Bayleigh Choate has been the talk of the Resistol Rookie race all season long and sits within the top 10 in the WPRA, but she isn’t the only rookie that the barrel racing community has been talking about. Neither is Taycie Matthews, who is holding down a top 20 position in the world standings.
The 2022 rookie class may be one of the saltiest ProRodeo has seen in a long time, and these cowgirls are gliding up their circuit standings across the U.S. and Canada.
Standings information pulled from wpra.com as updated July 25, 2022.
The highest ranked rookie cowgirl in the Badlands Circuit is Glenfield, North Dakota’s Nicole Edland, who sits No. 21 with $1,503 won.
Ukiah, California’s Oceana Champion has been placing with the best on a consistent basis in the California Circuit. She and “Wonder Woman,” just got their first ProRodeo win in Turlock, California, on July 13 and sit No. 9 in their circuit.
Tristan Parrish finished second in St. Paul, Oregon, over the Fourth of July, winning $8,758 on one run, but she leads the circuit with $10,483 won thanks to her 7-year-old mare, Happy N Famous.
In the No. 5 spot, Chelsie Stodghill of Prineville, Oregon, has won $6,461 with consistent placings at rodeos like Sisters and Union, Oregon.
The FFC has three rookies hanging inside of the top eight in their standings. Stephanie Dyer has been consistent all season long and sits in the No. 3 position. She is seasoning her young gelding by the name of Broccoli, and lucky for Dyer, he is loving Woodstown Pilesgrove, New Jersey, commonly referred to as the Cowtown Rodeo, which is convenient for this Franklinville, New Jersey athlete. She has raked in $2,669 in 2022.
Pennsylvania’s Riley Shetron and Summer Konopinski made waves in 2021 when the young ladies turned 18 and bought their WPRA permits. They both popped up in the results sheet frequently, and even hauled together to some events. In 2021, they are looking like veterans. Shetron sits No. 6 with $2,486 won, and Konopinski is in the No. 8 spot with $1,871 earned.
Katie Chism is having a dream rookie season at the circuit level. With $16,768 won in 18 rodeos, Chism sits atop the GLC standings ahead of reigning circuit champion Kricket Gintner. Her stallion, MF Aces Famous Fling, took to the trail like a dream and hasn’t looked back. The 2017 palomino roan is a son of French Streak Of Fame and out of a daughter of the great Frenchman’s Guy.
Jennifer Neudorf has been relentless in Alberta, her home province. She won Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, and has placed consistently at rodeos like Leduc and Ponoka. Neudorf leads the Maple Leaf Circuit with $11,623 in just 10 rodeos—a nearly $3,000 lead on the rest of the pack. Not only is Neudorf an accomplished barrel racer, she is a notorious name in the reining arena and had an impressive youth career in the National Reining Horse Association.
Manchi Nice sits No. 16 in the Montana Circuit standings with $1,298.18 won in just four rodeos. She is the only rookie currently inside the top 25 in the standings.
With names in the standings like Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Ivy Saebens and Shali Lord, the Mountain States Circuit is dirty tough. One rookie is hanging in the hunt, and that is Kelby Eastman. The Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, cowgirl is currently No. 14 in the standings with $1,867.
The Prairie Circuit rookies are on the outside looking in. Hydro, Oklahoma’s Kallie Gates sits No. 16 with $2,567, and Choctaw, Oklahoma’s Shanna Simmons is seated No. 20 with $1,835.
The Southeastern Circuit is home to two of the toughest rookies in the race: Presley Smith of Denham Springs, Louisiana, and Taycie Matthews of Wynne, Arkansas. Smith sits No. 2 with $14,697, and Matthews is No. 5 with $10,400. Both cowgirls have traveled West for the summer, but appear to have circuit finals all but secured due to the concentration of Southeastern rodeos taking place early in the season.
- Presley Smith, Jerry McGuire and Optimus Prime are ProRodeo Summer Run Bound.
- Taycie Matthews Captures Round 1 Win at Greeley Stampede
Texas, much like Southeastern, holds two of the saltiest rookies in the game. Bayleigh Choate is currently chasing an NFR qualification in the West, but she won $11,784 at the circuit level before she headed out. Choate is in the No. 7 position in the Texas Circuit standings. Jamie Olsen is on her heels at No. 8 with $11,144 in earnings.
Turquoise is the fourth circuit of 13 to have a rookie sitting numero uno. Kaylee Murdock of Litchfield Park, Arizona, has won $10,843 on her mares “Sherlock,” and “Paris,” and has the lead in the circuit by around $200.
Jillette Atkinson of Murray, Utah, sits No. 5 in the Wilderness Circuit with $6,645. She has played at big rodeos like West Jordan, Utah, and came out ahead. In the No. 11 spot sits McKenna Coronado, who just got her first ProRodeo win in Nephi, Utah, a few weeks ago aboard “Trash.”