Halyn Lide and Jettin Ta Heaven clocked a 13.210 to top the second night of the WCRA Cowtown Christmas Championship and punch their ticket for the Showdown Round on Saturday.
The $1,600 check for the night was a drop in the bucket compared to Lide’s previous WCRA success. She and Keeper topped Rodeo Corpus Christi in May 2022 and took home combined checks of $17,800.
The 10-year-old red gelding by JL Dash Ta Heaven has been a longtime partner of Lide’s. He earns his keep, just like he earned his barn name at a young age.
“We raised him and my husband Aaron started him,” Lide said. “He said ‘He’s a Keeper,’ and it stuck.
Despite Corpus Christi and Cowtown Coliseum’s similarities in size and setup, Lide noted that tiny, indoor coliseums with walls aren’t her preferred patterns to run Keeper on—he’s just that cool.
“He’s placed at Reno and Cheyenne,” Lide said. “He’s actually more fun in big open spaces, he can just do everything. He’s the real deal.”
Lide nominated Salt Lake City’s Days of 47 Rodeo in July and the WPRA World Finals, along with a mixture of smaller rodeos and jackpots to earn her spot to Cowtown Christmas. She has been a longtime fan of the WCRA
“He’s kind of deceiving, he’s got such a long stride” Lide said. “He’s super smooth. If he’ll just go ahead and get all the way around his turns, then you’re pretty well good.”
Lide jokingly stated that Keeper could probably run in a halter through the pattern, but her weapon of choice is a Junior Cow Horse bit with a dogbone mouthpiece. Lide has ran before at Cowtown Coliseum, but took advantage of the barrel racers’ open arena a few hours before the Thursday performance to work any potential kinks out.
“Sometimes, especially in these little coliseums he’ll rate really hard and lose all his momentum,” Lide said. “I brought him in here during open arena time and just worked on being smooth and all the way to the walls.”
At 35 years old, Lide not only stayed smooth, she also bested the younger barrel racers in the field. Teenage standout Jada Trosper was right on her heels with a 13.233-second run aboard Sun N Sevens. Her second-place finish earned her $1,200 and the Showdown exemption. A 13.279 earned Victoria Procter, also a high school student, $800 and third place. Fourth belonged to Ashley Whatley, a mother of two from Oklahoma. She earned $400 for her placing.
Lide and Trosper will join Wednesday night champions Stephanie Fryar and Andrea Cline, and Kassie Mowry, who earned her exemption by being No. 1 on the leaderboard prior to the event. Friday’s performance will determine which cowgirls will fill the remaining two positions. Until Saturday, she will be home in China Springs, Texas, riding, caring for her two children and helping her husband with operations at his small animal veterinary hospital.
“We’re excited to get to come back,” Lide said.