By By Susan Kanode for the Caldwell Night Rodeo
CALDWELL, Idaho – A five-year-old gray horse called Sharpie and a petite blonde from Texas, had the rowdies and the civies making lots of noise at the first performance of the Caldwell Night Rodeo.
Stevi Hillman from Weatherford was one of 78 barrel racers that entered the rodeo here. They all had their first-round run during slack on Tuesday morning where she finished in second place behind Taci Bettis from Round Top, Texas.
Then 12 of those members of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association made their second appearance during the Family Night performance on Tuesday. Just hours after placing second, Sharpie and Hillman stopped the clock in 16.68 seconds to set a new arena record.
The previous record of 17.01 seconds was set by Mary Aller in 1998. When Aller had her success here, the entry and exit to the arena was on the side. It is now in the middle of the arena. While the set up may have changed the pattern is set the same and Hillman’s run put her at the top of the overall standings and will make her a favorite to compete here at next Saturday’s championships.
This is not the first success that Hillman has had aboard Sharpie. Just over two weeks ago, they won the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming and caught the attention of rodeo fans there.
“I got goosebumps tonight,” Hillman said. “I could feel how hard he was running and working. I’m sure he also responded to the crowd here. He was electric.”
The second performance of the rodeo begins at 8 p.m. Wednesday night. More information is available at www.caldwellnightrodeo.com.
Results as of August 15, 2017
Barrel Racing: (first round winners) 1, Taci Bettis, Round Top, Texas, 17.05 seconds, $2,555. 2, Stevi Hillman, 17.08, $1,743. 3, Darby Fox, King Hill, Idaho, 17.18, $1,452. 4, Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi, 17.22, $1,259. 5, Jessi Fish, Franklin, Tenn., 17.38, $968. 6, Kelly Tovar, Rockdale, Texas, 17.41, $775. 7, Tiany Schuster, Krum, Texas, 17.42, $581. 8, Kim Schulze, Larkspur, Colo., 17.44, $387. 9, (tie) Amberleigh Moore, Keizer, Ore., and Kelly Collier, Hereford, Texas, 17.45, $242 each. (second round) 1, Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 16.68*. 2, Taci Bettis, 17.09. 3, Amberleigh Moore, 17.23. 4, Liz Herrin, Big Spring, Texas, 17.30. (total on two) 1, Hillman, 33.76. 2, Bettis, 34.14. 3, Moore, 34.68. 4, Herrin, 34.78.
*New arena record. Previous record was Mary Aller at 17.01 in 1998.