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RODE: Rayelle Rose making waves on high school rodeo scene

Rayelle Rose is an up-and-coming cowgirl
Danny Rode is a former Red Deer Advocate sports reporter.

Rayelle Rose has the perfect outlook when it comes to competing at any level of sport. 

The 13-year-old from Rimbey County is one of the top junior high school rodeo competitors in the province, having qualified for the Canadian and National championships. 

And she already knows what she has to work on as she goes forward., 

She will continue to work on the physical side, but it’s the mental side she’ll work on as well. 

“The mental toughness is my weakness,” she admitted. “I get up there to make a big run and forget everything … kind of go blank,” she said with a laugh. 

“It’s something to work on.” 

But she undersells herself and she doesn’t go blank very often. Despite being one of the younger competitors in pole bending she placed third overall in the provincials in Rimbey to advance to the Nationals June 23-29 in Des Moine, IA. and the Canadians, July 31-Aug. 3 in Brandon. 

“My best time in pole bending is 21.5 and I had runs of 21.9 the first two days (of the provincials) and all I needed the final day was a clean run to finish in the top four to advance,” she explained. “I had. 22.0 which was ninth and finished third. 

“It’s something I’m really looking forward to. Just to go try my best and have fun,” added the Grade 7 student at Penhold Crossing School. 

The other events she came up just short. 

“Had some bad luck in ribbon roping, my horse acted up a bit, so it didn’t go well while in goat tying I had some good runs but just didn’t place and in breakaway roping I forgot how to rope,” she said with a smile. 

Growing up on a farm, Rayelle has been around horses her whole life. Three years ago, some of her friends were into rodeo, which sparked her interest. 

She started riding her older sister’s horse. 

“He was a little slower than others but I stuck with him,” she said. “I started competing in grade 5 but had some tough luck as I couldn’t keep up with some of the faster older girls.” 

But Rayelle and her horse Dino do just fine in pole bending. 

Rayelle also competes in ribbon roping, barrel racing, goat tying and breakaway roping. 

“I use a different horse in each one,” she explained. 

Pole bending is her favourite followed by breakaway roping. 

Down the road she expects to compete more in barrel racing which could earn her a berth at the CFR. 

“I’m working with a younger horse so we’re just starting to click,” she added. “This year we ran into some tough luck.” 

Rayelle competes almost every weekend during the Spring and Fall sessions. Spring events run from April to June and the Fall from August to the first weekend of October. 

She continues to train in the winter months, both on her physical conditioning and with her horses indoors. 

“My mom and dad have a friend with an indoor facility and he doesn’t use it that much so I’m able to train there.” 

Rayelle has one more year in junior high then four years of high school competition before she needs to look at the post-secondary level. 

“I’m hoping to get a scholarship to the States,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realize there’s scholarships in not only barrel racing but goat tying. You don’t hear much about that.” 

Rayelle has an older sister and brother but it’s her younger sister, Ruby, who is in Grade 5, who competes. 

“It’s good we get to train together,” she concluded. 

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame who can be reached at