Certain things are made to go together, perfect duos so to speak, like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck — like Kelly Yates and winning. However, the Friday afternoon before Yates was supposed to hit the trail to begin a summer run with her trusty steed and 2011 AQHA Barrel Racing Junior World Champion, Fiesta Del Rey (Fire Water Fiesta x Dual Rey), things took a turn for the worse. After spending a relaxing afternoon frolicking in Yates’ arena, “Whizzard” ended up getting hung up in the cable that encompasses the arena.
“His hind end got hung up, mainly his right hind leg and most of the injury was done in the front of his hock. Thankfully the X-rays showed that there was no tendon or bone damage and with adequate time and diligent doctoring, he will be back in the arena this fall. It could have been a lot worse,” explained Yates. “I was going to just vet out. I didn’t really think I had any other choice. But then I remembered I had Gigi.”
When Kelly Yates’ main mount, Fiesta Del Rey was sidelined, the veteran called on a green horse to step in. PHOTO CREDIT: Kenneth Springer
Gigi is a 7-year-old AQHA daughter of Brian and Lisa Fulton’s stallion A Streak Of Fling that is owned by Karen and Hannah Holland of Overland Park, Kan.
“On my way home from Fort Smith, Hannah called and asked if I would be interested in taking a horse of hers to season. The mare had basically just been jackpotted on before she came to my place and she just needed some runs to build her confidence” said Yates.
Yates was not nervous making the decision to run Gigi at the Beef Empire Days in Garden City, Kan., held June 7-9.
“I knew she needed to be seasoned, so nerves were not a factor. However, I was a little unsure of what would happen since the mare had mainly only been run indoors. She has a lot of set and was having problems keeping her momentum around the barrel but she really surprised me in Garden. She was a lot freer horse outside and I am just blessed that Gigi stepped up to the plate when I needed her to, and also blessed that the Holland’s are allowing me to run her this summer while Whizzard heals up.”
Yates stopped the clock in a blistering 17.22, earning her and Gigi a check for $2,345 while chalking up Gigi’s first and most likely not last, win at a pro rodeo.
While Whizzard heals, Yates will continue to make a run for the Mountain States Circuit Finals and run Gigi at some of the bigger rodeos. Gigi will be returning home in August for Hannah to take the reins and finish seasoning her. Hannah will be competing at the National High School Rodeo Finals in Rock Springs, Wyo., on a horse that Yates futuritied, Aprils Frenchmans Lena.
Results from Garden City, Kansas PRCA:
1. Kelly Yates, 17.22 seconds, $2,345; 2. Shada Brazile, 17.27, $1,993; 3. Jean Winters, 17.35, $1,641; 4. Kaley Bass, 17.42, $1,407; 5. Taylor Jacob, 17.45, $1,172; 6. Tana Poppino, 17.46, $821; 7. Christy Loflin, 17.50, $586; 8. Carol Chesher, 17.51, $469; 9. Mary Walker, 17.54, $410; 10. Kim Schulze, 17.59, $352; 11. Kathleen Heine, 17.64, $293; 12. Sherri Dean, 17.70, $234.