Photo courtesy of Casera Silva. ……

This isn’t her first rodeo, but it’s the first one she put on! 

Casera Silva, a newly high school graduate from Kaua’i, decided to create and put on her own rodeo after rodeoing herself for 13 years. Her school required seniors to complete a community project. 

The Start

“You choose your topic in the beginning of the new year (January) and work throughout the spring semester to complete it and prepare for what we call a senior “Hoike” day, where we actually go out on the front lawn of our school and be graded by community members, faculty, teachers and students. My partner Kiyana Kanoho and I wanted to create a project based on something we love and would enjoy completing,” explains Silva. 

Photo courtesy of Casera Silva

It took five months of planning. The two split the work where her partner would focus on finding the stock contractors and Silva would find sponsors. By the end of their project, Silva was able to “rack up $4,000 in sponsorships for the rodeo, which paid the cost for all the prizes (including a high point champion saddle!).” 

Then, she said it was just “making sure all the school work for the project was completed, making sure we had enough helpers to work at the arena, and soon just simply putting on the rodeo.” 

The Rodeo

On the day of the rodeo, Silva said her favorite part was “seeing the contestants compete in the events itself.” 

Photo courtesy of Casera Silva

“All four events were completely open, no matter if you were a male or female, so many of the guys came out and entered everything to win the saddle, even the barrel racing and pole bending! It was so funny to see the guys battle it out against each other and realize how hard it actually is to do the girls’ events, including the breakaway! The contestants took the day to actually put fun into competition, and simply enjoy the cause that they were supporting. It ran so smoothly because of this,” further explains Silva. 

Photo courtesy of Casera Silva

The Close

They had two requirements for the project. First they “were not allowed to profit any money from the rodeo” and the second was the “project had to be within the pathway you were in during your time in high school.” Silva’s pathway was the school’s Health Pathway and her partner’s was Natural Resources. 

“I got the idea to incorporate donating the money somewhere in the healthcare field for my part of the project, and my partner related the project to her end by researching ways that contestants could keep their performance horses healthy for the rodeo. With COVID-19 being a big thing here in Hawaii, it has taken a huge toll on our healthcare workers, as we have very limited sources compared to other states. We decided to donate the money to a hospital here on Kauai to help support and provide COVID relief to frontline healthcare workers.”

Photo courtesy of Casera Silva

At the end of the day, they “were able to fundraise a total of $4,000 to give back to the Wilcox Health Foundation here on Kaua’i.” They named their rodeo, “Kickin Corona Benefit Rodeo” because of this! 

The Future

This won’t be the last rodeo Casera Silva puts on in her lifetime! 

Photo courtesy of Casera Silva

“I definitely do want to create more rodeos after this! Learning how to run a whole rodeo by yourself at the age of 17 is definitely a challenge itself, but it has taught me so much life and business skills that I will use in the future, including the future rodeos I want [to] create and put on,” comments Silva.

In the end, “I am so grateful that I was able to put on such a successful event for a great cause, and I truly hope that future rodeo athletes from my school carry on this project.”