Karli Cowie’s “Fling” Makes a Stellar Comeback to Win the First-Ever Midnight Days ProRodeo in Fort MacLeod, Alberta 

Karli Cowie and Fling are moving up the Maple Leaf Circuit standings after their win at the inaugural Fort MacLeod rodeo.
Karli Cowie and Queen Flingtima barrel racing
Karli Cowie and Queen Flingtime | Wildwood Imagery/ Chantelle Bowman

Get to know the rising star team of Karli Cowie and Queen Flingtima as they make waves on the Canadian ProRodeo barrel racing scene.

Mankota, Saskatchewan, Canada’s, Karli Cowie had an uplifting start to last week. The 24-year-old laid down the quickest run at the first-ever Midnight Days Pro Rodeo in Fort MacLeod, Alberta, held June 25–26, 2024, in 16.86 seconds, earning her a $2,115 paycheck and a trophy buckle.  

What made the win a sweeter victory was Karli Cowie had just got her main mount Queen Flingtima, a 7-year-old mare by A Streak Of Fling, back after some time off.  

“To get her first win this past week at Fort MacLeod was pretty cool. Nobody knew what the rodeo was going to be like—what the pen was or what the ground was like,” Cowie said. “I entered for the first perf so I could at least have the slack to watch and see how it was going to be. I got there and watched, and it looked good, so I decided I was going to run [“Fling”] and it felt really good. I was super excited. I wanted a good, confidence building run before Ponoka (Stampede), too. She worked outstanding. Then I found out that they had a buckle that I won, so that was super cool.” 

Not including her recent victory paycheck, Cowie is currently sitting sixth in the Maple Leaf Circuit standings with $5,481.32 as of June 25. When Cowie isn’t on the ProRodeo hotel, she works at the Grasslands Inn, her family’s hotel.

Karli Cowie’s plan of attack at Fort MacLeod

With a first-time rodeo at hand and every contestant unaware of the setup, Cowie’s entry game plan worked to her advantage, giving her plenty of time to watch the ground, plan her start and get “Fling” in the arena beforehand. 

“I rode in it all afternoon and kind of made a game plan of what I was going to do,” Cowie said. “It was kind of a funky setup. It was angled a bit, so I just wanted to make sure I got a good first barrel.” 

To get that first barrel setup just right, Cowie had to make some small, but different maneuvers to navigate to the right spot to line up “Fling” for her first turn.  

“You kind of had to hug the right side of the gate and then come in and move over a little bit,” Cowie said. “I wanted to make sure I had a good approach to the first and honestly the rest, she usually takes care of herself. She’s pretty fun, honest and easy.” 

A winning run against some of the toughest contestants usually calls for a flawless, zero-mistake run, but that’s not the case for this duo. While coming around the backside of the second barrel “Fling” appeared to have lost some ground and stumbled, which didn’t scare Cowie one bit.  

“I knew she was still going to be fast after that stumble. She stumbled and kept on going whereas some horses wouldn’t. The reason she can do that and be so fast is that she never quits moving. She does crazy stuff in a run and still clocks. It’s insane. Half the time she’ll blow off the third barrel, but never quits moving. She just keeps on running and clocks.” 

Queen Flingtima’s comeback story

Queen Flingtima pedigree

While “Fling” is a huge asset to Cowie’s team, she wasn’t able to compete on the mare for the first part of the ProRodeo season as the horse had been out in recovery from a surgery in January of 2024.  

“She’s been off since January, so I just got her back,” Cowie said. “I was actually down in Texas in January, and I had to take her in to the vet, so I took her to Signature Equine. She had a chip in her knee that I needed to get taken out, and I just got her back now.”  

Her first weekend back with the mare was June 13–16, where they placed at the Daines Ranch Rodeo in Innisfail, Alberta, and the Stavely (Alberta) Indoor Pro Rodeo where she earned a total of $3,266. 

“It was pretty cool to win Fort MacLeod just because I just got her back,” she said. “She ended up eighth at Stavely and third at Innisfail and I had no expectations at all. I didn’t even have much time back on her. I sent her to the pool to rehab because I thought that would be easier on her knee. I came out of my run at Innisfail, and I was all smiles.” 

