MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Barrel racer Cassidy Brown and her horse Tito have spent much of their summer out on the ranch. Thanks to the pandemic, Cassidy’s freshman season was cut short; however it put the duo in a great position to prepare for upcoming competitions and they ultimately won the 2020 National Barrel Horse Association Teen World Championship!
“It kinda sucked that my first year got cut short because of the coronavirus, but it gave me more time to come home and work with my horse, which really led up to this big win,” the Millbrook native said.
Before she was crowned world champion, Cassidy took over the reigns of rodeo from her mother, Tracey.
"My family all my growing up years, we had horses, and we went to horse shows, and barrel raced," said Tracey. "We were just always involved, and so when she came along of course she loved horses, wanted horses. She started out little, five or six years old, riding and got us to the point where we're at now."
"I think I got my first horse when I was probably about six, and I probably started seriously barrel racing when I was about 10," added Cassidy.
The NBHA World Championship isn't anything new for Cassidy; she's been saddling up for the competition for seven years now.
“It’s like one of our big family vacations. I was excited to go and have a good time; I wasn’t really worried about the outcome too much,” Cassidy explained.
But her focus changed when she realized she was still on the leader board toward the end of the competition. Her time of 14.686 held until one of the final competitors ran the exact same time, forcing the first ever barrel-racing runoff for the title. Her and Tito were able out-ride her opponent and win the teen world title.
"I ran a 14.6 once, which was kind of a big deal because I wasn't expecting that, and to go in and do it twice for the tiebreaker is a pretty big deal, so it just shows that my horse has a whole lot of try and a whole lot of heart," she said about Tito and the win.
Cassidy beat out 981 competitors for the win. For Tracey, watching her daughter give it her all and come out with a huge win is all she could ever want for her daughter.
"It's just unexplainable. It's just awesome," she said. "She's done so well, she's worked so hard at it, and it's just fun. You don't even care about it for yourself anymore, it just becomes all about them."
Cassidy will be headed back to Tuscaloosa soon to begin her sophomore year of college. She will continue to race with Tito throughout the year but with a new trailer and a little more confidence.
“I’ve been telling myself ever since if I can go through anything like that, as nerve-wracking as that, I can make it through anything.”