Simon strives for good health to accomplish goals
After missing the National College Finals Rodeo by a few short points the last two years, Tish Simon came back to Pratt Community College this year to try her hand at it one more time.
Simon, of Mankato, Kan., is a third year student at PCC and a barrel racer on the rodeo team.
The past two years she and her horse named Mare have done well before illnesses interrupted the ends of the seasons. As a freshman, Simon was sitting in fifth when the placing's were announced, with the top three going to the NCFR.
Last year she was sitting in first after the first three rodeos. Both years Mare has had respiratory issues, that led to pneumonia last year. Simon also broke her arm last year, in a non-riding accident.
“This year I am hoping to keep us both healthy all year,” Simon said.
To do that, Simon said she has Mare on some preventive medicines to ensure she doesn’t get sick.
Simon and Mare went to Argonia, Kan., the weekend of Aug. 29 and raced for the first time since March. Simon said she was pleased with how it went even though they hit the first to be second.
This year, Simon said her rodeo goals include making it to the NCFR, even if it is in the third spot.
“I just want to go one time,” she said. “I also hope I can help the women’s team get a spot. It would be a lot more fun with all of us there.”
Simon said she got involved with rodeo after joining 4-H when she was younger. In 4-H she was involved in the equine program and realized she didn’t enjoy showing but loved barrels and poles.
She had an uncle big in the rodeo world who taught her roping but she eventually decided barrels was her area of forte.
Last year Simon received her Associate of Science in Ag Business and this year is enrolled in the Farrier Science program, which provides training in horse shoeing.
Simon said she’s not sure what she wants to do next year but said if she doesn’t go to a four-year school she is hoping to stay in the Pratt area because she likes the town.
Either way, Simon said rodeo will be a part of it.
“Rodeo will always be a huge part of my life,” she said. “Just because I graduate this spring doesn’t mean I will be giving it up.”
Come out to support Simon and the rest of the PCC rodeo team Oct. 3 through Oct. 5 at the Huffman Arena on Pratt’s main campus.
The rodeo kicks off Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. and will continue Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. On Oct. 5 the rodeo will start at 1 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults single performance and children under 10 get in free.