The 2023-24 WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo schedule has been hopping in 2023, and here are some of the barrel racers whose names are popping up on the 2023 and 2024 leaderboards.
*Disclaimer: Yes, we recognize there’s a lot of overlap between these groups. Just because a barrel racer trains futurity horses does NOT mean they don’t ProRodeo, etc. Chill*
Decorated trainer and NFR qualifier Ryann Pedone is no stranger to the WCRA system. In 2022, she earned the $25,000 Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ) bonus. Whether or not she makes her appearance at the majors—she’s jockeying a lot of youngsters, and sometimes she chooses to sit out the big shows—she frequently nominates futurities and jackpots to cash in on VRQ bonuses each year.
Pedone is currently No. 1 on the VRQ, Women’s Rodeo World Championship 2023 (Pro), Rodeo North Carolina and Stampede at the E leaderboards.
If you keep up with the futurity game, chances are you’ve heard of Andrea Cline. She’s one of the toughest trainers who has major wins at the Barrel Futurities of America, Pink and Ruby Buckle and many more. Cline tends to veer away from the rodeo trails, but she attended the 2023 WRWC and found the event to her liking, and now, she’s popping up all over the 2023 and 2024 leaderboards. She’s top 20 in both the 2023 VRQ standings and the 2024 WRWC Pro standings.
Other notable futurity trainers in the leaderboards: Jackie Jatzlau, Laura Mote, Cassidy Dean
The WPRA Gals
NFR qualifier and $1 million-earning rodeo hand, Emily Beisel is taking advantage of the Stampede at the E coming to her home state of Oklahoma next January. Beisel’s amassed 1102 points and sits No. 3 on the leaderboard for the Guthrie event. Beisel’s also seated No. 8 with a chance to head to Fort Worth in 2024 for the WRWC, and holding down the No. 14 position in the year-long Virtual Rodeo Qualifier leaderboard. Read more.
Stephanie Fryar, a longtime respected barrel racer who has NFR qualifications and more under her belt, has been an advocate for WCRA events for multiple years. She’s been in the final rounds of competition and drew checks at the previous two WCRA majors and the 2023 WRWC. She and her electric gelding, “Fast Frank,” are usually a crowd favorite at WCRA events. Fryar is seated in the top five of every upcoming leaderboard she’s eligible for, spare the Stampede at the E, where she’s ranked No. 24.
Other notable ProRodeo barrel racers in the WCRA leaderboards: Sissy Winn, Wenda Johnson, Cheyenne Wimberley, Ari-Anna Flynn, Rainey Skelton, Jordan Driver, Acey Pinkston
The IPRA Crew
Plourde, a French-Canadian barrel racer that hails from Quebec, is currently seated firmly at No. 1 in the IPRA world standings with over $40,000 earned on the year. Plourde has heavily taken advantage of the unique opportunity for IPRA contestants over at WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo events, and the WRWC. Athetes who hold an IPRA card have the opportunity to count 50% of their season earnings, up to a capped amount toward their IPRA standings. Plourde has been a fixture at nearly every Triple Crown of Rodeo event, and earned a gold buckle in the 2023 Challenger divison of the WRWC for her efforts on the year. Read more.
The No. 2 lady in the world standings is IFR veteran, Julie Goodrich of Humboldt, Tennessee. Goodrich recently surpassed two-time and reigning world champion, Julie Thomas (lots of Julies in the IPRA) for the reserve position with $24,535.32 in earnings. She is currently seated No. 13 in the Rodeo North Carolina leaderboard.
Teenager Annika Ruth has taken healthy advantage of the opportunities presented by WCRA alongside other youth and open rodeos.
“One thing I love about the WCRA is the opportunity they’re giving us competitors,” Ruth, a Missouri native said. “The money that’s added into these events is crazy to me. I love that you can nominate anything from a little po-dunk rodeo to the biggest jackpot out there, and that all counts towards everything. And they’re super easy to deal with.” Read more.
At 15 years old, Gorham has already established herself amongst the Pro ranks of the WCRA. Like Ruth, she plays at Triple Crown of Rodeo events instead of focusing on Division Youth sections. The American Rodeo finalist has also been among the finals at the WRWC, Rodeo Corpus Christi and other WCRA events. Read more.