|Cassie Hausauer from her Lipstick & Cowboy Boots blog|
Canadian barrel racing fans will cheer on one of their own at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for the first time since 2012. I took this opportunity to chat with Cassie Hausauer, an Alberta barrel racer and writer of the popular Lipstick & Cowboy Boots blog that keeps us up to date on the world of barrel racing in Western Canada.
Cassie explains she created her blog after reading others’ blogs. “I enjoyed writing in high school, and thought 'hey, I could do this blog thing!' A friend of mine actually shared a blog on Facebook one day, and it kind of took off from there.” Now she helps keep us all up to date on the world of barrel racing in Western Canada.
Cassie didn’t start out as a barrel racer. Competing at local A-Circuit English Riding shows, she was having fun and winning ribbons but was feeling no challenge. She says her cousin started going to barrel racing jackpots and told her you didn’t have to be first to win money with the 3-D payout format.
“You mean we can go and have fun, and go fast, and win money?” she asked. “SOLD!” And there was no looking back.
Having competed for a few years now, she has some advice for young women wanting to get into the sport.
“Pay attention to those who do well, and what they do. How they conduct themselves inside and outside of their arena. Find out what style works for you and your horse and stick with it.”
She is also a huge proponent of improving the sport in our country. Besides supporting the development of barrel racing by provincial associations, Cassie believes individuals can make a difference.
“As an individual, be kinder to your fellow competitors.” She says, “We as women need to uplift and support one another instead of always tearing one another down, especially in the sport we all love. It will make the sport better for everyone.”
Women supporting each other is something Cassie encourages through her blog and she is gaining influence in the community.
“It’s nice to be thought of as an ‘influencer’. I try to preach about sportsmanship, positivity and support because when I came into this sport, I knew no one. The people I started to meet were kind and so helpful which made it easy to get into the sport, and enjoy it!” she explains. “Plus, who wants to hang out with a bunch of jerks bashing everyone all the time? I want others who are new to the sport to feel welcome, and for what I write to serve as a reminder to those who have been in the sport longer.”
A great message for women in all walks of life but, particularly, those who travel hundreds and thousands of miles every year to competitions. Life on the road can be a lonely and stressful place if you don’t have a support network.
Cassie doesn’t travel the same miles as the pros but says the sport of barrel racing and rodeo is addictive.
“There is simply no other way to explain it. It’s the adrenaline you feel before, during, and after your run, it’s the connection with your horse, it’s having fun with your friends doing what you love. It’s seeing all your hard work pay off. It’s the learning and personal growth you go through, which for me personally, has been huge.”
Looking to the future, Cassie says her goals just keep getting bigger. She started out just wanting to win money at jackpots, not caring about what division she won money in. She continues to set goals for herself as she achieves success, including a 17-second run and pulling cheques at the amateur rodeos she competes in. She realized another dream when she ran at a big jackpot in Texas.
“This year I have different goals as I now have a different horse, but they will grow as time goes on.”
She also explains her goal for the blog hasn’t changed.
“My goal is to interview the best in the industry whether it be barrel racers, or those putting on the big money jackpots, or people in the western world who deserve time in the spotlight for their hard work.”
Asked about where she would like to be in five years, she responded, “The five-year question is always tough. Too many things in life are uncertain, and so many things can change. In five years, I’d like to be happy with where ever I am with the blog, and with barrel racing.”
For the next ten days, at least, Cassie will be busy bringing all the news of the WNFR to her loyal readers.