Junior Rodeo champion taking it all in stride

Anthony Dion
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Submitted Photo Sydney Surin, of Silt, maneuvers around a barrel during the 2008 Colorado Junior Rodeo in Estes Park.

SILT ” Local nine-year-old Sydney Surin of Silt, isn’t your ordinary 9-year-old. Oh, she goes to school like any other kid her age, she enjoys music and calls Taylor Swift her favorite singer and even does the girl scout thing.

What sets her apart from her peers isn’t the fact that science is her favorite subject because “I like to make new experiments,” no, what sets Sydney apart is that she is the 2008 Colorado State Junior Rodeo Champion and Rookie of the Year after winning the Colorado Junior Rodeo State Finals in mid August.

Hosted in Estes Park from August 14-17, the state rodeo finals brought together 200 junior rodeo contenders to vie for the prestigious title of Junior State Champion. Sydney prevailed as All-Around champion.

On her way to the All-Around title, Sydney won the flag racing event with three consecutive eight second runs. Then she finished first in the poles event with three 22 second runs and first in goat tying with an 11 second tie of her goat before taking her lone second place finish in the barrel racing event.

Sydney began competing in rodeo when she was just 4-years-old with the influence of her father, Dan Surin, a former rodeo competitor himself.

Becoming the junior All-Around champion was the culmination of all the hard work Sydney put in throughout this past summer and the weeks and months preceding it.

“She practices every day,” Surin said of his daughter. “She’s taking a little break now to catch up with school work but during the summer she’s working every day with contests on Saturday and Sunday and then she’s right back to riding every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.”

It may seem like a lot of hard work for a 9-year-old but Sydney enjoys it.

“I like it [doing rodeo] because of all the people there and I get to travel to new places,” Sydney said happily. “My favorite place I’ve gone is probably Hodgekiss because there’s always water fights.

“[The tournament] was good, I got to make some new friends. It was really rainy though but I’m actually better in the rain. Most people aren’t really used to it and I guess it was good for me because even though I’m not used to it either, I am good in it.”

As Sydney noted, the weather was rather lousy for the event. Temperatures hovered around 40 degrees while rain pounded the dirt course for three straight days.

Her favorite event is, “Flag racing because it’s a little difficult,” admitted Sydney. “You have to put a flag in a bucket and pull another one out and you have to go really fast. My best time is seven seconds.”

With the beginning of school, Sydney is taking a well-earned break from rodeo to, as her father notes, “focus on school.” With no winter series happening this year, Sydney doesn’t return to rodeo competitions until March. With the long break, Sydney hopes to compete in some of the other sports she enjoys to play, like basketball.

However, no matter what other activities fill the temporary void left by rodeo, the cowboy sport will remain her number one passion. Like anyone else who competes in something they love, she sets goals for herself.

“My goals are probably to get better and faster at every event,” said Sydney.

Her father couldn’t be more proud.

“It means the world to me,” Surin said. “It’s great that she found something that she loves to do and something that means a lot to her.”

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