Behind the Chutes: Kristi Steffes |

Behind the Chutes: Kristi Steffes

Kristi Steffes makes a tight turn around the barrels. She rides a horse that her family raised. Photo courtesy Kristi Steffes

Age: 18

Family: Darrell (dad), Jan (mom), Nikki Steffes (sister), Brandi Steffes Ollerman (sister), Bekki Steffes Franks (sister)

Hometown: Vale, SD

School: Gillette College in Gillette Wyoming

Rodeo events: Barrel Racing, Goat Tying, Breakaway Roping

What is your future in the sport of rodeo? I have at least three years of college rodeo left and I plan to continue to rodeo at the local NRCA and SDRA amateur rodeos. I just bought my permit so I am going to rodeo in the Badlands Circuit and hopefully fill that soon so that I can buy my card and go to some bigger rodeos.

What is your ultimate goal as you continue competing in rodeos? As a short-term goal, I would like to have a successful first CNFR and summer of rodeoing professionally. As far as long-term goals, I would like to qualify for the CNFR in all three of my events and win a national title. I also hope to qualify for the Badlands Circuit Finals in the next year or two, and just like everyone else, maybe someday the NFR.

Favorite aspect of rodeo: My favorite aspect of rodeo is that everyone is willing to help each other. I have especially noticed that at the college level. There are so many people on your side and cheering for you each time you compete.

Best rodeo memory: My best rodeo memory would have to be winning the pick up at the Elks Youth Rodeo in Sheridan. I won it on my favorite horse Doc in 2010 and my sister won it on him as well in 2004. He is an amazing horse and that is what made it so special.

Notable achievements in the sport: 2011 and 2012 SDHSRA All Around Cowgirl, 2010 and 2012 SDHSRA Champion Barrel Racer, 2012 NRCA Rookie of the Year, 2012 NRCA Barrel Racing Year End Champion, 2013 Central Rocky Mountain Region Reserve Champion Barrel Racer. I have also won the High Point Champion pickup at the Elks Youth Rodeo in Sheridan, Wyoming, qualified for four NHSFRs, and this June will be my first CNFR.

Tell us about your horses: Handy is my breakaway and goat tying horse. He is 15 and we have had him for about five years. I roped and tied goats on him in high school and my sister Nikki also used him when she was in college. It’s funny that this was my first year of college rodeo and everything seemed so new to me, but I knew he had been to all of those places before! He is a sweetheart and I know that he is always going to put me right when I need to be when it comes to competing.

Captain is my barrel horse, he is 11 years old and we raised him. He is out of a mare that my older sister ran in high school and Frenchman’s Guy. He is a little stubborn sometimes but I love him! When he was a baby my sister was still competing on his mother so we hauled him with us everywhere. My family thinks the reason he has bad habits is because when they were off watching Nikki, I was hanging at the trailer with Captain spoiling him!

Have you attended any rodeo schools? If so, which ones? I have never been to an actual rodeo school but I have practiced, competed with, and pretty much learned everything from my older sister Nikki.

Role models/mentors: My sister Nikki has always been my main role model and mentor. She has been successful at every level of youth, high school, college, and professional rodeo.

What do you like to do when you’re not competing? I played basketball and volleyball in high school and loved it! I still like playing when I can at college. Other than that I enjoy riding young horses and learning new things from my sister, hanging with friends, and road trips!

What’s playing on your iPod/radio? I like all kinds of music! I listen to a lot of country but for the most part I’m not very picky.


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