The cowgirl that took the big win at Edmonton, AB was able to share her rodeo adventures with us in between her busy rodeo schedule!
Hometown: I grew up in Vale, SD, but now live in Dickinson, ND.
Greatest accomplishment: My greatest accomplishment is (without a doubt) my 17-month-old, Elsie Rose Hansen.
What buckle do you wear? I alternate between my 2017 Badlands Circuit Average Championship buckle and my 2011 Pendleton Roundup Champion buckle.
What is your favorite snack to eat while driving? I'm not much of a snacker, unless it's a late-night drive. In that case, salt and vinegar chips are my go to.
How do you prepare for the different arenas? I like to get a look at the arena before the rodeo starts and try to formulate a game plan. I try to keep things simple and make adjustments through the run if needed. In other words, I wing it!
Favorite rodeo so far this year? My favorite rodeo this year would be Edmonton of course!
Craziest thing that has happened while you were on the rodeo trail? We were driving through the forest to the Jasper (Alberta) rodeo, looking for this "huge sign" that everyone told us would be there to direct us where to turn. The rodeo grounds were very hard to see as it sits so far back in the trees, and the entrance is a very small along a narrow gravel road. Wellllllll, the sign just happened to blow down, we missed the turn, and ended up at the entrance to the Jasper Sky Tram!! Thankfully, a very nice Canadian helped us get turned around at the top of the mountain so we didn't have to back down all the way down. It was a long way up there! It's funny now, but I was pretty freaked out at the time. Oh, and the committee got the sign back up by the time we made it back down the mountain.
How many horses are you traveling with? I've switched horses in and out of the trailer throughout the season, but "Sky High Guy" is in there 95% of the time. My sorrel mare "HH Mia Hamm" typically always goes also, as my husband ropes on her and I run her quite frequently. I've been very lucky to have my friend Hope (Sickler) Raley's mare "Famous French Flair" in the trailer, and my other young horse "Cowboys N Ladies." I'm not tough enough to take them all at once so usually just 2 or 3 go with at a time.
What was it like winning Edmonton, AB for over $10k!? Sooo very exciting! I was so proud of my horse Sky. He always seems to come through when we really need it!
If you could describe this rodeo year in one word what would it be? Surprising
Sponsors/ people you want to thank: I have the most wonderful and supportive family. None of this would be possible without them! My husband Alfred encourages me to go and really takes care of basically everything- shoeing my horses, putting up hay, fixing things I break, etc. I'm incredibly spoiled! My parents (Darrell and Jan Steffes) and Alfred's parents (Bob and Rose Hansen) help with Elsie and take care of our responsibilities so we can go to a few rodeos. It's a huge team effort!
My sponsors: The Panhandle Team (Rock & Roll Cowgirl/Rock & Roll Denim) & TechMix Equine. They have stuck with me many years, and I am so incredibly thankful for them!
As of 8/6/18 Nikki is sitting 19th in the WPRA World Standings with $55,165.88 won and running at 50 rodeos. Congrats on such a big win and best of luck the remainder of the year!
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