Rider barrels through competition


Presley Kalin

Junior Jocelyn Dolsen on her family farm in South Range, WI, working with her horse Ruby on stretches to help her legs and to better her health.

By Presley Kalin

Junior Jocelyn Dolsen and her partner Johnny the horse took third place this summer in the Penit, a riding competition. Dolsen rides horses competitively all around Wisconsin and Minnesota and hopes to continue competing in Summer 2022. 

For the Penit barrel race, there is one barrel in the arena. There is a bucket of sand on top with a flag in it, and riders are given a separate flag at the start of the course. They have to get down to the barrel, and as they turn around the barrel, they switch out the flag on the top and return to the start. Dolsen does other events with barrels, too, such as barrel racing, where the horse and the person riding the horse try to complete a course involving barrels in the fastest time possible. 

Dolsen’s parents are encouraging of her horse riding.

“[My favorite memory is Jocelyn] riding Ruby in the horse show in Hayward and second, watching her the first time barrel racing in the Superior rodeo,” Dolsen’s mother Michelle Dolsen said.

Jocelyn is hoping to continue her horseback riding in the future as a career. She hopes to get to more shows this year, and hopes to get a new horse that she can train and work with for a long time. 

“Hopefully if I get a new horse, I could get a good, solid barrel run put together and go to more local shows, and test the waters a little bit.” Jocelyn said.

As Jocelyn competes, she focuses on her one-on-one connection with the horse before she goes out and competes with them. She makes sure they are comfortable and able to work with her. 

“They take care of me, so I’m gonna take care of them,” Jocelyn said.

With all the work she is doing with her horses she also has other responsibilities. Jocelyn works hard at school and tries her best to manage the things that matter to her the most. 

“Jocelyn is the kind of student that I really like, that I can joke around and have fun with before class starts. When we get started, she is serious and does very well,” science teacher Donald Polkinghorne said. “She has the right personality, is serious when she needs to, but then knows when to have fun.”