Navajo Barrel Racer Is Saluted With ‘Kassidy Dennison Day’ in New Mexico

Kassidy Dennison/Dennison will be honored with 'Kassidy Dennison Day' in Gallup, New Mexico on November 1, 2014.

Kassidy Dennison is becoming a giant name in a relatively small world of sports: Barrel Racing.

Dennison, who is the first Navajo barrel racer to qualify for the 2014 National Finals Rodeo, is a five-time Indian World Champion All Around Cowgirl and, in 2011, she became the first Native woman to earn her spot on the Classic Equine Brand team.

And now, on the first day of Native American Heritage Month, November 1, Dennison will add another top mention to her list of achievements. The City of Gallup, New Mexico has proclaimed it “Kassidy Dennison Day.”

“Thank you to the City of Gallup— Mayor Jackie McKinney, City Councilors Linda Garcia, Allan Landavazo, Yogash Kumar and Cecil Garcia, for honoring my accomplishments by proclaiming November 1st–Kassidy Dennison Day! Dennison said in a news release.I” am grateful to be an ambassador of The City of Gallup, the surrounding communities, The Navajo Nation and the State of New Mexico.”

Most recently, Dennison competed in Women’s Professional Rodeo Turquoise Circuit Finals in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she placed first in two runs, earning a purse of $2,,222. She also won the overall average with a score of 49.31 and added $1,666.

Philly.com Gillian/ McGoldrick, editor of The Plawickian

On her website, Dennison said that her lifelong dream was to become a professional athlete in the rodeo world. But, the 22-year-old said that she also has another mission.

“I’m interested in showing our young kids to have a dream and to do something big,” said Dennison to Women’s Pro Rodeo News. “It’s like Derrick Begay; he gave people out here on our reservation motivation. Derrick’s really talented, and he’s the first Navajo to qualify for the NFR.

She is also a Nike N7 Ambassador, encouraging Native Youth to stay fit and eat healthy by taking up sports.

“If you want to be successful, you have to be in shape,” she told the Salt River Pima Community paper. “I always thought you don’t have to be in shape to be in rodeo, but I wanted to [compete] at a professional level, and to [compete] at that level you have to be in shape.”

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