Bayleigh Choate and Boozer Fire Through to Triple Crown of Rodeo Round at 2024 Rodeo Corpus Christi

Bayleigh Choate and Boozer are in for the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round at WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi.
Bayleigh Choate and Boozer turning the second barrel in Progressive Round 2 of 2024 WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi.
Bayleigh Choate took the win in Progressive Round 2 of 2024 WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi. | Image courtesy WCRA by Bull Stock Media.

Bayleigh Choate and TJR Stinson Blue have made their return to the big stages, advancing to the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round at the 2024 WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi.

Choate and Boozer won Progressive Round 2 with a 14.394 Friday, May 10, to not only punch their ticket to the final night but also win the Progressive Round aggregate with a 28.844 on two runs. The 2022 Resistol Rookie of the Year will run with six other ladies Saturday, May 11, in the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round for the Rodeo Corpus Christi title and a spot in Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo on the WCRA’s Free Riders team.

Bayleigh Choate's TJR Stinson Blue, "Boozer." Walk me through your run last night.

Bayleigh Choate: The past nights, he’s been so worked up over the fair, but last night I was actually able to make it through the fair without running anyone over because he just kind of drags me through, and it’s very scary. But he actually for once wasn’t in a full-body sweat by the time we got to the arena, so I was able to warm him up a little bit. I feel like that kind of helped because the past nights I’ve just had to get on him, like, two or three before I run, but last night I was actually able to get on him and walk him around and be like, “Look, pay attention.” So, I feel like that helped a little bit.

I know my horse, and he likes small setups and he likes high-pressured runs. The more pressure I put on him, he always seems to rise up and he’s been that way since he was a futurity colt. I am probably my biggest enemy; I like to doubt myself. But he never lets me down. I just knew I had to do my job, and he’s a consistent horse. He pretty much always does his job as long as I stay out of his way. You guys kind of rocked the third barrel last night. What was going through your head in that moment?

BC: As most people know, the night before my saddle was loose during my run. So last night when he left the second barrel, he was running super hard, but I forget how responsive he is. I just barely touched my inside line just to kind of break a little bit, and he listened. I was like, “Oh crap.” So, I knew I was going to have to set it up because it was going down if I didn’t. I just kind of leaned over in front of him and set it up, and then he did his job and ran a straight line all the way out. He really was firing last night, and you’ve been consistent both nights with a 14.45 and 14.394.

BC: He’s such a big horse; most people don’t realize how big he is, but he’s over 16 hands. I always get scared when he gets strung out running like that. I’m like, there’s no way his big butt is going to be able to pull around this barrel. He always amazes me with how big he is, but he turns like a little horse. A lot of people don’t even realize he’s that big because he literally can bend himself in half around a barrel. It’s interesting he’s so big but fits the smaller setups. Is that why you chose to ride him here in Corpus?

BC: Yes. It’s always been so crazy to me because even when he was a futurity colt, when we would go to Guthrie and stuff on the bigger patterns, I was always like, “He’s so big and he has such a stride on him, he’s going to do really good.” And it was not disappointing, but I’m like, what the heck? But you put him against the same horses in a tiny setup, and he’ll win. I’m like, “How did that happen? He is so big.” This is going to sound really funny, but he always gets faster in little setups. Like, he’s fast, and I’m like, “Ok, that was him. That’s all he’s got.” But he always gets faster. It’s like he counts his steps. What’s the game plan for tonight’s Triple Crown of Rodeo Round?

BC: We won the average and tonight I have nothing to lose, so it’s just going to be all or nothing. I’m not going to be disappointed either way, but it’s going to take a lot to win tonight. Tonight’s one of those runs where you just let it all out there and go for it. What made you decide to get qualified for Corpus Christi?

BC: Honestly, I’ve never ran at a WCRA event. But I wanted a place I could go to win a lot of money that was still a rodeo because Boozer loves to rodeo. If you take him to a barrel race, he could care less. But if there’s people screaming at him, he’s like, “This is my jam.” So, I was looking for a rodeo that had a lot of money to be won and a smaller setup. We were entering another rodeo and we saw where it was a qualifier for Rodeo Corpus Christi.

At first I kind of doubted myself. I was like, “I don’t need to go all the way out there—it’s 15 hours.” But I decided we’d go ahead and enter the last chance qualifier, and we did and he won that rodeo and won the qualifier. So, here we are. I’m thankful that I did it.

I’m learning a lot about the WCRA now, and I really think I like it. Because, like I said, it’s a lot of money to be won, but you don’t have to travel the entire world. You can go to one place and win a lot of money. So, I really like that because I don’t like the traveling part. Winning Corpus would be special, and it would also qualify you for Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo. How special would that opportunity be?

BC: I’ve been to just about every big stadium rodeo. But the year I made The American was the year they moved it to Globe Life. AT&T’s always been a dream of mine, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to start rodeoing, because I wanted to run in AT&T Stadium. Then when they moved The America, I was like, I will never get the opportunity to run in AT&T Stadium, and that’s the only stadium rodeo I haven’t been to. I didn’t actually know about [Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo] until after I was already qualified, and I was like, ‘There’s no way it’s at AT&T Stadium. They said they weren’t having any more rodeos there.’ So, when I figured that out, I kind of was like, this is my shot to run at AT&T Stadium because it’s always been such a dream of mine to be there.