The rodeo way of life consumes an 18-year-old rural Aberdeen woman.
“I enjoy the hard work and the rewards that comes with rodeo,” recent Aberdeen Roncalli graduate Allie Simons said. “I love being able to be rough and tough in the outdoors and being with my horses. And I love competing. Rodeo is like all one big family. It is my passion, and I love it.”
For the third year in a row, Simons will be competing in the South Dakota High School State Finals Rodeo. It will be Wednesday through Sunday in Belle Fourche.
Even when she is not practicing on her family’s hobby farm, Simons is outside every day taking care of her prized, 15-hands high, 1,000-pound, 8-year-old rodeo quarter horse gelding.
This week in the finals, she will ride Skippy in the breakaway roping and goat tying events and Dually in barrel racing.
“I would not be where I am without my horses,” Simons said. “They are my pride and joy. They give me the confidence I need when I am competing. I know they are going to do their jobs so I just have to focus on doing my job.”
She has had Skippy — gray roan in color — for six years. “He stays very calm and gets me to where I need to go every time. He is very, very fast.”
Simons and her family raised Dually, who is sorrel in color. “He has a tremendous heart and just goes and goes and goes. He loves competing and has so much determination. He also is very fast. We trained and raised him, so he is my baby.”
Simons, Skippy and Dually will continue in rodeo at Northern State where Allie will join the Wolves’ club rodeo team and go to school this fall. “It is great they have a team, and I am excited to be joining it.”
Simons has been riding horses “since I could walk. My mom and sister are the ones who got me into it.”
She first started competing in horse shows. “I found out I liked the speed events, and that I liked going fast. Really fast.”
So about five years ago, she started rodeoing.
Breakaway roping is now one of her favorite events. “It takes a lot of focus and a lot of trust that your horse is going to get you where you need to be. You have to practice a lot, but it is definitely rewarding. I love the feeling that I get when I catch the calf.”
Meet Them All
Here are the area competitors in the South Dakota High School State Finals Rodeo June 20-24 in Belle Fourche:
Kasey Aasby, Highmore/Highmore-Harrold: Pole bending.
Kasey Bauman, McLaughlin/Sunshine Bible Academy: Team roping.
Brady Bickel, Trail City/Timber Lake: Tie-down roping; team roping.