Rachel Oakes

Based in Western Australia, Rachel is recognised as one of Australia’s up and coming professional Breakaway Ropers. At just 18 years of age, Rachel holds numerous National titles and proves she is a consistent competitor in the WA Rodeo Circuit!
2019 Harvey Dickson Rodeo (Miss K Photography)
Tell us about how you got into Horse Riding? Were you straight into Rodeo?
I didn't grow up into a Rodeo family, but I got exposed to it at a pretty young age through friends. I had people around me that I looked up to who Rodeoed and I was riding often, so I never looked back after I got my first pony and entered up at my first show! 
Tell us about your Rodeoing Career to date!
My Rodeo career has grown in a way i could not have imagined when I started and I have had success quicker than i expected, but I also think you only get out what you put in and I put in as much as I possibly can! 
I started Rodeoing around 2013, qualified for my first finals in 2015 and I won my first state title in 2016. From there on I have strived to become better each season and have had countless amounts of success thanks to my supporters, mentors and horses. 
What is your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement to date would have to be my two Australian titles I won in 2019 which was the Australian Junior Breakaway Roping Champion and Australian Rookie All Round Champion. 
2019 ABCRA National Finals Rodeo 
Tell us about your horses!
Many horses in my past have brought me success but the two I have at the moment would have to be without a doubt the best team I have ever had! My rope horse Cowboy is 9 years old this year and we purchased him in 2017. He had been broken in but did not have much exposure under him, especially when it came to the rodeo world. 
I had never trained up or 'made' my own horse before, therefore this horse has taught me more than I could ever have imagined and has made me love the process of making them, which I hope I can do more of in the future. It hasn't been easy but he has accomplished a lot in his short career! I am grateful for the process and also thankful that I didn't give up. 
He is now in his second year of Rodeoing and I am proud of the horse he is, although there is always things we are improving on.
2020 West Coast Team Roping Association 
My barrel racing horse Red is 17 years young and belongs to April Thompson who I can't thank enough for entrusting me with him. He is the biggest blessing, gives an honest run every time and tries his heart out for me. He has his quirks but I love him to bits and will forever be grateful to be mounted on such an amazing athlete
2020 Harvey Dickson Rodeo (Rick Henderson Photography)
How do you prepare for a Rodeo?
I am particular and pedantic when it comes to my routine for a Rodeo which my friends and family probably find unnecessary LOL but being organized means I can practice more and keep my focus on success and not on rushing around! 
I plan out my week and my horses schedule before a show and make sure there is no excuse for poor performance. Once I get to the show I make sure I am well prepared and that everything is organized so we can focus on the job we are there to do. I have a few little rituals and routines that I do no matter what at a show, and although I don't like to think that I believe in superstitions as such, I do complete these small routines before I compete that make me feel like I am ready and focused. 
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
I have received so much advice over the years and I am privelaged to have met and been around some very successful and knowledgable people. I could not pin point one piece of advice, but a few people I admire have told me that consistency is key and consistent is something I strive to be and something I truly believe separates the good from the great! 
2019 Harvey Dickson Rodeo (Miss K Photography)
If you could give a new Rodeo comer some advice what would it be?
You can't cheat the grind, so put in the effort because you only get out what you put in. 
Horsemanship is key and a lot of people overlook it but there is so much to learn and if the biggest part of your future goals and aspirations don't directly involve your horse and they are not your main focus, then you are letting the partnership down. Developing a good mindset is a major key to success and its something we will all be forever working on, so be positive, be happy and surround yourself with people who inspire you to never quit! 
2020 ABHA WA State Championships (Christie Lyn Photography) 
Achievements to date: 
2020 ABHA WA Junior State Champion 
2020 ABCRA WA Junior All Round Cowgirl
2020 ABCRA WA Junior Breakaway title
2019 ABCRA Australian Rookie All Round Cowgirl 
2019 ABCRA Australian Junior Breakaway Title 
2019 WA ABCRA Junior Breakaway Title 
2019 WA ABCRA Rookie All Round Cowgirl 
2017 WA ABCRA Junior All Round Cowgirl
2016 WA ABCRA 11-14 Junior Barrel Racing Title  
     Want to follow Rachel's journey? 
    Instagram @racheloakes_

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