Halyn Lide and “Keeper,” Keep Winning in Corpus Christi, Earn $17,800

Halyn Lide and "Keeper," dominated the barrel racing rounds of competition at the World Champions Rodeo Alliance event in Corpus Christi, Texas, on May 11-15, 2022.
Halyn Lide wins Corpus Christi Barrel Racing surfboard
The 2022 Rodeo Corpus Christi Barrel Racing Champion Halyn Lide. Image courtesy WCRA by Bull Stock Media.

The Lide family had a big day on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

It began with a win in t-ball for Lawton, 5, and Alston, 3. It ended with the biggest career win for their barrel racing mom, Halyn, after she swept the field on the final night of Rodeo Corpus Christi, a World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) Triple Crown of Rodeo event.

Lide claimed first in both the opening Showdown Round and the final Triple Crown Round to earn $17,800 and a new trophy surfboard, the signature prize given by the Buc Days Rodeo committee.

“That’s really cool,” the China Spring, Texas, barrel racer said of the surfboard. “I can’t say that I’ve ever won anything like that before.”

“I’m going to hang it in the house.”

Lide’s horse Keeper was in command on the final night of the $553,000 rodeo, a night that challenges barrel racers as they make two runs back-to-back in the same performance inside the diminutive American Bank Center arena. That is, if they’re fast enough to advance to the Triple Crown Round.

“Really, I just told myself that I was leaving it up to him because he’s a champ,” Lide said of the 10-year old gelding who is registered Jettin Ta Heaven. Keeper is by JL Dash Ta Heaven and out of Zeros Gypsy Jet.

Halyn Lide barrel racing in Corpus Christi
Halyn Lide and “Keeper,” in the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round.

During the opening round on Saturday night, WCRA Leaderboard No. 1 Sissy Winn started things off with a run of 14.654 seconds which was quickly surpassed by Ari-Anna Flynn’s 14.562.

As the fourth runner and benefitting from WCRA rules which require a hand rake after every barrel racer, Lide took over the lead with her 14.368 second run, the fastest of the rodeo. Surviving through the final three runners, Lide moved on to the next round along with Flynn and Winn.

“The first run, he felt like he flew. He was amazing,” Lide said.

The next round comes up quickly and Lide wasn’t sure what to expect from her equine partner with the quick turnaround.

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“It was a little scary to make that second run right after the first one actually,” Lide admitted. “I didn’t want him to be too tired or upset with me.”

Those concerns were quickly erased as Lide got into her pre-run routine.

“He was ready,” she said. “When I got on him, I knew he was ready.”

When the gate cracked open the second time, Keeper was solid, posting another fast time at 14.399 to narrowly secure the win ahead of Flynn’s 14.419. Winn encountered penalties that took her out of contention.

Ari-Anna Flynn finished second in the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round with a 14.419-second run.

“The second run was a prettier run and he just went in there and did his job,” Lide noted. “He’s honest. He’s the best.”

“But I think he’s tired now,” Lide laughed. 

He’s probably not the only one in the family. With two young, energetic boys, Lide and husband Aaron suffer a bit from fatigue too.

“I drink a lot of coffee,” she said wryly. “At all the hours.”

The day was only slightly marred by a forgotten pair of kid’s boots, a situation rectified by a quick trip to Texas convenience store metropolis, Buc-ees, to pick up some shoes. Then it was off to the rodeo where Alston and Lawton are big fans of the bull riding and bull fighting. In fact, they had so much fun, they didn’t get back out to the trailer to get Keeper his cookies, something they’re normally sure to watch that mom does.

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“I gave him some, don’t worry,” Lide joked as she wrangled them in the rodeo office while waiting for her surfboard and watched as they tried to “surf” her big cardboard check. “They can’t miss the bull riding and bull fighting.”

“They’re tired, they’re done,” she said of the long day. 

While the kids earned just their second t-ball win, Mom scored the biggest financial win of her career in Corpus and is planning to use the extra dough to fund even more rodeoing.

“Maybe I’ll pay entry fees,” she pondered. “I think Keeper says he’s ready to go a little bit so maybe I’ll take him some.” She’s entered in some ProRodeos in the coming weeks in Texas. “We’ll keep going, see what there is.”

One thing on the horizon is the Days of 47 Cowboy Games in Salt Lake City, the next stop for the WCRA after their Women’s Rodeo World Championship, which begins Monday, May 16.

“I did nominate for Salt Lake City,” she said, referencing the WCRA’s Virtual Rodeo Qualifier, which is used to choose events in order to win points toward WCRA Leaderboards. “We’ll see, it’s a very cool opportunity.”

Lide had wanted to come back to Corpus as she remembers it being the site of Keeper’s first ProRodeo check and because she appreciates the committee and the people of the WCRA. Winning was icing on the cake and she gave a big nod to Keeper.

“He deserved it, he earned it,” she said. “I’m really excited for him to get the win.”

Showdown Round, Saturday, May 14, 2022

Halyn Lide, 14.368 seconds

Ari-Anna Flynn, 14.562

Sissy Winn, 14.654

Kindyl Scruggs, 14.739, $1,000

Tiffani Sonnier, 14.801, $1,000

Jada Trosper, 14.907, $1,000

Katie Loughran, 15.547, $1,000

*Top 3 Advance to Triple Crown Round

Triple Crown Round

Halyn Lide, 14.399, $15,000

Ari-Anna Flynn, 14.419, $6,500

Sissy Winn, 25.58, $2,500

Champion: Halyn Lide, $17,800