- Associated Press - Sunday, August 10, 2014

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) - Taylor and Rickie Engesser of Spearfish have won numerous rodeo crowns over the years, including championships at the high school and college levels. That’s only a small part of the relationship the pair shares.

Rickie and Taylor are not only sisters, they’re best friends. They help each other in practices and during competitions, support one another, and cheer for each other, the Black Hills Pioneer (http://bit.ly/USo4qa ) reported.

“Without her, I probably wouldn’t have been where I am today,” Rickie said of Taylor. “I wanted to work just as hard as her.”

Taylor said of Rickie, “She’s like my best friend, and I always want to hang out with her. I don’t know what I would do without her.”

Both started riding on bucking riggings at a young age to get the feel for a horse.

Their father Shorty grew up on a ranch and competed in team roping and other events. Their mother Punky videotapes the performances, records times and figures where the riders are in the average.

Taylor and Rickie rode Rowdy to barrel racing titles on the same weekend. Taylor earned the College National Finals Rodeo title on June 21; Rickie clinched the South Dakota high school state title the next day.

At the CNFR, Taylor ran the short go-round in 13.58 seconds. That helped her finish four go-rounds in a total time of 55.78 seconds for the top spot.

Rickie finished her high school finals short go-round in 17.486 seconds. That was good for nine standings points and allowed her to finish with 84 points and the state title.

Taylor and Rickie shared one other common trait that weekend. Both rode the 19-year-old horse Rowdy.

Shorty recalled the draw for their order of competition worked in the family’s favor. Taylor’s go-rounds were Thursday and Saturday night, with Rickie running on Friday night and Saturday morning, as well as Sunday. Punky transported Rowdy on two round trips from Gillette to Belle Fourche during that weekend.

“We were pretty blessed to be able to draw the same horse,” Shorty said. “It would never have worked out otherwise.”

“Rowdy was ready,” Punky said. “He ran tougher as time went on and loved the excitement of the CNFR.”

Rickie and Taylor couldn’t ride Rowdy when he was 5 or 6 years old. The family tried several horses and needed one for barrel racing after they lost a few a couple of years ago.

The Engessers purchased Rowdy 15 years ago and have ridden him in competition for eight years. “He’s been there for a long time; we’ve just never given him the chance,” Taylor said.

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