In 2014 Sydney Daines took home 3 Go Round buckles at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, and was headed to the Calgary Stampede in 2015 after finishing the season in the Top 4. CFR44 will be Daines’ third Canadian Finals Rodeo qualification on her great gelding Flame (sired by Dash ta Fame out of a Jet of Honor Mare).
With all the miles made, varying ground conditions, and expenses,what kept the CFR dream alive for you?
Theres no better feeling than running down the alley at the Northlands Coliseum and just wanting to experience that feeling again makes all the miles, ground conditions and expenses worth it.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
My favourite rodeo this year would have to be Innisfail. We didn’t pull a cheque out of Innisfail but its one of my favourite times of the year because my family has a chance to get together. I can also see old friends and hangout with them for the weekend since Innisfail is the only rodeo on that weekend. Plus, I know for the rest of the summer my life consumes of soccer and rodeo.
How do you manage to balance University, Soccer and rodeo so well in the spring and fall?
First thing is I have a great mother. When I’m busy with school or soccer she is taking care of Flame and always making sure he is looking amazing. I have a really good connection with my soccer coach and we try to make it work between games/practices with rodeo. My team is a big supporter of Flame. I’m currently taking the combined Native Studies Arts/ Education elementary degree. Fall is the more busier time of the year with regular season soccer and preparing for CFR, so I can only take 4 course loads this semester. Overall I try to put school first but only once in your life you can play soccer at this high level and be blessed with a great horse at the same time, so my new motto is, why not do both?
Riding a seasoned barrel horse, what exercises do you do for tune-ups on the pattern?
Sometimes he just needs a little reminder who’s boss, since he is very spoiled. Overall, it depends what arena were competing in and what he has done in that arena in the past will depend on what exercises we do.
Regarding legging a horse up, especially when so busy,what is your routine?
Flame is a funny horse he is very hard to just go ride around in the field, usually you’ll see us going faster backwards than forwards. With me living in Edmonton and him back in Innisfail my mom takes him to Coulee Equine very regularly where he swims and goes on the long trotter. I will also meet my mom once or twice before CFR to ride him so I can remember what I’m doing. With him I feel confident that he just needs to keep in shape and stay away from the barrel pattern until November 8th.
We all know that being competitive takes serious mental strength.What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo?
I just try to have fun with every run by remembering how lucky I am to have this horse and that I am able to do this event. I never try to over think things right before my run or become too nervous because your horse can feel that. I always try to focus on my main goals I’ve set through out the year, so before my run I am already prepared. If I didn’t reach one of the goals I just go back to the drawing board and see what could I have done differently.
What is your go to product for keeping your horse feeling her best for the season?
Dr. Scott is our product. He knows Flame inside and out. He gives us the best knowledge on what products to use down the road whether its for long night hauls or hot/cold weather conditions. He always has three great answers to every question.
What is the best piece of advice you would pass along to someone regarding barrel racing and/or rodeo?
Overall, enjoy the people you meet in the rodeo and barrel racing world and appreciate the time and stories you create with your friends and family doing an event you love. By having those people in your life to celebrate wins with or having a glass of wine with when you hit a barrel, all help when trying to make it down the road.
What can you not live without on the road?
I can’t live without Starbucks or Red Bulls.
*Photo submitted by Sydney