ver since Ahnna Peterson could walk, she's been around rodeo.
Before Peterson turned one, her older sister, Kirsten, got a horse and took up the sport. When Ahnna turned four, she got her start.
The 17-year-old Velva native is in Rock Springs, Wyo., to take part in her third National High School Rodeo Finals, which begins today. In junior high, she twice competed for titles in breakaway roping, ribbon roping and pole bending.
Velva’s Ahnna Peterson guides her horse, Commander, around a barrel during the state rodeo in Bowman.
Peterson will focus solely on barrel racing this time around, trying to lead her 11-year-old horse, Commander, around a series of barrels arranged in a clover-leaf pattern.
Commander suffered a leg injury to the suspensory ligament in a June event, but Peterson expects him to be ready for the competition.
Peterson, a high school senior, said while there is a lack of participation in the sport in her hometown, she still gets her share of local supporters at most of her events.
"Velva is a whatever town," Peterson said. "You do whatever you want. There's a lot of farm people there, but not a lot of rodeo people. So they come out and they think it's interesting."
Peterson plays basketball and volleyball at Velva High School and said that while they have their differences in comparison to rodeo, there is one similarity to be drawn.
"I like both. Team sports, if you're down they always pick you up. In rodeo, it's kind of a team - just you and your horse."