Tilden Shofner and Shiners Smart Okie Snag 15 & Under Hooey Jr. Patriot Pole Bending Win

The 17-year-old gelding "Shiner," carried his jockey Tilden Shofner to her first The Patriot win.
Tilden Shofner pole bending
Tilden Shofner and Shiner won The Hooey Jr. Patriot 25U Pole Bending in Fort Worth. Andersen/CBarC Photography.

Tilden Shofner and Shiners Smart Okie, “Shiner,” went 20.525 seconds and earned $1,680 in the Hooey Jr. Patriot 15 U Under pole bending at their first appearance at the Patriot Fort Worth. 

The Pleasanton, Texas, cowgirl is competing in both the barrel racing and pole bending throughout her time in Fort Worth.

“I’ve been wanting to come to The Patriot for a few years now,” Shofner said. “It’s a big goal of mine. All my friends have talked about how cool it is and I was really excited to come.”

Shofner and 17-year-old Shiner have been hot on the pole bending trail, recently earning the $10,000 scholarship at the high school rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, just a couple weeks before her Patriot win. The team has been together for about a year and a half, and Shofner noted that the gelding’s style meshes with her riding perfectly from the start.

The all-around cowgirl Shofner, who also competes in barrel racing, breakaway roping, team roping and has held rodeo queen titles, is coming back to the Hooey Jr. Patriot last-chance qualifier later in the week, but she has a fool-proof plan to keep her nerves in check and eyes on the prize in both barrel racing and pole bending.

“My mom helps keep me calm in the alleyway and stands with me,” Shofner said. “Plus she’s my biggest supporter.  My faith helps me stay focused too. I pray before I run, and I know God will keep me safe and have my back.” 

With her nerves out of the way, Shofner knew exactly what to do to stop the clock, and her consistent gelding held up his end of the deal.

“(Shiner) ran really nice for me,” Shofner said. “I didn’t let him look around too much going in the pen. I just sent him, hustled him to the end of the pen, rode two-handed through the pattern and pushed him all the way through the poles. He worked great.” 

The Patriot Fort Worth 15 & Under Pole Bending Results

4Dusky LynnHallHuntsvilleTX20.967$840
5Arina DeeHaugenSturgisSD20.996$560