Juliane is riding her way to the top


Courtesy of the Balog Family

Sophomore Juliane Balog competing with his horse Koda. Balog competes in the California Highschool Rodeo.

Mackenzie Karnig, staff writer

Sophomore Juliane Balog competes in a sport that most would never consider, which is the rodeo. Not only is she in the rodeo, but she competes in California High School Rodeo and competes in barrel rolling and pole bending. Pole bending is when Balog weaves poles and barrel rolling is when she runs around barrels while on her horses, Nike and Koda. She has not always been competing in rodeo but decided in the end that the rodeo was the right fit for her.

“I got really tired of what I was doing before, it got really boring and repetitive,” Balog said. “Before I was doing a bunch of obstacle courses and it is not fun at all. So I go really bored of that and wanted to do something that would take me somewhere instead of just doing little jumps.”

Although many think of the rodeo as horse riding and bullfighting, Balog does much more. Being in high school, she competes in the California High School rodeo with many other high school students. While she is in this rodeo, she wouldn’t be anywhere without her horses. Nike and Koda are the names of both of her horses. Both of Balog’s horses compete in different events and have been very successful alongside her own successes.

“A few weekends ago, my horse Koda ran his first 21, which is super fast for his event and then this past weekend, Nike ran the first 17 of the weekend out of three other girls which is fast for what he was competing in,” Balog said. “Also, the Lakeside rodeo just past and few weekends ago and I qualified for that which is a big deal because it is a professional rodeo.”

With her successes comes lots of training and resources. Her mom and her trainer are two people that Balog look to for support. Lots of money and time go into what Balog does and much of her time is also her mom and trainers time. To fully succeed at what she does requires a lot of hard work and effort to be the best she can be in her age group and the one person who contributes the most for Balog and her success is her trainer.

“I look up to my trainer because she did this when she was my age and she has helped my through everything,” Balog said. “She helped me get my horse Nike and literally everything else. I look up to her because she puts everything on hold in her life for me and I really admire that. Also, my mom is definitely my biggest supporter. She puts endless amount of time and patience and money into everything I do and she sacrifices a lot of her time for me.”

Riding for Balog comes with a lot of excitement and thrill. She has dedicated her life to her horses and her sport. With all the training from her trainer and all of the sacrifices her mom and family do for her, Balog is bound to have many successes. Starting at only five years old, Balog has put eleven years into the rodeo and her horses. Along with starting so young, Balog definitely wants to continue in college and in college rodeo and even become professional past college. With all of these years so far and all of her future years playing this sport, it goes to show you how dedicated Balog is to the rodeo.

“I love riding for like the adrenaline and everything like when you go into the arena and you are going full speed and winning is a big part of it,” Balog said. “The adrenaline you get after and then you kind of stuck in it la-la land for a few days after if you have a good run.