Wynne, Arkansas, cowgirl Taycie Matthews has found herself on a heater, which is great timing going into Fourth of July weekend. Matthews and Heavenly Firewater clocked the fastest time of the College National Finals Rodeo in June before heading west to the Reno Rodeo where they earned $7,244 for second in the first go and fifth in the aggregate. As of June 27, the rookie barrel racer ranked 22nd in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Standings with $29,756 and second in the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings with $30,544.
On Monday, June 27, she added another $3,560 to that total (not yet officially included in the posted standings calculations) with a go round win at the 100th Greeley Stampede.
“The first and second barrels were in the middle of the pen, but then the third was right on the fence,” Matthews said of tackling the unique arena setup at the Stampede. “He was looking for his barrels, so I had to make sure to ride him a step further, but he felt great.”
Matthews added that she put a tie-down back on “Bud” during the CNFR before he won the short go, which she has kept on him to help him balance and stay snappy. She runs Bud in a Kathy James with a chain mouthpiece.
ProRodeo officials worked with the Stampede ground crew and WPRA officials and spokeswomen, all of whom had to put their heads together to remedy slick ground conditions at the start of the 8 am slack after quite a few contestants slipped and even fell during the course of running the first 50. After halting the barrel race, the ground was ripped and reconditioned with the result being safer and more fair conditions during Monday morning’s slack session. Contestants were awarded the option of a rerun.
Featuring five perfs held June 25-26 at 1 pm, June 27-29 at 7 pm, and two slack sessions June 27-28 at 8 am, the $25,000-added Greeley Stampede is a week earlier this year than in 2021 and its user-friendly back-to-back format gives contestants an opportunity to make two runs in one venue to kick off Cowboy Christmas. The short go for the top 12 takes place on June 30 at 7 pm.
The barrel racing paid $6,363 as a one-header in 2021 to champion Shelley Morgan, who finished second behind Matthews in round one, when her 17.14 bested the field.
Barrel Racing Magazine tracks all the major ProRodeo storylines this summer as races to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo take shape.
Greeley Stampede Round 1 Results:
1 Taycie Matthews, 16.47-second run, worth $3,560
2. Shelley Morgan, 16.49-second run, worth $3,051
3/4. Lisa Lockhart, 16.56-second run, worth $2,373
3/4. Shawnee Williams, 16.56-second run, worth $2,373
5. Shannon Lee McReynolds, 16.58-second run, worth $1,695
6. Destri Devenport, 16.61-second run, worth $1,356
7. Katie Pascoe, 16.65-second run, worth $1,017
8/9. Paige Jones, 16.73-second run, worth $593
8/9. Lake Mehalic, 16.73-second run, worth $593
10. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 16.74-second run, worth $339