Mother-daughter barrel racing duo highlight ‘awesome’ Rodeo All Star
2014 Rodeo All Star Winners
Bareback — Jessy Davis
Steer Wrestling — Nick Guy
Team Roping — Clay Norell/Cullen Teller
Saddle Bronc — Cort Scheer
Tie Down Roping — Timber Moore
Barrel Racing — Christy Loflin
Bull Riding — Jordan Hupp
The second annual invitational Rodeo All Star event rode into Denver over the weekend of April 18-19 and numerous Colorado contestants made sure the home state crowd was happy.
With 16 quality cowboys and cowgirls invited to participate in each event, there was no shortage of exciting options, and one of the more intriguing story lines of the weekend arrived courtesy of the barrel racing event.
The Colorado-based mother/daughter duo of Christy Loflin and Randi Timmons entertained the crowd by competing against each other in a semifinal performance on Saturday afternoon.
What made it even better for the fans filling the seats was when the pair qualified for the final round on Saturday night after Loflin took first and Timmons earned the fourth place slot in that round.
As could be expected, both racers were thrilled at the prospect of competing together for another round and talked about it following the afternoon rodeo.
“It’s exciting,” described Loflin behind the scenes about the two of them advancing to Saturday night’s round. “We competed against each other in the short go at Pendleton (last year), so that was fun. It’s always awesome when you get to ride with your daughter.”
“It wouldn’t be the same if one of us made it without each other,” added the 19-year-old Timmons, who was invited to participate after earning the most barrel racing votes via Facebook. “I didn’t care if I made it or not, I just wanted to make it with her. It is kind of fun to have people say we are the mother/daughter pair and then go in and do good.”
Asked how it felt to have her mom make a fast run and then go out and advance with a fourth place finish of her own, Timmons flashed a smile before answering.
“I got off (my horse) and gave my mom a big hug,” she said while both of them laughed. “I was really excited to go with her. This is my first time at Rodeo All Star, so it means a lot to me. It’s her first time, too, so it will be cool,” she added. “I’m excited I got invited and thankful to be here.”
“I’m super proud of Randi,” said Loflin in response. “She’s made her own way in this sport and made her own name.
“How can you not be excited about that? I have a feeling we’re going to be in a lot of short go’s battling back and forth,” she finished as the two of them laughed again in unison.
The Saturday night crowd filling the seats was treated to see both compete in the final round, along with six other quality barrel racers. Building on her first round, Loflin blistered the arena with the fastest time of the rodeo, which qualified her to advance to the head to head round where she earned another $5,000 and the RAS barrel racing title. Although Timmons wasn’t able to keep pace with her mom’s speedy run in the final round, it was safe to say the family was happy with the day’s results.
“Being there with Randi was awesome,” said Loflin after the rodeo was finished. “She didn’t make the head to head (round), but I guarantee she was probably screaming the loudest for me.”
Fans in attendance screamed loud for other Colorado contestants, and Pueblo, Colo., cowboy Josh Peek had them rooting to see a repeat of his 2013 win at the venue. After progressing to the final round, Peek turned in a top two finish to advance to the head to head round against Timber Moore for a chance at another $5,000 and a back-to-back RAS Tie Down Roping buckle.
Going first, Peek notched a solid 8.18-second time, but Moore saddled up next and stopped the timer in 7.67-seconds to earn the title for himself.
“I felt great about everything,” said Peek about nearly winning a second title in as many years. “I had to go first this year (in the head to head round). I went out and made my run and he went out and made a better run. Both of us made good runs and his just clocked faster than mine did.”
Asked what he thought of the rodeo in its second year, Peek was quick with praise for the venue.
“The electricity in the building was unbelievable,” he started on the subject. “It was even a better Rodeo All Star this year than it was last year. The contestants were enjoying it more; the committee did a lot better job (and) there were a lot more fans. It was a really neat deal and I was just happy to be there and be involved. It was awesome.”
“Awesome” seemed to be the word of choice for Colorado competitors, as local team roper Clay Norell demonstrated when he chimed in after his own RAS victory.
“It was awesome,” said Norell about winning with his roping partner Cullen Teller. In what was their biggest rodeo performance of the year, the pair took the top spots in both the semifinal and final rounds before earning first place in the head to head round for good measure.
“We don’t get that opportunity to go to an event like that very often,” continued a humble Norell. “The last couple of years I haven’t gone to very many places outside the circuit. It’s pretty cool to have an opportunity to go compete on a stage like that against some of those guys. A guy like me, shoot, that’s as cool a deal as I get to go to all year.”
Asked for his perspective on taking part in the invitational rodeo with its different format and big payday, Norell was enthusiastic about the experience.
“Those kind of events, the playoff style like that, rodeo is just like any sport,” he began with conviction. “It doesn’t take fake drama to make drama at a rodeo. That’s what fans like. It’s natural drama and natural excitement. Fans don’t want to show up and watch one hundred teams go in a team roping in a morning slack,” he continued. “They want to show up and watch the excitement and let the drama build a little bit. I thought it was awesome. Top to bottom, it was awesome.”
With its playoff style format and added money for the contestants, the invitational Rodeo All Star event seems poised to be a fixture on the schedule of top flight Colorado rodeos.
In other words, it was “awesome.” ❖
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