BOZEMAN — As the Montana State University rodeo team had its fall season end a few weeks ago at an MSU-Northern event, one familiar last name shined.
“It was a family thing, we were brought up into it," said Paige Rasmussen. "I had the choice not to do it, but I loved it from the very beginning."
Her last name may sound familiar, as she’s the daughter of famous rodeo clown and PBR arena entertainer Flint Rasmussen.
“He pushes us to be better, but he also lets us choose our path," Paige said. "He doesn’t push us so hard to where we hate it. He lets us enjoy it and he really instills in us that it is a family thing and it’s something that we should enjoy.”
Despite the famous last name, Paige is making a name for herself in the rodeo world.
“I want to show that hard work beats talent and that even if you are blessed with a rodeo family, you still have to work your way up, you still have to put in the time yourself," she said.
She spends three to four hours a day practicing, and that doesn’t even include the time she spends at the gym.
“The people who take it seriously and take care of their body -- what they eat, go to the gym -- they’re definitely the ones that are on another level above everybody else because it does take so much," Paige said. "Our horses aren’t the only ones that need to be in shape.”
That hard work is paying off as Rasmussen won the all-around title at the MSU-Northern rodeo. She placed in goat tying and barrel racing.
“I was really happy with how my horses performed," she said. "It was just a fun weekend to end on. We have a really great women’s team this year. We are really looking forward to maybe contending for a national title and we have really great chemistry, we all work together, we’re always cheering each other on. To win the last (rodeo of the fall), it felt great.”
Rasmussen is majoring in psychology, where she can use some of her rodeo skills. However, instead of reading a horse, she will read the psyche of people.
“If you don’t have that bond with your horse you’re not going to have as much success," she said. "If you can kind of learn to read your horse, then they read you and that bond is very important.”