It’s about four and a half hours to Corpus Christi from Halyn Lide’s home in China Springs, Texas, near Waco but Lide decided to make the round-trip trek in between her runs at Rodeo Corpus Christi for a very good reason.
“It’s my husband’s birthday today,” she said with a laugh over his protests not to tell. “We drove home after the Qualifying Round yesterday (Tuesday) and picked him up and came right back down here to go spend the day at the beach.”
Lide and her homegrown gelding Keeper gave Aaron Lide a nice birthday present to end his day after the pair won the first performance at Rodeo Corpus Christi on Wednesday night, May 11. With a smoking run of 14.556 seconds, Lide collected $1,600 and a spot in Saturday night’s Showdown Round.
Rodeo Corpus Christi (RCC) is one of the World Champions Rodeo Alliance’s (WCRA) Majors for 2022, a Triple Crown of Rodeo eligible event. For timed event contestants, RCC began with Qualifying Rounds held about 20 miles away in Robstown at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds where only the top 24 move on to the Progressive Round held during the first three performances at American Bank Center.
Lide won sixth out in Robstown and has earned $2,800 for her first two runs.
Keeper has definitely lived up to his name thus far in Corpus, a fact not surprising to Lide.
“I think it might have been that our first ProRodeo check came here,” she said. “He has done well here in the past.”
Lide raised Keeper out a good mare she ran some in college and he is a son of JL Dash Ta Heaven. His registered name is Jettin Ta Heaven and he’s ten this year.
“We kind of got by the first,” she admitted of her Progressive Round run in the tricky little setup. “But Keeper wanted to win tonight. He was quite a handful but he did what it took to make it happen.”
It turned out the roughest part of the night was surviving the trip from the parking lot to the building and back.
“You have to walk in between the carnival and he was just not about that,” she laughed. “We made it back but it was much harder than the run!”
Lide’s two boys Alston (3) and Lawton (5) were along for the ride and reminded mom to make sure Keeper got plenty of cookies following his dominating performance. Lide was two tenths better than Katie Loughran, the only other barrel racer to break into the 14’s. Both ladies advance to the Showdown Round.
Saturday’s Showdown Round will include the top two from each Progressive Round performance along with WCRA Leaderboard #1 Sissy Winn. All the top ranked competitors are guaranteed a position in the Showdown Round. The Showdown Round is immediately followed by the Triple Crown Round where the top three will vie for the championship. The winner gets $15,000 and a surfboard, one of rodeo’s most unique prizes.
Rodeo Corpus Christi is definitely on Lide’s list of favorite events.
“I was fifth out and I thought the ground was really good,” she said. Organizers hand raked after every barrel racer in both the Qualifying and Progressive Rounds. “Corpus has an excellent committee so I really wanted to get qualified. Plus the WCRA people are all super nice too.”
Lide’s hectic life won’t slow down before the Showdown. She left the rodeo on Wednesday night, planning to drop the birthday boy off at home before heading on to Mineral Wells for slack at the ProRodeo in the morning. She may also throw in a run at the lucrative Royal Crown event happening in Waco.
“It sounded great when I planned it, but after the fact it feels real dumb,” she joked.
As for strategy on Saturday, Lide is leaving that up to Keeper.
“Do the same thing, send him in there hard and I think he’ll find it [the first barrel] better. If we keep momentum across the pen, it should work,” she said. “It’s really up to him in our relationship.”
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 Results
- Halyn Lide, 14.556, $1,600*
- Katie Loughran, 14.787, $1,200*
- Hailey Beal (DY), 15.186, $800
- Tiffany Lujan, 15.393, $400
*Top 2 Advance to Showdown Round