By Jolee Jordan
Lafayette, Louisiana—Some competitors spend years looking for their first win as a professional. Kylar Terlip managed it in her seventh trip down the alley as a member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA).
Terlip captured the win at the 67th Annual Mid Winter Fair and Rodeo in Lafayette, Louisiana over the weekend of January 10-13 while riding her gelding Jock.
The cowgirl is no stranger to winning nor to barrel racing but she just bought her WPRA card at the beginning of the 2019 rodeo season back in October.
“I’m a true rookie,” laughed Terlip when asked if she’d competed at Lafayette in the past. Unlike many cowgirls who purchase a WPRA permit and hit the pro rodeo trail to earn their required $1,000 to become eligible to buy a WPRA card, Terlip instead focused on co-sanctioned events held with large divisional format barrel races. In fact, she won the requisite $1,000 in just one event in September of 2018.
“I didn’t even high school rodeo,” continues the Frontenac, Kansas cowgirl. Though she grew up around horses—her mother and aunts high school rodeoed in their youth and her father spent time showing some in Western Pleasure and similar classes—rodeo was never the call for Terlip as a youngster.
“I was only competing in one event and I had multiple horses,” she explains. “It made more sense to go to the jackpots where I could run all of my horses than to go to the rodeos.”
In that vein, she earned a number of prestigious titles as a youth competitor including the 2017 Josey Junior World Championship, hosted by WPRA World Champion Martha Josey for nearly four decades.
Terlip also has two WPRA Junior World titles (earned in 2011 and 2013) to her credit along with the distinction of being the first junior to capture more than one WPRA World Championship since the Junior Division was created back in 2007. Only Laney Robinson has since equaled the feat.
But still, turning pro as a card carrying member of the WPRA and hitting the rodeos was not on her mind when she purchased Jock three years ago.
“I did not buy him to rodeo though he had some rodeo experience,” she notes. The gelding is registered with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) under the name Guys Voodoo Bug and is sired by Frenchmans Guy, the number two rated producer of barrel racing horses by Equi-Stat and a Pro Elite Sire Incentive (PESI) stallion. His dam is by Marthas Six Moons.
“The Myers [owners of Frenchmans Guy] raised him and Monica McClung bought him through their sale as a three year old.”
Terlip describes the 16-year old gelding as a one-person horse who is timid outside the arena.
“Once he sees the barrels and is going fast, he’s not timid anymore,” she notes. “But if you try to work him around the pattern going slow, he spooks at the banners and the barrels . . . people see me try to work him and think ‘what’s that horse doing?’”
Despite the idiosyncrasies, Terlip says Jock is all business when it’s time to run. “He knows what to do,” she laughs.
After filling her permit, Terlip embarked on an ambitious plan for the 2019 rodeo season, particularly for someone who hadn’t entered any rodeos prior to that point.
“I’m taking my college classes on-line so I can rodeo,” she notes. “I want to win the Rookie of the Year and make the NFR. But we’re going to just take it one rodeo at a time and see where it goes.”
So far, the plan is working quite well. Terlip and Jock won a big check at Rosenberg, Texas on the first weekend of the new season and competed at the WPRA World Finals in October as well. Her plan got derailed a bit with some issues with Jock’s health.
“We finally figured out he has bad allergies, so we basically had to change his whole diet between October and now,” she explains.
After a lengthy break, Terlip headed south from Kansas to start 2019 at the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo in Odessa. Running in the Monday morning slack on January 7, she left winning eighth in the rodeo but less than satisfied with her performance.
“It was our worst run of the weekend,” she says of the 14.23 second run. “I ran another horse at the jackpot on Saturday before the slack and did really well and everyone kept asking me if I was going to run that horse. But I messed up the first barrel in our run and I didn’t really expect to win anything sitting eighth with four or five perfs to go.”
From Odessa, Terlip headed to Outlaw Equine in Decatur, one of her sponsors as well as the crew responsible for Jock’s health. After some pampering and treatments, she hit the road again for the Thursday night performance in Lafayette.