Cowie originally purchased the mare as a 4-year-old from Cornelius and Maria Wiebe, who owned the 2008 stallion French Streaktorodeo.

What’s next for Karlie Cowie?

Now that “Fling” is feeling good, Cowie looked to the next event at Ponoka Stampede, where she cracked out with a solid run in the first round.

“She was super good at Fort MacLeod and at Ponoka I was just worried because it’s a big rodeo and there’s a lot going on there all the time,” Cowie said of the Ponoka Stampede. “Last year she didn’t do very good there. She was just green, and it was a lot for her. This year I just did things differently and was smarter about it.”

“She is always good in the arena, I just have to make sure that I can keep her calm and focused with all the things going on in the back,” she continued. “If I can keep her relaxed, she goes in and works great whether it’s a big or small pen—it can be on a hockey rink, doesn’t matter.”

Following the short go at the Ponoka Stampede is anticipated The Calgary Stampede, known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo, where 30 contestants in each event are invited to compete. 

The barrel racing invitations went to six barrel racers from two separate qualifying events, the top four from the 2023 2023 CPRA Finals standings, the top 15 from the WPRA World Standings and the top five from the 2024 current WPRA World standings. 

Getting into The Calgary Stampede is a dream come true for the barrel racer who was just recently a rookie in 2023.  

“I went to three ProRodeos in Arizona in the winter and placed at all three of them and I filled my permit down there. Then I could buy my full card when I got to Canada.” 

After purchasing her card, Cowie then went on to the qualify to compete at the Canadian Finals Rodeo where she would then win the average on “Fling” with a time of 82.82 seconds on six runs, making that a career highlight after jumping in to the ProRodeo level after finishing her amateur career at the top of her game in 2022.  

“I was the season leader at the CCA (Canadian Cowboys Association) and I had my older mare (Prada, 14) at the time running good so I thought that the next year, which was last year, if I had “Fling” and her I could go to the ProRodeos and kind of see how I do and test the waters—at least go for a couple months.”  

“My older mare “Prada” actually ended up getting hurt in May, so I only had “Fling” to rodeo on last year,” she continued. “She exceeded all of my expectations and I made the Canadian Finals my first year rodeoing on her and that is kind of how it all played out and how I got here.”  

Now with fire in their veins, Cowie and “Fling” have sights set on competing at the CFR and capitalize at the big rodeos coming up within the Maple Leaf Circuit.  

“Last year winning the average at the CFR was crazy,” Cowie exclaimed. “I would love to be back at the CFR again and just keep picking away at them and placing where I can. It would be cool to do really well at Calgary and hopefully I can hang in there at Ponoka and make the short round.” 

2024 ProRodeo Maple Leaf Circuit Standings (as of June 25) 

  1. Taylor Manning, Yellowhead County, AB, $14,457.98 
  1. Jayden Wilson, Gleichen, AB, $12,436.55 
  1. Brooke Wills, Arras, BC, $10,125.85 
  1. Blake Molle, Chauvin, AB, $7,131.15 
  1. Bradi Whiteside, Longview, AB, $6,213.52 
  1. Karli Cowie, Mankota, SK, $5,481.32 
  1. Lisa Zachoda, Okotoks, AB, $5,304.00 
  1. Lynette Brodoway, Brooks, AB, $4,670.86 
  1. Pamela Morrison, Celista, BC, $4,190.99 
  1. Kirby Penttila, Calgary, AB, $3,743.55 

Arizona Rodeos 

78th Annual Yuma Silver Spur Rodeo 

Yuma, Ariz., Feb. 10-12 

9.3, $501; 6. Cooper Andersen, 9.7, $278. 

Barrel racing: 1. Laura Lambert, 17.60 seconds, $2,222; 2. (tie) Chandra Eng and Kailey Mitton, 17.63, $1,722 each; 4. Anita Ellis, 17.65, $1,333; 5. Sue Smith, 17.67, $1,111; 6. Lakken Bice, 17.71, $778; 7. Sarah Kieckhefer, 17.73, $556; 8. (tie) Deanna Davis and Amy Stoltzfus, 17.84, $417 each; 10. Britta Thiel, 17.87, $333; 11. (tie) Karli Cowie and Shyann Lucas, 17.89, $250 each.