N.M. - By all accounts 2009 has been quite a year for
Savanah Reeves. It all started back in December for
the Dublin, Texas cowgirl. She graduated from Tarleton
State University in Stephenville with a Bachelor of
Science degree in Nursing. If that wasn't enough, she
married PRCA steer wrestler and Wrangler National Finals
Rodeo qualifier Matt Reeves as well.
Now, Reeves is ranked 10th in the
WPRA NFR standings and inching ever closer to her dream
of qualifying for the Wrangler NFR. She moved up two
notches last week with her big win at the 60th Annual
Rodeo de Santa Fe in New Mexico.
Reeves ran second out in the first
performance and posted a time of 16.86 seconds.
"The pattern was set way down
the arena so I tried to get into the arena as much as
I could before going and he worked good," Reeves
says of her 8-year old sorrel gelding, Six Jet Moon,
known around the barn as Moon. "He hung a bit behind
the third barrel but was really running hard.
"Being out in the first perf,
I had no idea what to expect with only 12 girls having
run," she says. "It was a nice surprise to
Not that Reeves wasn't challenged
through the final four perfs and slack. With 83 total
entries, the barrel racers were running at a tremendous
pot of over $15K. Reeves was almost bumped during the
third perf by another lady making a hard charge for
the Wrangler NFR, Dothan, Ala., cowgirl Tammy Bruso.
Bruso's 16.87 was just a hair's breadth behind Reeves
to finish second; she is ranked 23 in the NFR standings.
Moon is a home grown talent raised
by Reeves and her family and trained by her mom, Kim
Stephens. He is by famous sire Martha Six Moons and
out of a Jet of Honor mare. Reeves ran him at a few
futurities as a five year old, winning one and placing
at another - the WPRA Futurity held in Alvarado, Texas.
She began moving him into rodeo competition at age six.
"I just graduated college in
December," Reeves says, "so now I can rodeo
full time, which I was never able to before." Reeves
doesn't get to travel with new hubby Matt much as schedules
are tough to coordinate with two family members working
towards the WNFR. Matt is currently 14th.
Reeves has had a great winter, placing
high at Fort Worth, Denver, and Houston and winning
rodeos in Alexandria, La., Goliad and Helotes, Texas.
She has won over $35K on the year, already matching
her 2008 total for the season, which landed her 25th
in the final 2008 standings.
"It's my ultimate goal to make
the WNFR," Reeves admits. "We had a good winter
but the last couple of months have been slow. Hopefully
we can pick it up."
With a win at Santa Fe worth $3,000,
Reeves has the momentum swinging the right way going
into the Fourth of July run. She is also making her
first trip to the Calgary Stampede in a couple of weeks
- while money won there doesn't help contestants get
to the Wrangler NFR, it can certainly buy plenty of
diesel for the truck.
Reeves, who is sponsored by Myristol
("thanks to them for backing me!"), is sending
Moon to Colorado Springs and Casper while she is running
another horse at Calgary. So she will be on the trail
from Alberta and back following the busy Fourth. Luckily,
her mom is with her for a couple of weeks to help out.
With just three months left in the
season - and three of the most lucrative rodeo months
to boot - all WPRA cowgirls will be in a sprint to the
finish to see who ends up under the bright lights in
Las Vegas come December.