Oklahoma Cowgirl Earns IFYR Barrel Racing Championship
By: Tammie Hiatt
Photo By: Rodeo Bum
Oklahoma cowgirl, Patricia Walden of Wister, OK claimed the IFYR Barrel Racing title at the end of the 27th edition of the “world’s richest high school rodeo”. The 18-year-old high school senior left the Heart of Oklahoma Expo with over $5,000 in cash and awards.
“This was my third year to enter the IFYR. Last year I made it to the short go and ran the second fastest time, I was so close. This year I was more focused and I really concentrated on my first run and my first barrel. I was happy with my first run and ended up 9th in the round. I was 5th in the 2nd round and was 4th in the average coming into the short go.”
Trisha and her big brown gelding, Dago, have been together for 8 years. “He was a green broke 4-year-old when I got him and we basically taught each other. We’ve just been doing better and better. Dago likes the bigger arenas, he likes to stretch out and run and the IFYR arena suites him.”
“It was so exciting to win the IFYR. I’d had a really rough morning on the day of the short go. My dad had to tell me that one of our dogs had passed away and I hadn’t gotten to say goodbye. He was 15 years old, Dago and I ran the short go for him.”
“I have a brother to Dago that I have going and taken to some futurities and I recently invested in another brother that was orphaned as a colt. He’s a 4 year old and is very green broke. He’s got the same laid back disposition as Dago.”
Trisha and Dago will soon be headed to Connors State College in Warner, OK on a rodeo scholarship. Walden will be enrolled in their equine program and plans to finish out her degree in Equine Therapy at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
“The IFYR is such a great event. I’ve made so many friends over the three years I’ve competed. I actually met the girl that will be my college roommate at Connors at the IFYR. My classes start mid-August.”
The International Finals Youth Rodeo is sanctioned by the International Pro
Rodeo Association and offers a proving ground for the future world champions in professional rodeo. The 2019 IFYR had a total of 825 contestants that made up 1,034 entries. Over 30 states were represented and contestants from Australia and New Zealand were also on the roster.
For more information on the IPRA visit www.iprarodeo.com. Complete results from the IFYR can be found at www.ifyr.com