Mackenzie (left) and Hannah Griffin compete in barrel racing at the Cody Nite Rodeo.

(Editor’s note: Regulars at the Cody Nite Rodeo this summer will be featured every Thursday.)

Hannah and Mackenzie Griffin

Barrel racers

Sometimes rodeo runs in the family. Hannah, 17, and Mackenzie Griffin, 13, race in the open barrels, usually for older riders. The Montana girls have only a short drive to Cody from their Belfry home.

Cody Enterprise: How many years have you been racing?

Hannah Griffin: A lot. Since I was 10, maybe.

Mackenzie Griffin: 8 years, maybe.

CE: How did you get into barrel racing?

HG: My parents didn’t like rodeo or anything. We just kind of met people that did it, got a horse and it kind of went from there I guess.

CE: What is it like being to able to compete with your sister?

MG: Sometimes it’s like we’re happy for each other. It’s more of, “I hope you do good.” It’s good competition, being sisters against each other.

CE: Do you rub it in her face when you beat her?

MG: Sometimes! Every once in a while.

CE: What made you want to come to the Cody rodeo?

HG: I really like the atmosphere of it. Being here is super fun. Bringing all my family.

CE: Before you event, do you have any rituals or superstitions?

HG: I like to go stand by myself, just for the mental part and to stay calm. That way it keeps her (the horse) calm.

MG: I just have a nice, clean mindset about what’s going to happen. I pray that nothing bad happens and just do my best.

CE: Do you get nervous before you out there?

HG: Yeah.

MG: I definitely get nervous, especially since I’m so much younger than everyone else.

CE: How do you deal with that?

HG: I try not to think about it too much. I try to take my mind off of it and focus on the race.

MG: I just try to do my best with the competition I have.

CE: When the Nite Rodeo ends for the season, what are you going to do?

HG: I will still do high school rodeo in Montana.

MG: I do junior high rodeo alongside my sister in high school.

CE: Final question, what’s your favorite rodeo memory?

HG: Oh man. I don’t think I have one favorite. Probably coming to this or in high school rodeos, just hanging out with friends.

MG: This one night, we tried to find a corn maze and ended up getting lost for like an hour. That was pretty fun.

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