Beyond the Bubble

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

Two small checks pushed me into the top fifteen. I plan to stay.

by Jessie Telford

I drew up bad last Thursday at Amarillo. I was in the first performance of the night. The ground was so hard that the first two girls fell. Their horses just slipped. Thankfully, the judges stopped the race in the middle of the performance. They told the crew to pull the barrels, pull the eyes and move on to the bull riding.

After the bull riding, the crew returned and worked the ground, and we started over, including the girls who fell. But instead of finding a happy medium between hard-as-a-rock and deeper-than-beach-sand, they went with deeper-than-beach-sand.

For these final rodeos in Texas and Kansas City, I’m riding Connie McCormmach’s mare, Shu Fire. Despite the ground getting worked so excessively deep, Shu Fire was outstanding. It was a pretty wolfy performance, but she was still the fastest time. I’m super proud of her. The ground got better for the next three performances. We finished tenth overall. If Shu Fire had the same exact run in a different perf, she might have won more than four-hundred bucks, but that’s one of those things that’s completely out of your control. And I definitely don’t want to come off as somebody who complains about the ground.

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good.

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

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I’m feeling especially good because the next night at Texarkana I won another small check—just over three hundred dollars for finishing eleventh—which was enough to bump me from sixteenth to fifteenth.

Earlier today I ran in the slack at Kansas City. Out of fifty-five or so who ran, I’m currently placing fifth. It should pay twelve holes, so there’s money to be won. There are still twenty-seven barrel racers left to run in the perfs. Fingers crossed!

I have five rodeos left. Five rodeos in four states in three days. It’s kind of crazy!

This is where being a wife to a traveling horse trainer and a mom to two active girls comes in handy. I’m a master at scheduling! And, of course, you could never do this without your friends.

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My good friend Rainy kept Shu Fire from before Albuquerque. She brought her to Amarillo. I hauled Shu Fire to Texarkana and then to Kansas City for today’s slack. Next, I’ll haul her to Omaha for the slack on Friday morning. Another friend, Jackie, is flying in to Omaha to stay with Shu Fire and my rig. I fly out of Omaha for Utah, where I’m up that night at the rodeo in Mona. My husband, Jake, will meet me in Mona with Cool Whip. After Mona, Cool Whip and I are jumping in with the bulldogger Blake Knowles, and we’re driving all night Friday to get to the rodeo in Poway, California, for a noon performance. That night, we’re up in San Bernardino, California. At midnight, I fly out of LAX to Dallas, where Jackie will pick me up early Sunday morning. Jackie who has my rig and Shu Fire. My last rodeo of the season is in Stephenville that day.

This is the first time all year I’ve split horses. I’ve always been in the same rig and getting to what I can get to in the normal amount of time. But the way I see it, this last week is one-hundred-percent get to as many rodeos as you can.

After all, life happens. Too fast. So I’m going to enjoy every bit of this ride!

Read more about the CINCH JEANS and Classic Equine athletes fighting to make the NFR. Follow #theCjHASE

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen


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