19-year-old rodeo cowgirl stays active in several sports
HENRYETTA, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen Ashton Been has been around the farm life for as long as she could remember.
“I have been around horses and we used to raise cattle,” Ashton said.
Being raised around horses has taken her to a sport she began at 12-years-old…barrel racing.
Barrel Racing is a rodeo event in which the horse and the rider attempt to ride around barrels in a pattern in the fastest time.
“You have to make clean turns around the barrels and faster than your competition,” she said.
She remembers being amazed that she was going to compete with other barrel racers.
“It was then I knew I wanted to compete,” Ashton said.
She said in order to be successful at this sport, the rider must have great balance and know how the horse moves and runs.
“You have to click with your horse,” Ashton said. “I have rode several horses. There are some that are laid back and you have to push them and there are free runners and that is what they love doing, run.”
She said a lot of trust has to be put in the horse in order for both to be successful.
“Sometimes you have to go with your instincts,” Ashton said. “I just have a feeling that certain horses are not going to work. You can sense it and if you have no connection with the horse, you have no connection.”
She said she believes she has found the connection with the horse that she has now, Bert.
“This horse has done everything,” Ashton said. “I could not have asked for a better horse.”
Ashton has been to hundreds of events that involve barrel racing. So many that she does not have an exact number.
“In the winter I usually go to four a month but in the summer it is two or three a weekend,” she said.
This is not the only thing that Ashton does; she also plays basketball, and softball and also shows cattle at other events.
“It is running and gunning and I love it,” Ashton said.
Her mother, Kristy Been said she enjoys what her daughter is doing. She grew up on a farm and was at rodeo events as well. Her daughter followed her in her footsteps when it came to sports.
“We have always had horses and to see the love of horses that she [Ashton] has is amazing,” she said. “I love seeing her want to be outside all the time and doing something.”
Kristy said Ashton constantly practices and takes the critique from her races well.
“We have different people that we know and have met at the rodeo events that have become great friends,” Kristy said. “They will tell what Ashton is doing and give her tips on how to be better. She takes their tips and applies it to her racing.”
Kristy is also very happy with everything that her daughter does; she is still a student and gets good grades.
“She is doing a lot of things,” she said. “While doing all of these things her grades are still great and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Ashton is in her senior year of high school. She hopes to go to college and rodeo there as well.
“I applied to Connors [State College] and I hope to get on the rodeo team that they have,” Ashton said.
Along with going there, Ashton said that she wants to be a nurse.
“I want to get my Bachelor’s of Nursing and be an RN [Registered Nurse],” she said.
Her overall goal in barrel racing is to compete in Las Vegas and be in the rodeo for as long as she can.
“I believe that she will be there to compete one of these days,” Kristy said. “With her determination, I know she will make it.”
Ashton is raised by her mother, Kristy, and stepfather, Dusty George.1 comment