping, goat tying, and competes in team roping and ribbon roping with her twin brother, Cash. “My parents help us a lot and push us, and I really enjoy doing rodeo, so I think that’s what keeps me going,” she explains. “My dad (Chris Evans) helps me with my roping and goats, and my mom (Megan Evans) helps me with barrels and poles.” Chris competed in the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association in the past, as well as the PRCA Mountain States Circuit.
All of the siblings are homeschooled, and Cassidy is in seventh grade. She particularly enjoys Language Arts, and when her schoolwork is done, she enjoys helping her dad on the ranch and training horses. “We’re training some colts right now, and the boys work on roping with them, and then I take them and do some barrels and poles. My next big goal that I want to accomplish is winning the barrels and poles at the National Junior High Finals.”