With Round 5 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo behind her, and the competition half-way over, Kassidy Dennison, a barrel racer from Tohatchi, New Mexico, took a quick break from the competition to talk about her Navajo heritage.
“It’s huge honor to not only represent myself and my people, but tribes across the world,” Dennison told RodeoVideo.com about being the first Navajo woman to compete at the WNFR in barrel racing. “It’s a big honor to be here.” And when the 22-year-old won Round 3 of competition on December 6, she took a victory lap around the arena and saw Navajo flags raised to salute her. The icing on the cake, perhaps, for a young woman who’s dreamed of competing in the rodeo her whole life.
But there’s another part of Dennison’s heritage that you might not know about. Besides admitting that she messes up when she tries to speak Navajo to her grandma Annie back home, “she just shakes her head at me,” Dennison says, pledging to buy the Navajo version of Rosetta Stone; she also revealed that her maternal grandmother is Scottish.
”[It’s] awesome to represent both sides,” Dennison said about her unique clash of cultures.
Watch the clip below to hear some of the story.