Meet Horse Trainer and Rising Rodeo Player Beau Peterson

At 23 years old, Beau Peterson has already competed in an NFBR and made a name for herself in the breakaway futurity pen.

Beau Peterson finished No. 3 at the Greeley Stampede
Beau Peterson finished No. 3 at the Greeley Stampede. Photo by Tanya Hamner.

Recent college graduate Beau Peterson is ready to juggle horse training and full-time ProRodeo competition.

In August 2023, Peterson swept the breakaway futurity podium at the Royal Crown in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Her 2023 ProRodeo season included top finishes at events such as the Greeley Stampede and the Reno Rodeo, rounding up a total of $53,095 for the year. In 2022, she qualified for the NFBR, finishing the year with $69,907 in earnings.

Peterson—originally from Council Grove, Kansas—has a lot on her plate, riding and working with world-class ropers Shane and Taylor Hanchey, bringing up young horses and campaigning on the rodeo road.

A day in the life with Beau Peterson

Peterson graduated from Oklahoma Panhandle University in May of 2022 with a degree in biology. Throughout junior and high school rodeo she goat tied and breakaway roped, and eventually picked up barrels and poles. Breakaway was always her favorite, though.

“All throughout college, I always had some young horses going for the breakaway,” Peterson, 23, said. “That’s my main deal; it’s something I’m very passionate about. I love training horses for the breakaway.”

Now, Peterson rides anywhere from five to 15 horses a day at the Hancheys’ facility in South Texas.

“There are lots of young ones to be ridden and roped on, and they let me ride some of their made horses, too,” Peterson said. “They help me out, and I help them.”

Peterson is hoping to ProRodeo even harder in 2024 to qualify for her second NFBR, then spend the winter training horses.

“My goals include winning the world, but winning Horse of the Year would be amazing. That’s a big dream I have. Being a trainer, Horse of the Year is a huge honor.” – Beau Peterson

Balancing training and rodeo

It’s difficult to balance training young horses and ProRodeo at the same time; young horses often end up sidelined for months during peak rodeo season, which can slow down training progress. Peterson is hopeful she can make it work, though.

“I think I’m finding a balance where I can do winter rodeos, and then train horses down South. I try to keep a balance of training the young ones and keeping them coming through the ranks, while keeping myself sharp for the rodeos.”

When it comes to developing mindsets for training and ProRodeo, Peterson says they’re two different beasts. At local jackpots, her focus is 100% fixed on her green horses and making sure they have a good experience.

“As much as I want to win that jackpot and do good, I also want to set my horse up for success to do well down the road,” Peterson said. “One jackpot is going to be a building block. I am going to be there at least 30 minutes before it starts, getting them in the box, getting them familiar with the area and piddling around before I even ask them to make a run.”

When it comes to rodeo, however, Peterson is wholly focused on herself. She knows her horses know their job, so it’s Peterson’s time to study calves, the start and what time it’s going to take to cut a check.

Beau Peterson’s horse string

Peterson’s main mounts are mare “Missy” and gelding “Clank.” Missy is 9 years old, and Peterson bought her when she was 4 and being used to heel on.

“I turned her into a breakaway horse and actually tied goats off her a little bit,” Peterson said. “She’s been pretty awesome; I am looking forward to breeding her and getting some babies out of her. She has the speed. She is so quick and is good in any setup. She tries in any situation.”

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Clank is a 6-year-old that Peterson purchased about two years ago.

“He was also a heel horse—I bought him from a friend in Oklahoma,” Peterson said. “He’s been so easy from the moment I bought him. I haul him to rodeos and jackpots and he acts like an old, seasoned veteran. I think that’s pretty special. He’s so level-headed, doesn’t get worked up and says ‘OK, let’s do it’ to everything I throw at him.”

Fueling the rope horse

Peterson works with ADM Animal Nutrition to keep her rodeo horses and prospects looking good. Her favorite products are the SENIORGLO® grain and GROSTRONG® Pro-Vita-Min (20-5) tub.

“The SENIORGLO® grain is what all my horses get,” Peterson said. “They stay looking good on the road with it. Some horses lose weight on the road, but I have yet to have that issue. At home, they’re kicked out in the pasture and love their mineral tub.”

Breakaway fans can expect to see Peterson on the road more in 2024, both in the futurity and ProRodeo arenas.

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