ABERDEEN, S.D. – Calley Worth
is excited to be heading to
the College National Finals Rodeo – and she’s also happy for the exposure the accomplishment gives her team.
“It's nice that now people know we do have a rodeo team, because it takes a lot of work,” said Worth, a Gettysburg native. “Most of the people around campus and Aberdeen don't know that it exists. Hopefully it can help build the rodeo program at Northern.”
Worth is the first member of the Northern State University Rodeo Club to go to nationals since the club started up again in 2006. Worth and her horse, Lily, will compete in barrel racing at the CNFR – known as the "Rose Bowl" of college rodeo – in Casper, Wyo., June 9-15.
Worth, the daughter of Craig and Barb Worth, has been competing in rodeo for 16 years, since she was just 6 years old.
“My mom got both my sister and I started at a young age since she competed in rodeo too,” she said. “I love the competition, the relationship you build between your horse and yourself and the friendships you create through the years.”
Worth has always been determined to reach the highest level of competition, said Stacey Schmidt, past rodeo adviser for NSU. Schmidt – who has watched Worth grow up on the rodeo circuit from 4-H, high school and college – said she really knows how to work with her horses to get them ready for each rodeo.
“She is a dedicated student and athlete in the arena and track. I am so proud of her and can’t wait to see how she does in Casper next week,” Schmidt said. “I know she will represent NSU very well. Look for great things from Calley as she continues her rodeo career after college.”
Worth also participated in track and field at Northern. In fact, she competed in that sport the very same weekend she qualified for nationals in rodeo.
“It was busy,” she said. “I had to make sure I didn't draw up in specific performances in the rodeo so I could still pole vault at the time it was scheduled for. Thankfully, it all worked out well in both that weekend.”
Worth, who graduated in May with a marketing degree, is looking for a job in her field in the Aberdeen area – and of course, continuing to rodeo.
Photo: Worth and her horse, Lily, round a barrel.