19-year-old barrel racer is ready to follow her parents' footsteps to the Stampede
CBC News Posted: Jun 29, 2015 3:00 AM MT
Sydney Daines is young, athletic and competitive — just like her horse Flame.
Together they are ready to make the trip from their hometown of Innisfail, Alta., to the big city for their first-ever Calgary Stampede.
Barrel racing is the rodeo event where women rule. The competitors explode on horseback and have to circle three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern.
A downed barrel results in a five-second penalty and an incorrect pattern means disqualification. It combines the horse's athletic ability with incredible horsemanship skills of the rider.
Her break-out year
Like many rodeo athletes, Daines comes from rodeo stock. Both her father and mother competed at the Calgary Stampede — her father in saddle bronc and her mother in barrel racing.
Sydney Daines of Innisfail, Alta., will compete in Ladies Barrel Racing at the Calgary Stampede for the first time. (Kaylee-Jo Henkelman)
Last year was the 19-year-old's best season so far, as she came third in the Canadian Finals Rodeo qualifying her for her first Stampede.
She feels like she's hitting her stride and the same can be said for her 11-year-old horse Flame (named after the Calgary Flames hockey team that was making its playoff run in 2004 just as the horse was born).
"I've raced him for five years now and he's at the peak of his time now."
Daines says the travel schedule can be gruelling.
"We can drive 12 hours to compete for 15 seconds.
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