Roper Review: Bailey Peterson

by Teri Edwards

Roping is in her blood – literally. Bailey (Cooper) Peterson, daughter of 7-time world champ, Clay O’Brien Cooper. Bailey grew up in Higley, Arizona where she lived until the age of eight. After a couple of years living in Idaho, the family made the move to Texas.
A few years later, Barrie and Brad Smith, her aunt and uncle, along with cousins, Shelby and Sterling, left Arizona and also moved to Texas. Bailey would spend summers with them while her dad was gone rodeoing.
“That’s really when I started roping. My Aunt Barrie hauled Shelby and I all over and I owe a big thanks to her,” says Bailey. “Shelby and I both made it to the state high school finals in Team Roping and Breakaway every year of high school.”
Her favorite win is easily when she and Barrie won the Cruel Girl Championships in Oklahoma City. She and cousin, Shelby, were reserve champs and between the three of them, they won every round of the roping.
Bailey remembers coming home from school every day and her dad would have horses saddled, ready for her to spin steers for him.
“Our practice sessions were intense,” says Peterson. “It’s important to get everything you can out of every run. Every time I get on a horse I have a goal. It’s ingrained in me that you go to the practice pen with the intention of what you need to work on and it’s very serious.
I’ve had the advantage of roping with and getting help from some of the best like Allen, Speed, David Key. A few years ago, I was going through a tough time and called Jade Corkill. He invited me over and we roped the dummy for five hours with the temperature in the single digits. I’m very grateful for those opportunities and don’t take it for granted.”
Now, Bailey, 30, is married and has a daughter, Fallon, 9. Bailey and Cal Peterson spend most of their time in South Dakota ranching and training horses. During winter months, the family winters in Texas where they train horses, and go to rodeos and ropings.
Fallon, it seems, will follow in her mom’s footsteps. “You can’t keep her off a horse,” explains Bailey. “She runs barrels, ties goats, and won her first buckle last year running barrels. She ropes with us in the practice pen, but isn’t ready for competition.”


So what does Bailey Peterson do for fun?
“Every day is fun for me. As long as I’m with my family, have a rope in my hand, and am riding a nice horse… I’m happy. My life is fun.”
How much do you practice?
We try to practice e very day.
Do you make your own horses?
Yes. We raise our own and make our own.
Who were your roping (rodeo) heroes?
My dad and Jake.
Who do you respect most in the world?
First and foremost God. My dad, my husband, and my Grandma Pat.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My husband and daughter.
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
Go fishing or go to the beach.
Favorite movie?
Lonesome Dove
How would you describe yourself?
Driven, honest, hardworking, kind.
What makes you happy?
Roping two feet. Family. Horses. Seeing other people win.
What makes you angry?
Missing or roping a leg for a lot of money. Not doing my job.
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
Invest in land and cattle.
What is your worst quality – your best?
Worst is indecisiveness. Best is striving for perfection.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Ranching and hauling my daughter to rodeos.


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