Class of 2022 Graduate Aspen Edge pursues her dream of barrel racing competing across the Western U.S. at Weatherford College.
Class of 2022 Graduate Aspen Edge pursues her dream of barrel racing
Written by Blake Froistad
Sporting events have a way of bringing out emotions we didn't know we had. Walking into a ballpark for the first time, Friday night lights in the state of Texas, and even feeling the rumble of Nascar all bring out a sense of awe in human nature. However, there is something genuinely unique about the rodeo. Whether you've been to the Big Daddy of 'em All in Cheyenne, or caught the local rodeo in Steamboat, rodeos are a time capsule and window into simpler times in America. As a native Texan, I might be a bit biased about it because I'm partial to big trucks, Wrangler jeans, country music, and kettle corn, but there's not much better than catching a local rodeo. Our own graduate Aspen Edge, caught that same fever. Throughout her high school years, Aspen was deeply involved in the world of rodeo, a lifestyle she was born into. Her parents nurtured her love for horses from an early age, and got her on a horse with her dad at just 8 weeks old.
By the age of four, she was riding independently, and her dedication to the sport only grew stronger with time. She participated in rodeos all over the country, from Cody, Wyoming to Colorado, and from Oklahoma City to Texas. It's one thing to have a passion for something, but it goes to another level when passion meets talent and the notoriety quickly compiled for Aspen:
- 2015 Top Hand Award for best horsemanship and improvement of riding.
- 2016 and 2017 Douglas County All-Around Champion competing in 10 events in 5 shows and having the highest point average
- 2019 Tough Enough To Wear Pink 11-14 age Division Barrel Racing Champion
- 2020 AQHA Bellringer Youth Barrel Racing Champion
- 2020 AQHA Youth World Show TOP 10 Pole Bending
"I fell in love with the Western Lifestyle.” Her love for rodeo grew right along with it, and was evident in every competition she entered. But it wasn’t all boots, chaps and cowboy hats. Alongside her rodeo aspirations, Aspen managed to excel academically and athletically competing in DECA, softball, and volleyball. Towards the end of her school career, she began to solely focus on rodeo.
Upon graduating from Valor, Aspen's journey continued with a summer in Wyoming, participating in the local rodeo. When the shadows started to get long, Aspen headed south to Weatherford College outside of Fort Worth, where she currently resides, and plans to spend the next 2 years on the rodeo team. Following that, she plans to transfer to Tarleton State for another two years before eventually reaching her ultimate goal—studying equine sports medicine at Texas A&M University.
The rodeo world is highly competitive, with hundreds of participants from various schools in the region. Yet, Aspen's determination and love for the sport drive her to keep pushing forward. “You have to focus on the small victories, success doesn’t happen overnight.” Like any other college athlete, she has to balance her academics with her practice schedule and rodeo events, exemplifying responsibility and dedication.
Alongside her pursuit of rodeo dreams, Aspen works at Shep's, waiting tables to support her rodeo aspirations. “We drive our own trucks, we have to pay for diesel, but success doesn’t happen overnight. You work at it everyday and hit your small goals.” A call to any and all alumni, attend a rodeo in the next year. You will not regret it. Grab a turkey leg, throw on a little Garth Brooks, and feel the rush of watching man attempt to tame beast.