“He worked just perfect . . . I fixed my first barrel from Odessa,” she notes excitedly. “In fact, I screamed a little when I saw my time which is unlike me. I was just so excited.”
Her time of 13.82 seconds took the lead from Tyra Kane, who posted the only other sub-fourteen second run at the rodeo.
Her father Kaleb was along as hauling partner and videographer and took a little good natured ribbing on Facebook for missing the third barrel on the run.
“He’s hauling with me this winter and probably in the summer I’ll find someone to buddy with,” notes Terlip. Kaleb Terlip is partners with Dr. Josh Harvey—of Outlaw Equine and Terlip’s veterinarian—on OE Nutraceuticals, another of Terlip’s sponsors. “I guess you could say my parents are my sponsors,” laughs Terlip.
Twenty-four hours later, Terlip competed in West Monroe, Louisiana, landing second behind friend and former Wrangler National Finals Rodeo cowgirl as well as the 2015 Rookie of the Year Jackie Ganter. Interestingly, she was just ahead of last year’s Rookie of the Year Jimmie Smith.
“We were up together and I’ve known Jackie forever,” Terlip says. “We were laughing about how the big barrel races are usually one day so you know exactly what you won then.”
“I told her, I don’t get nervous when I run at the rodeos but I really do after the run, waiting to see if my times hold up. I’m always trying to find someone who was there that day to get the update.”
The sensation was amplified tremendously at Lafayette as Terlip waited to see if she would earn her first pro rodeo victory in just her seventh pro rodeo.
“I was literally biting my fingernails on Sunday afternoon. It’s much better when I’m at other rodeos and I have something to keep me busy so I’m not thinking about it!”
The win in Lafayette was worth $1,892 while second at West Monroe put another $904 in her pockets. In a surprise to Terlip, she also won a share of 11th in Odessa, worth $739 more for a weekend haul of $3,535.
Terlip already led the Rookie standings but increased her margin significantly. She also moved up to 36th in the WPRA World Standings.
Terlip will have a little break at home before heading south again to compete at the San Angelo Stock Show and other big winter rodeos. She’ll be juggling the travel with her pursuit of a degree in chemistry with a minor in business. She hopes to one day be a pharmacist, possibly working in a compounding pharmacy to incorporate her passion for animals with her career.
The cowgirl offered big thanks to her friends and family for their support of her pursuit of rodeo’s ultimate goal.
“I am one of seven kids in two families,” she notes, adding that her siblings are busy with sports and their own activities. “My Mom—Karin Nielsen—is a single mom but she is so supportive of me. My step-mom Beth is great and so understanding, especially with my dad gone a lot to help me. I’m the oldest and the only one who rides and rodeos.”
“I just really have to thank all of them for supporting me.”
On social media, she gave a shout-out to her equine partner.
“Guys Voodoo Bug means more to me than I can put into words. Jock & I won Lafayette!
He also placed at all 3 rodeos we went to winning a little over $3,500! I’m so beyond thankful that I get to be his person.”
For more information on the Mid Winter Fair and Rodeo, visit www.lafayettetravel.com/events/festivals/mid-winter-fair-rodeo on-line.
January 10-13, 2019
1. Kylar Terlip 13.820 $1,892.07
2. Tyra Kane 13.980 $1,621.78
3. Abby Phillips 14.000 $1,351.48
4. Brittney Barnett 14.040 $1,171.28
5. Sarah McCormick 14.060 $810.89
5. Kelley Carrington-French 14.060 $810.89
7. Jackie Ganter 14.070 $540.59
8. Lauren Magdeburg 14.080 $360.39
9. Cindy Smith 14.090 $270.29
10. Carly Taylor 14.100 $45.04
10. Madeline Dickens 14.100 $45.04
10. Miranda Emmert 14.100 $45.04
10. Sable Miller 14.100 $45.04