Nikki Steffes, barrel racing
Nikki Steffes, barrel racing
Steve Jansen

Cowboy Diaries: Nikki Steffes -- Future Dentist?

True cowboys are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Each day, Hair Balls will spotlight one person with enough dirt on his boots to call himself a cowboy -- and mean it.

Name: Nikki Steffes Age: 24 Hometown: Vail, South Dakota Event: Barrel Racing

I've been barrel racing since I was five.

My favorite part about rodeoing is the competition. There's so many great horses and great riders and it's just anybody's game any day.

This is my first time at the Houston Rodeo.

When I'm not rodeoing, I like to spend time on my family's ranch in western South Dakota and help out with the cattle. But mostly my life is all about rodeo.

If I wasn't rodeoing, well, I might become a dentist. I've been accepted into dental school at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and I was supposed to start last fall, but I deferred for a year so I'm supposed to start this fall.

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