Archives for September 2010

Kylie Whiteside

Final Rodeos Underway

September marks a slow-down in the rodeo season for several rodeo and barrel racing associations, the Canadian Professional Rodeo Assoc. among them. Okotoks Pro Rodeo and Merritt, BC, two regular Sept long-weekend stops on the pro rodeo trail, provided several contestants with much needed money late in the season… a crucial time of year when it comes to determining the 2010 Canadian Finals Rodeo roster. Tara Muldoon earned top spot at this year’s Okotoks Rodeo with the Merritt title going to Lauren Chad.

The Armstrong Pro Rodeo – traditionally one of the pivotal competitions due to the amount of added money and the fact it runs close to the end of the regular season – was available this year to only a limited number of rodeo athletes. The venue served as the Wrangler Tour Finale… and was open to the top 24 tour finalists in all events.

With a number of other rodeos in both Canada and the U.S. also slated for the Sept long weekend, organizers had to move fairly far down the roster in some events to fill the requisite 12 spots.

Set up in two ‘two-day’ Pools with 12 contestants in each, the top 10 money earners moved onto a Final go-round Sunday, Sept 5. The top two finishers in the finals earned automatic qualifications to the 2011 Calgary Stampede. As well, all monies earned by Tour Finale contenders counts toward this year’s Canadian Finals.

In the ladies barrel racing at Armstrong, Rana Koopmans (Lethbridge, AB) and Julie Leggett (Kamloops, BC) earned the top two spots. Koopmans was 16.73 seconds in the final round and Leggett was just behind her with a time of 16.78 seconds.

The other critical weekend for pro Canadian rodeo athletes (including barrel racers) is happening right now (Sept 24-26) at Hanna, AB and McCord, SK – the final two regular rodeos of the 2010 season. In several events, it will be a ‘fight to the finish’ to determine this year’s 12 CFR finalists. In the barrel racing event, Oklahoma cowgirl Sherrylynn Johnson is pulling out all the stops in an effort to try and make both the NFR and the CFR. Johnson has hauled many miles this year, some of them on her own, in her attempt to earn a first-time berth at the CFR. I enjoyed one story in particular where the vivacious Johnson recounted her efforts to get to the Morris, MB Stampede in late July this year. Airline difficulties in Vegas resulted in a late flight to Winnipeg for the Oklahoma cowgirl… who had been hoping to meet up with her calf roper husband, Mike Johnson, at the Winnipeg Airport for the last leg of the journey to the Morris Stampede. Frantic phone calls and text messages between the husband and wife finally ended up with Mike Johnson arriving first on a different flight, renting a car and setting out for Morris. Sherrylynn, arriving a few minutes later, headed to the same rental car company, secured another car and set out for Morris. Worried about missing the barrel race altogether, Johnson somehow managed to chang into her rodeo clothes while driving and called ahead to have friends saddle and warm her horse up. As she roared into the Morris Stampede infield sometime later, Sherrylynn, seeing the contestant right before her already in the arena, realized that the barrel race was underway. In an effort to prevent being flagged out, the determined barrel racer drove her car right into the arena alley. She was able to re-group slightly and leap from her car to her horse. As she headed into the arena for her run, her horse started bucking… it took a few minutes to note that the treeless saddle belonging to a friend (now on Sherrylynn’s horse) was likely the cause. Needless to say, despite her best efforts and the ‘planes, trains and automobiles’ involved in helping her reach her destination, Sherrylynn was not destined to make any money at the 2010 Morris Stampede. At that point, all she could do was kick back and laugh!

Johnson is not unique when it comes to making the miles, financial commitment and overall effort it takes to try to qualify for the CFR. Many contestants (and their friends and families) set aside other priorities in the quest for a finals qualification. Daysland, AB barrel racer Crystal Shaw is another barrel racer/trainer who changed her priorities this year when she realized she had a chance at the CFR. Colt training and outside horses took a bit of a back seat to entering, getting set up right, overcoming truck breakdowns and making the miles – all of which have paid off for the veteran cowgirl who was sitting in 8th spot going into the final weekend.

As of Sept 23, the CPRA barrel racing standings looked like this:
1 Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD (16) $28,187
2 Rana Koopmans, Lethbridge, AB (40) 25,293
3 Lindsay Sears, Nanton, AB (16) 22,201
4 Britany Fleck, Mandan, ND (17) 21,278
5 Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, TX (6) 19,290
6 Lauren Chad, Okotoks, AB (36) 18,280
7 Joleen Seitz, Savona, BC (38) 18,033
8 Crystal Shaw, Daysland, AB (42) 17,425
9 Debbie Renger, Okotoks, AB (37) 17,376
10 Benette Barrington, Lubbock, TX (17) 17,009
11 Casey Crandall, Ponoka, AB (38) 16,794
12 Sierra Stoney, DeWinton, AB (16) 16,762
13 Ramona Nash, Drayton Valley, AB (41) 14,895
14 Sherrylynn Johnson, Henryetta, OK (17) 14,643

