Cadence Magnuson was just a little girl when she fell in love with horses and barrel racing. She got her first horse at the age of 5 in what her dad, Chad Magnuson, calls a weak dad moment.

“My wife and I are not horse people, but we had this 5-year-old just begging us for a horse,” Chad said with a laugh. “Well, here we are.”

Cadence’s love for barrel racing ignited quickly—she started in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association, where she competed for a year before transitioning her sole focus to barrel racing. Chad says they have been blessed to receive guidance from others with more experience in the barrel racing industry.

“She has become a great rider,” Chad shared. “There have been a lot of people who have been influential, and we have had a lot of trainers we’ve worked with tell us we need to nurture [Cadence’s] talent.”

In 2019, Cadence was among the top 10 in her local barrel racing association points standings when the gelding her family recently purchased tripped during exhibitions and injured his hock.

“We didn’t know what to do,” Chad said. “We had been going to Bogie Webb’s for some barrel races, so we asked him if he had anything Cadence could ride so she could get her points.”

As it turned out, Webb did have a horse for Cadence to ride—2013 mare BW Dashin N Cashin. Cadence ran “Cici” at one of Webb’s events, and the two seemed to fit each other immediately.

“They went out and won the whole dang thing,” Chad recalled. “We weren’t really looking to buy a horse of that caliber, but everything just fell into place.”

Even with their early success, not everything came easily for Cadence and Cici. Cadence says they went through a tough season of tipping barrels in 2021, but the 15-year-old cowgirl from McCook, Nebraska, doubled down and came out on the other side. She also learned a valuable lesson about working through the tough times.

“I learned to stay positive and keep working at it,” Cadence shared. “No matter how frustrated you get, it will get better. Frustration doesn’t help anything—try to stay positive through it all and work with your horse.” 

Cadence’s dedication and positivity have paid off, as evidenced by her win at the Battle in the Saddle Barrel Race at Kiplinger Arena in McCook, Nebraska, from June 24–26. Cadence and Cici clocked a 15.395 and a 15.256, respectively, to place second and first in two go-rounds. The pair also won the Open 1D average and turned in the fastest time of the weekend—Sunday’s 15.256.

Chad and Cadence agree they owe much of Cadence’s success to two women who have offered ongoing support and guidance—Cindy Besser and Tanya Fey. Fey, affectionately known as Cadence’s rodeo mom, passed away as the result of a horse accident in 2021.

“Cindy helps with nutritional suggestions for the horses and overall encouragement for Cadence,” Chad explained. “Tanya was always the voice of reason when things weren’t going well. She was always there to help.”

Cadence says her other inspiration is professional barrel racer Sherry Cervi.

“I admire her a lot,” Cadence shared. “Attending the Sherry Cervi Youth Championships is definitely an annual highlight.”

Cadence thanks her sponsors Roasted to Perfection, Equine Natural Care, Lawson Equine, Delicious Horse Treats and Triangle Cross.

Battle in the Saddle Open Average Results

1D—Cadence Magnuson, BW Dashin N Cashin, 30.641 (15.395, 15.246)

2D—Debbie Pate, Creditthefirefighter, 31.686 (15.728, 15.958)

3D—Jamie Hansen, Nick Streaking Fire, 32.650 (16.482, 16.168)

4D—Alex Beard, Ole Tics Cat Lady, 33.648 (16.709,16.939)

5D—Tracie Hacket, ThreeK High On Cash, 34.676 (17.162, 17.514)

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