The barrel racers brought the heat on the morning of May 19 inside Cowtown Coliseum to close out the preliminary round of competition at the 2023 Women’s Rodeo World Championship.
Here’s who cashed in during the rounds, the aggregate, and who made it through to the Semifinals on May 19 at 7:30 p.m. CST.
Pro Division: Blue Duck and Wimberley Dominate
Round 2 was red hot. When the dust settled, it was NFR qualifier Cheyenne Wimberley and her 6-year-old blue roan gelding, Fast Flingin Dash, turned in times of 13.414 and 13.302, respectively, in each round to win the aggregate and punch her ticket to the Semifinals round with a time of 26.716 on two.
“Blue Duck” is Wimberley’s second foal out of Dash Ta Suz, “Smooch,” who she’s had great success on in the ProRodeo arena. Wimberley looked to standout stallion A Streak of Fling to cross the mare on for her first two foals, her older being a mare a year senior to Blue Duck.
“I’d bred another mare to [A Streak of Fling] and I had rode quite a few—I just really like them,” Wimberley said. “I had to let them grow into their own, but they just keep maturing and getting better.”
- Watch Cheyenne work Blue Duck on cattle here.
- Correct First Barrel Position with Cheyenne Wimberley
- Making Your Own Panel Alley at Home to Practice Barrel Racing-with Cheyenne Wimberley
Blue Duck is a free-running gelding, so Wimberley used his style to her strategic advantage in Fort Worth.
“He always maintains forward motion,” Wimberley said. “You have to make so many runs to get through to the [Triple Crown of Rodeo Round], so I figured he would just get better, stay free and figure it out by the end.”
Figure it out he did. Even with a wild trip in the first round, her 13.414 earned her the No. 5 position in the round, and her 13.302 notched her a second-place finish and $1,000 in earnings.
As for the round win, that went to Jordan Driver after a smoking hot 13.273-second run, earning her $2,500 and an advancing position.
Wenda Johnson and her right-handed bay gelding, Steal Money, “Mo,” slid into the No. 3 position and earned $500 in the round in 13.319 seconds.
As Wimberley looks ahead—roughly seven hours after clinching her position—to the Semifinals round, she’s not stressing one bit about the outcome.
“He’s such a good-minded horse; I really think it will be just another day to him,” Wimberley said. “The ground has been great—today was even better than yesterday. I just go with the flow—try to set those young horses up as best I can.”
WRWC Pro Results: Aggregate on two
- Cheyenne Wimberley, 26.716 seconds
- Laura Mote, 26.734
- Jana Guthrie, 26.765
- Stephanie Fryar, 26.781
- Jada Trosper, 26.839
- Stevi Hillman, 26.906
- Andrea Cline, 26.929
- Wenda Johnson, 26.978
- Jimmie Smith Tew, 27.052
- London Gorham, 27.079
WRWC Pro Results: Second Round
- Jordan Driver, 13.273 seconds, $2,500
- Cheyenne Wimberley, 13.302, $1,000
- Wenda Johnson, 13.319, $500
- Stevi Hillman, 13.321
- Jimmie Smith Tew, 13.338
Challenger Division: Jules and Wylie Jo Hodges Have Arrived
While numbers are rolling in for official confirmation, fans are pretty positive DH Jess Stellar and Wylie Jo Hodges shattered the new Cowtown Coliseum arena record with their 13.067. But that’s nothing new to “Jules.” She’s broken the record before: once with Janna Bean Brown and once with Hailey Kinsel when they won the 2022 Women’s Rodeo World Championship.
Hodges, just 14 years old, is heading up the Challenger effort to the Semifinals, even though she was already in after her 13.581 in Round 1 that earned her the fourth-place finish.
- Watch a full workout with Hailey Kinsel and Jules on BarrelRacing.com
- Listen to Donna Hodges talk about Hodges Farms and Jules on The Money Barrel
- Read: The Jules Story
Note: Only two cowgirls at the top of each round advance automatically to the Semifinals, but Hodges was in because the two athletes finishing ahead of her, Annika Ruth and Sable Emerson, were pre-seeded into the Semifinals thanks to their position on the Virtual Rodeo Qualifier leaderboard before the WRWC.
WRWC Challenger results: Aggregate on Two
- Wylie Jo Hodges, 26.648 seconds
- Sable Emerson, 26.802
- Julie Plourde, 26.892
- Olivia Hodnett, 27.154
- Kalli McCall, 27.211
- Annika Ruth, 27.370
- Fallon Forbes, 27.415
- Cindy Baltezore, 27.425
- Reagan Johnson, 27.490
- Andrea Lowe, 27.656
WRWC Challenger results: Second Round
- Wylie Jo Hodges, 13.067 seconds, $2,500
- Madison McCaffity, 13.230, $1,000
- Julie Plourde, 13.309, $500
- Dee Dee Jordan, 13.380
- Cindy Baltezore, 13.395
2023 WRWC Barrel Racing Semifinals Draw
Wylie Jo Hodges
Madison Ann Iager