hard to believe that ProRodeo fans learned the name Kaley
Bass just over a year ago. The Florida cowgirl stormed on
the scene as a rookie in 2011, winning over $51,000 to finish
second in a highly competitive rookie race and 22nd in the
final World standings.
With the near misses in her fabulous
first season, Bass has tackled 2012 with a mission to end
her year under the bright lights of Las Vegas. Riding her
pair of great horses, Wonders Cowboy Dan and Girl Pal Wonder,
Bass has had a solid season, knocking on the door of the
top 15 all year.
She did more than knock on the door
the first weekend in August. Bass dominated the races across
the Prairie Circuit, taking home first place finishes in
Dodge City and Abilene, Kan., as well as repeating her win
at Sidney, Iowa. She added a third at Phillipsburg, Kan.,
and fourth at Hill City, Kan., for a total weekend haul
With the huge weekend, Bass moved up
to 10th in the standings and has already earned as much
as she did last year. She is in good standing as she chases
her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo berth.
Meanwhile in the mountains of Colorado,
the Breckenridge Stables PRCA Rodeo kicked off its five
week series of rodeo. Billed as the highest pro rodeo in
the country at over 9,600 feet, the series features $1,000
added each week with two performances on Saturday and Sunday
"It was a good rodeo. It's got
a lot of potential," says stock contractor and producer
Jerry Honeycutt. Though Honeycutt says there are still bugs
to work out, the first weekend played to a standing room
only crowd and was a hit. "We had to order more bleachers
for next week."
"We certainly appreciate the girls
entering; we had more barrel racers than any event,"
Honeycutt continues. Along with regular rodeo action, the
producer organize behind the scenes tours for spectators,
bringing them into the arena and getting them up close with
bucking horses and bulls. "They seemed to really like
having that chance to get in the arena and see how things
Wendy McKee has already put together
a solid season in the Mountain States Circuit, winning two
rodeos in the Steamboat Springs series right down the road
from her home in Craig and picking up checks in Estes Park,
Evergreen and Grover. McKee is currently ranked fifth in
the circuit, looking for a repeat visit to the Mountain
States Circuit Finals this year.
Apparently the high altitude suits her
horse, Snoop Dog. In Breckenridge, McKee piloted the 8-year
old son of PESI stallion Smoke N Sparks to the victory with
a time of 15.06. She added $555 to her year-end totals.
"I raised him and his mother,"
McKee says of the gelding who is registered as Little Snoop
Dog. "He is kind of off and on; sometimes we have more
run than turn. He is about having a good time!"
McKee was raised on a ranch and spent
years running race horses and even chariot racing before
coming to barrel racing. After time spent staying mostly
in the futurities, she has ventured to the rodeos and found
The cowgirl was quick to praise the
efforts of Honeycutt and the crew at Breckenridge.
"It was a super, super nice rodeo,"
she says. "The tractor driver was trying his guts out
and we saw him get off the tractor and pick up rocks and
Due to a full schedule next week, McKee
won't get to repeat next week but plans to return before
the series concludes on Labor Day weekend.