Local cowgirls ‘rein’ in regional barrel racing
Annabeth Peeler of Floresville gracefully rounds a barrel during state competition in Gonzales. Annabeth was the Region 6 All-Around cowgirl.
Ask any young cowgirl what rodeo event she participates in, and chances are it’s barrel racing. Six area junior high cowgirls are hoping to follow the path blazed by 2007 World Champion barrel racer Kay Blandford of Sutherland Springs.
Emma Smith of Pleasanton was ranked No. 1 in Texas’ Region 8 barrel racing. For this honor, Emma earned a belt buckle and saddle. To qualify for state, the cowgirls accumulated points by competing in 10 rodeos held in different regions of Texas. The top 10 finishers in each event advanced to state competition at the Texas Junior High State Final held May 25-31 at the J.B. Wells Arena in Gonzales. These standings also are used to determine the “All Around” honors. Emma was ranked fifth in Region 8’s All Around.
To qualify for national competition, she had to rank among the top four in the state. Emma had the fourth-best average on three runs (50.440) during state competition. When her seasonal (regional standing) points were added, Emma was ranked third.
She also competed in other events during state competition. See “Junior high region standings” for more.
During national competition in Des Moines, Iowa, in late June, Emma represented Atascosa County and Texas. In the first round, her time of 15.881 had her in 25th place. When her second run of 16.183 was included, Emma finished 38th in the nation.
All Around leader
Another young lady riding the cloverleaf pattern at state competition was Annabeth Peeler of Floresville, the second-ranked barrel racer in Texas’ Region 6.
Annabeth, the daughter of Jason and Marianna Peeler of Floresville, led the way as the Region 6 All Around leader and returned to state to compete in several events.
The girls breakaway Region 6 leader placed among the top 25 at state competition.
In ribbon roping, Annabeth and Cullen Eppright of Cost led Region 6 in first place. During state competition, their third-round time of 14.20 was the sixth-fastest in that round. Annabeth, the runner, and Cullen, the roper, finished the state season in eighth place.
Annabeth, serving as the heeler, teamed up with header Emily Douglas of La Vernia for team roping. This team’s eighth-place standing at region qualified them to compete at state.
Emily, Region 6’s third-place All-Around cowgirl, led the region in girls goat tying. During her return visit to state competition, Emily tied for 16th.
More Top 10 cowgirls
Sydney Dockery of Karnes City, the fifth-ranked Region 6 All-Around Cowgirl, served as the 2013 Miss Rodeo Stockdale Princess. The daughter of Matt and Lee Dockery, the Stockdale Junior High School eighth-grader returned to state to compete in a number of events, including barrel racing and ribbon roping.
Jourdanton’s Mayce Marek, ranked seventh in the Region 6 All-Around group, competed in state in five different events.
The No. 4 region girls goat tier, Mayce tied for 13th place in the state. Her second-round time of 8.0 during state competition was the second fastest in that round.
Mayce was eighth in the region for pole bending and also finished eighth in state, due in part to her time of 20.594 in the first go -- the second-fastest time in that round.
Hayley Tieken, the daughter of John and Wendy Tieken of Floresville, returned to compete at state in pole bending after ranking second in the region standings. This Floresville Middle School seventh-grader was Region 6’s ninth-place All-Around cowgirl.
Junior high region standings
A number of cowgirls were ranked among the Top 10 in Region 6 or 8 and competed at state, including:
•Emma Smith of Pleasanton (Region 8) -- girls breakaway, fifth; pole bending, sixth; ribbon roping (runner) with Logan Moore of Pleasanton (roper), sixth.
•Annabeth Peeler of Floresville (Region 6) -- girls goat tying, second.
•Emily Douglas of La Vernia (Region 6) -- girls breakaway, third; barrel racing, fourth; pole bending, fifth; and runner on a ribbon roping team.
•Sydney Dockery of Karnes City (Region 6) -- barrel racing, tied fifth; pole bending, sixth; girls breakaway, sixth; girls goat tying, eighth; ribbon roping (runner) with Gregory Wilkison of Stockdale (roper), fifth.
•Mayce Marek of Jourdanton (Region 6) -- barrel racing, seventh; girls breakaway, eighth; and ribbon roping with Jesse Hine of Devine, 10th.
What’s ribbon roping?
In ribbon roping, after the roper catches the calf, the roper dismounts and joins the runner to remove a ribbon that is tied to the calf’s tail. The runner then proceeds -- on foot -- to the finish line that is located 30 feet in front of the chute.