Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
She wants to be the rodeo queen who makes time for people and remembers where she came from.
And if Kassidi Patterson's winning streak keeps up, the newly crowned Miss Oklahoma High School Rodeo will get a chance to leave her down home, hard work legacy behind all over the nation.
She replaces Bayleigh Warren the 2012 OHSRA Queen.
Patterson's win in the queen competition at the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Finals last week qualified her to go to the High school Rodeo Nationals in Rock Springs, Wyo. in July where she will pit her horsemanship, as well as public speaking and modeling skills against 50 other young women vying for the title of Miss National High School Rodeo.
There's just one thing. Just a few days after winning the Oklahoma title, Patterson was dropped during a cheerleading event and broke her collarbone.
Of course, she promptly went to the doctor who set the bone without any pain medication and put her arm in a sling.
"I didn't want any pain medication because it makes me feel bad," the plucky 16-year-old said, in a matter of fact way. "I will be fine before the nationals in July."
Patterson is slated to compete with her horse Lucky in a horsemanship event that will include a pattern she will ride with her horse.
The pattern is designed to demonstrate each woman's ability to guide her horse through different gaits, some flying lead changes and a sliding stop and a rollback, whereby the horse does a 180 quickly and cleanly, she said.
Patters will also be expected to offer a public address as well as effectively model one of two formal western outfits she plans to bring with her to the event.
Patterson learned her love of horses and riding through her parents, Misty and Duke Long of Woodward.
"When a horse is acting up, he (Duke) goes out there and will ride him a little for us," she said and then smiles sheepishly. "He does that and also just keeps us all in check cause we need it."
The family works together with horses on a regular basis. In fact, earlier this year, Patterson's sister Kaley Patterson, 13 also qualified in poles for Nationals when she competed at the Oklahoma Junior High School Rodeo in Woodward in May.
While Patterson of course wants to win a title, she still keeps her priorities straight.
"I want to leave behind a legacy," she said. "Even if I win, I want people to know that I am just a girl from Woodward whose parents didn't spend a million dollars to get me here. We did what we could with what we had."