EMERGENCY CALL: Badlands Circuit Finals barrel racer is ER nurse, cowgirl | TSLN.com
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EMERGENCY CALL: Badlands Circuit Finals barrel racer is ER nurse, cowgirl

Minot, N.D. (September 26, 2022) – There’s an emergency room nurse in Minot who, after she’s done dealing with blood and trauma, likes to relax by getting on her horse.

And if there’s plenty of adrenaline in the ER, there’s just as much on a barrel racing horse.

Minot native Cydney Peterson works in the ER at a Minot hospital, then, on the weekends, spends her time competing at pro rodeos across North Dakota and farther.



The 26-year-old cowgirl grew up in a rodeo family, with a dad, Tim Peterson, who rode bulls and team roped, and a mom, Michelle, who supported him as he rodeoed.

Peterson competed in youth rodeo, then collegiately at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., before going on to South Dakota State University in Rapid City to earn her bachelors of science in nursing.



This year, for the first time, she’s qualified for the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, to be held in Minot at the N.D. State Fair Center Oct. 14-16. Only the top twelve competitors in each event make the cut for the finals.


It’s been her goal to qualify for the circuit finals but the past few years, soundness issues with horses and life itself made it difficult to rodeo consistently enough to qualify. “It just wasn’t my time,” she said. “We regrouped, got a game plan and started off strong at the beginning of the year to make it this year.”

Her mount is a ten-year-old gelding named Chrome, a big “teddy bear,” as she calls him. “He’s pretty cool and calm, and he’s always searching for treats.”

She’s attended the rodeo as a spectator nearly every year since it came to Minot in 2007, but this time she’ll be competing in the arena instead of sitting in the stands.

Her job as an ER nurse has benefitted her as a barrel racer, she says.

“Before you compete, you get that adrenaline rush,” she said. “Being in the ER has made me so much calmer. In my high school and college career, I was a little anxious and nervous before my runs. Now I still get that pumped up feeling but I’m not worried and don’t have the high anxiety.”

Juggling a full time job like the ER, which doesn’t have a regular schedule, plus rodeoing, has been tough this year, she said. Her work schedule ranges from four ten-hour days or three twelve-hour days plus a four hour shift and includes every other weekend.

Sometimes she would get off work at 11 pm or 3 am and leave for a rodeo, then come back the next day for work.

“It was a lot of planning and scheduling, trying to figure out what days I needed off, plus the time spent driving. But it was worth it.”

Her older brother Garrett Peterson also rodeos, competing in the steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping.

In 2021, Peterson won the North Dakota Rodeo Association year-end barrel racing title.

Peterson, as well as the top contestants in the Badlands Circuit, will compete at the 2022 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in Minot Oct. 14-16. Performances are at 7 pm on Oct. 14-15 and at 1 pm on Oct. 16.

Tickets are $20 for adult general admission and $10 for kids ages 3-12. Gold buckle seats, the five rows closest to the arena floor, are $30 for all ages.

Tickets can be purchased online at RodeoMinot.com and at North Country Mercantile in Minot (2000 20th Avenue SE).

For more information, visit the website at RodeoMinot.com or its Facebook and Instagram pages.

–Badlands Circuit Finals


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