NFBR 2023 Story

NFBR 2023 Story

McCartney Ropes Way To Average Title at Her Third NFBR

By Joe Kusek

Photos by James Phifer,

LAS VEGAS – Cheyanne McCartney admits she isn’t much of a home decorator.

But she still found time in Las Vegas to acquire an eye-catching centerpiece for her living room.

Cheyanne McCartney
Photo by James Phifer,

Cheyanne McCartney
Photo by James Phifer,

A nice, shiny new WPRA championship saddle now highlights her living room décor back home in Kingston, Oklahoma.

            McCartney (formerly Guillory) rebounded from what could have been a huge setback to win the average title at the National Finals Breakaway Roping, Dec. 5-6 at South Point Arena.

            The three-time NFBR qualifier roped nine calves in 32.2 seconds to earn $24,581. She finished a busy year ninth in the WPRA world standings with $111,784.

            Friend and fellow competitor, Shelby Boisjoli-Meged won the world title and was second in the average with a total time of 27.6 seconds on eight successful loops.

Cheyanne McCartney
Photo by James Phifer,

“I was excited,” said McCartney of the average crown. “That was the highest goal I could achieve. Going in, I knew I wasn’t in a position to win the world title. I just wanted to do the best I could as far as goals were concerned.”

            Riding her 12-year-old sorrel gelding Gus, the pair placed in six rounds, including a share of first place with Boisjoli-Meged and Hali Williams in the second round.

            A clutch throw of 2.4 seconds in the final round gave her the title.

            McCartney came into the 10th round trailing Kelsie Domer by two-tenths of a second.

            “Honestly, with the 2.4 I thought I would finish second in the average,” McCartney said. “Kelsie handles a rope so good. She is never one to make a mistake.”

            Domer had a no time on her final calf.

            McCartney, a former college softball shortstop, showed her mettle after a miss in the seventh round.

            “After the fifth round, I knew I had a chance,” she said of the second-most coveted buckle. “I backed off the barrier. I safetied up way too much. I had a horrible seventh run. I was devastated by that run.

            “I was just hoping I could recover. I had to forget about it or let it bleed into the rest of the performances. I still had runs to make. I like the pressure-packed situations. That’s what you work for.”

            With Boisjoli-Meged perched in the corner of the box, “She was clapping and telling me I could do it,” McCartney responded with times of 2.3, 2.1 and 2.4 for her final three runs.

            “It’s experience,” continued McCartney. “I had to go back and be aggressive. You go back to trusting your horse I had to get back to what we do best.”

            It’s the third straight year she has roped nine calves in Las Vegas. In 2022, McCartney and Gus, registered Mister Dun Star, earned an NFBR best $27,037.

            “I bought him last October,” said McCartney of the horse by Dosey Star and out of Dun Brow Sug. “I was going to use him as a backup horse. My horse has been solid the past two years.

            “He’s just easy. Gus is good in the box and he’s fast. I have a lot of confidence in him. He does the same thing every time.”

            But Gus does have an issue. “He’s buddy-sour,” McCartney added with a laugh. “If you take away his friend, he nickers and pats his feet. He has to have a friend horse with him when he’s traveling.”

            McCartney had plenty of friends around at South Point Arena. Her husband Cody was a member of the Haven and Shelby Boisjoli Meged wedding party in May. Haven Meged was the first to high-five her after the win.

            McCartney and Cody had a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic in October. McCartney credited her mother-in-law Betty McCartney for helping with the wedding plans while she roped around the country.

            When not roping, the graduate of Texas A&M-Commerce is a licensed real estate agent in both Oklahoma and Texas. The day after arriving home from Las Vegas, McCartney closed on a property sale.

            “I don’t let anything take away from roping,” she said. “I have a really good team. The team helps me pick up the slack.”

            The newly married couple live on 40 acres in Kingston, a community of 1,300 located at the bottom of south-central Oklahoma close to the Texas state line. Cody McCartney competes in tie-down roping and trains horses.

            Always a competitor, “No board games for me,” laughed McCartney, she competed in a jackpot roping the day after the NFBR. “You want to win them all.

            “Every year the game plan, I know it sounds cliché, is to make the best runs I can. I have the same plan, enter the best rodeos and do the best I can.”




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(719) 447-4627   |   (719) 447-4631 (fax)


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