Rookie Choate Tops Barrel Racing Field For Cowboy Christmas with Edens Leading The Way in Breakaway Roping
By Ann Bleiker
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – WPRA Barrel Racing Rookie Bayleigh Choate chose to spend her Cowboy Christmas week North of the Border and what a profitable week it was for her. Choate is definitely on the move up the world standings and extending her lead in the WPRA Rookie Race.
Choate was the top earner among all WPRA barrel racers in just her first year fully experi-encing the lucrative week surrounding the Fourth of July that is known in rodeo as Cowboy Christmas. When all was said and done Choate collected $25,506 and edged out Shelley Morgan, who remained in the U.S. for her run, finishing with a total of $20,352.
Photo by Jeremy Wombold
Choate’s biggest win came at the Ponoka Stampede where she dominated and had a clean sweep. She won the first round in a time of 17.27 over Wenda Johnson with a 17.31. Choate and Johnson was again 1-2 in the next round with runs of 17.43 and 17.47 seconds, respectively. Cho-ate won the average in 34.70 seconds with Johnson close behind at 34.78. In Ponoka, they also have a showdown round that Choate also won in a time of 17.39 seconds. Johnson finished fourth in 17.51 seconds. All totaled Choate won $21,302, the most in her career at one rodeo.
The 19-year old is quickly making a name for herself with her two equine partners Dash (Hail To Be Famous) and Boozer (TJR Stinson Blue). Choate is currently ranked fifth in the world standings now with $63,512 and in good position for her first trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. She also now has a $24,964 lead on the rookie field.
“It was a great Cowboy Christmas! I am so blessed with amazing horses and an amazing support system,” wrote Choate on her Facebook page. “Dash absolutely blew us all away at Ponoka winning the long round, short round and then turning around and having to make another run the same day to win the final 4 shootout. I absolutely loved the rodeo, the energy and the pres-sure that was there.”
Choate also picked up checks at Williams Lake, BC ($3,647) and Raymond, AB, ($557) aboard Boozer. She remains in Canada preparing for her first Calgary Stampede and hopes to carry her momentum to another huge payday.
On the roping end, Jordi Edens was the big winner collected $15,156 during the Cowboy Christmas week. Edens’ biggest check came in Oakley, Utah winning the rodeo in a time of 2.0 seconds good for $6,387. She also won Belle Fourche, S.D. in a time of 2.4 seconds for $4,426 and added $4,343 from her winnings at Prescott to bring her total to $15,156.
“Mark one of my goals off of being high money winner over the 4th! Thank you Judy (her horse) and thank you to everyone that helps me, I couldn’t do it alone,” wrote Edens on her Face-book page following the news.
Edens, who is also just 19 years old, is now ranked No. 11 in the WPRA ProRodeo Breakaway World Standings with $29,628. She has her eyes set on Las Vegas and her first National Finals Breakaway Roping.
Stay tuned to how both these ladies finish out their already spectacular 2022 rodeo season. Full coverage will be in the August issue of the WPRA News.
Cowboy Christmas – Top 10
1. Bayleigh Choate $25,505
2. Shelley Morgan $20,352
3. Jordon Briggs $18,267
4. Stevi Hillman $16,135
5. Wenda Johnson $14.424
6. Leslie Smalygo $13,722
7. Paige Jones $13,001
8. Kylee Scribner $12.790
9. Lisa Lockhart $12,687
10. Katie Pascoe $12.632
1. Jordi Edens $15,156
2. Taylor Hanchey $12,629
3. Sawyer Gilbert $11,431
4. Taylor Munsell $8,912
5. Rickie Engesser $8,863
6. Aspen Miller $8,439
7. Joey Williams $8.231
8. Maddy Deerman $7,616
9. JJ Hampton $6,888
10. Kayse Mahoney $6,742
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