Halyn Lide & Hailey Kinsel

National Western Stock Show and Rodeo

Lide and Kinsel Co-Champions in Denver

By Ann Bleiker

Photo by Val Ford, C Bar C Photography

The 118th National Western Stock Show and Rodeo came to a close Sunday afternoon, January 21, 2024. It was an action packed 20 performances with the WPRA Barrel Race definitely ranking at the top of list of highlights in 2024.

Halyn Lide

Photo by Greg Westfall

It is not often that you see a tie in the barrel racing but that is what the sold-out crowd saw during the final sudden-death round in Denver. Halyn Lide of China Springs, Texas, set the bar as the fifth runner out stopping the clock in a time of 14.73 seconds. Four racers later four-time world champion Hailey Kinsel of Cotulla, Texas, would match that time with her own 14.73 second run around the cloverleaf pattern.

            Lide jockeyed her 12-year-old gelding Jettin Ta Heaven “Keeper” to the big win in Denver and was honored to be standing in the winner’s circle in the Mile-High City.

            “Keeper is just outstanding,” said Lide. “For him to keep up with Sister is such a big accomplishment. I will go give him some cookies for a job well done.”

Hailey Kinsel

Photo by Greg Westfall

Kinsel aboard her famous 13-year-old palomino mare DM Sissy Hayday better known as Sister brought the heat to the Rocky Mountains and left town with their first National Western Stock Show and Rodeo title.

            “It has been a blessing to be back in Denver,” said Kinsel in the winner’s circle. “It has been a few years since I have come. I just want to make a point that the only way we could be this consistent and fast is because of the ground conditions. So, a huge thank-you to the National Western for prioritizing the horses and putting them first. It made a huge difference and I look forward to being back every year.”

            During the 13th performance Kinsel and Sister turned in a 14.63 second run, the fastest during the 2024 edition until the final semifinals when Tessa Arnold and Latte Ditto, a clone of the great Perculatin “Latte” that was ridden to the gold buckle in 2012 by Mary Walker, stopped the clock in a time of 14.50 seconds.

Hailey Kinsel and Halyn Lide

Photo by Greg Westfall

While many reports including ours stated these two times were new records in Denver, we have since confirmed that the pattern in 2024 was a smaller track than in previous years. These two times were in fact the fastest on this particular track inside the Denver Coliseum. No matter what, the fact is it was an electric barrel race and a great competition amongst all WPRA barrel racers who ran down the alley in Denver this month.

            The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo featured eight brackets of competition with two back-to-back rounds. The top three in each bracket advanced to one of three semifinal rounds held on Super Saturday (January 20). All previous times and scores were erased from the bracket competition, and it was a clean slate in the semifinals. Each semifinal advanced the top four to the Final round, which was a clean slate sudden death Finals.

            Lide was ranked 66th with $3,432 won on the year prior to Denver, while Kinsel was 89th in the world for the 2024 season with just $2,340. Both ladies will definitely climb in the standings after picking up checks worth $7,198 for Lide and $11,086 for Kinsel during the course of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.

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