And courtesy of CPRA barrel racing director, Randa Nugent, here are the McCord barrel racing results for McCord and an update from Hanna with one performance to go:

2010 Unofficial McCord Rodeo results:
1. Sherrylynn Johnson – 12.43, 2. Melissa Thiessen – 12.61, 3. Skyler Mantler – 12.69, 4. Sharyl Malin – 12.71, 5. Rebecca Beebe – 12.72, 6. Cora Guest 0 12.77

An update from Hanna with one perf to go:
1. Casey Crandall – 12.93, 2. Crystal Shaw – 13.00, 3. Haley Keenan – 13.09, 4. Steffanie Mather – 13.11, 5. Melissa Thiessen 13.12, 6. Rebecca Beebe – 13.16, 7. Skyler Mantler – 13.28, 8. Lynette Brodoway – 13.30

A few other rodeo associations have completed not only their regular season, but also their finals.

The Lakeland Rodeo Assoc. Finals ran Sept 2-5 in St Paul, AB with Ruby Braconnier winning the Ladies Barrels and Rene LeClercq the junior title.

Both the BC Rodeo Assoc. and the Wild Rose Rodeo Assoc. held their Finals two weeks later on the Sept 17-19 weekend. The 2010 WRA Ladies Barrel Racing Champion is Dixie Dyer from Fort St John, BC. The BCRA Champion for this year has yet to be posted online – TBA in The Barrel Patch.

Still to come are the FCA Finals… slated for the Thanksgiving weekend in Red Deer, AB; the Manitoba Rodeo Assoc. Finals set for Brandon, MB Oct 21-23 and the CCA Finals which will run Nov 24-27 in Regina, SK as part of Agribition.

Double Dollar Finals


September 9, 2010 was a cloudy, windy day in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. But the weather couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the barrel racers who had travelled to the Associated Arena to compete for their share of $10,000 in added money along with prizes such as saddles, tires, buckles and much more.

The Double Dollar Barrel Racing Association is relatively new to the barrel racing world, but it has a unique format that is creating excitement. In the 2009-2010 season there were 5 host arenas each holding 8 qualifying races. For the open category points are awarded to the top 6 places in each division and the top 6 point earning horse and rider combinations from each host arena are invited to the finals, to compete only in the division they qualified in. There are 2 go-rounds at the finals with a cash payout to the top 3 fast times in each go-round, but the lions share of the money and the amazing prizes are awarded to the average champions in each division.

The 1st go-round running order is a random draw and 2nd go-round starts with the no times and works up to the fastest time from the first round to declare the champions. This creates an awesome level of excitement for the spectators as well as the riders, as the exact running time needed to move into the lead are announced before each run and the arena is filled with energy.

The Barrel Patch guest blogger Kristin York and Wildman compete at the Double Dollar Finals.

Terry, Faith and Paeden Schueler are no strangers to hosting large barrel racing events, and the facility and ground provided for the finals contestants was outstanding. The previous arena record of 14.221 held by Rylee McKenzie was shattered by this years 1D champion Wacey Hollingsworth with a smoking run of 14.095. Despite the wet, soggy weather for the warm-up jackpot and time-only’s the previous day, an amazing crew of organizers and volunteers came together to produce and great and memorable finals for everyone involved.

Tyler Bachelor is the founder of Double Dollar Barrel Races and more information can be found online at

B.C. Barrel Racing


Ginelle Talarico on Wrangler, Go 3 Open 1D winner at BCBRA Finals. Photo by Bernie Hudyma.

Williams Lake, British Columbia hosted the exciting 2010 B.C. Barrel Racing Association Finals and WOW, the fast times just kept getting faster.  Maria Schurian won the first go round open1D with a fast time of 16.902, Kirsty DeRose was the open 1D winner for go two with a time of 16.516 and Ginelle Talarico blew the socks off everyone on Sunday with a smokin run of 16.290 in the open!

Go two open 1D winner, Kirsty DeRose on Gump. Photo by Bernie Hudyma.

With approximately 350 entries running in three goes and $15,250.00 in added money, it was a barrel racing marathon weekend with lots of fast paced action.

Melanie Beeton, Open 1D Average Winner & Judy Hyde, Senior 1D Average Winner. Photo by Bernie Hudyma.

Melanie Beeton riding Ima Gas Bar, was the Open1D average winner, Allie Sorenson riding Simmy, was the Junior 1D average winner, Judy Hyde on Kit was the Senior 1D average winner and Ricki-Lynne Laviolette on Dee was the PeeWee 1D average winner.

Go one open 1D winner, Maria Schurian on Mitobility. Photo by Bernie Hudyma.

Bernie Hudyma took a mind-boggling 22,262 photos over the three day Finals!  That’s dedication for you! Thanks so much Bernie, for the photos for this post!

Hope all you barrel racers enjoyed the 2010 Finals, I sure did.

~ Melissa Sword