Media updates courtesy Ann Bleiker for WCRA and Days of ’47 Rodeo with modification from Barrel Horse News
Jordon Briggs Wins Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo
July 25, 2022 — SALT LAKE CITY — Reigning Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world champions Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet (Dash Ta Fame x Blazin Black Beauty x Blazin Jetolena) added a gold medal to their trophy case after taking the top spot in the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo barrel racing with a 17.195, worth $25,000, to take home the championship over Silver medalist Stevi Hillman, who turned in 17.22 for second place and $12,500 on Famous Lemon Drop.
Briggs and her 2021 American Quarter Horse Association/WPRA Horse of the Year “Rollo” kicked off their showing at the Days of ’47 Rodeo in Performance Two on July 21 and turned in a time of 17.277, which finished third in that performance for $800 and an advancement to the Gold Medal Round.
Briggs still had to make it past seven other of the toughest ladies in professional rodeo. Among the Gold Medal Round qualifiers were Stevi Hillman, who posted the fastest time of the entire event in the previous Semifinals with a 17.111 aboard the Dunn Ranch-owned mare Famous Lemon Drop; National Finals Rodeo qualifer Wenda Johnson and Macgyver Moonflash, who turned in a 17.183; plus 2022 WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi champion Halyn Lide (17.199), Stephanie Fryar (17.360), two-time WCRA Major champion Michelle Darling (17.562), Tiffani Sonnier (17.800) and WCRA No. 1-seeded Leaderboard athlete Jana Guthrie.
In conjunction with the World Champions Rodeo Alliance, the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo played host to the third stop to the WCRA’s Triple Crown of Rodeo during the 2022 series and boasted a guaranteed payout of $562,500. Each champion walked away with $25,000 and a Days of ’47 Rodeo Gold Medal. All eight athletes came into the Gold Medal Round with their sights set on taking home a gold medal—something that’s only been done six other times in the history of rodeo.
Scroll down for 2022 Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo barrel racing results.
Gold Medal Round Field Set At Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo
JULY 23, 2022 — SALT LAKE CITY — Michelle Darling and her palomino Morning Traffic turned in the top time in the barrel racing on night No. 4 with a 17.562. Darling has two medals already, both bronze, so she will be looking to grab another color and a higher spot on the medal podium come Monday.
“Martini,” by Frenchmans Guy and out of Evening Traffic by Dash Thru Traffic, is owned and campaigned by Darling. The duo from Medford, Oklahoma, have earned their fair share of cash within the WCRA, including two Major events—the Titletown Stampede in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 2019 and the Stampede at the E at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, in 2020. The WCRA offers Darling, a working mother and barrel horse trainer, the flexibility to work around her busy schedule while still competing for top-shelf payouts in professional rodeo competition.
Started by Darling as a 2-year-old, Martini found early-career success with Stevi Hillman when Darling sent the 2011 palomino mare to Hillman as a 3-year-old after Darling became pregnant with her son. Hillman campaigned Martini in futurity competition and even took her to professional rodeos, winning the Pendleton Roundup in 2016. Together, Hillman and Martini earned more than $88,000 together before Darling took over the reins in 2017. Darling and Martini have gone on to earn more than $287,000 in EquiStat reported earnings together. All totaled, Martini has earned more than $370,777 in EquiStat reported lifetime earnings.
Halyn Lide Takes Days of ’47 Performance Three
JULY 22, 2022 — SALT LAKE CITY — Halyn Lide of China Springs, Texas, won the Performance Three in a time of 17.199. Lide, who won the World Champion Rodeo Alliance rodeo in Corpus Christi, Texas, in May, is looking for another WCRA win and a gold medal.
Lide rode her home-raised and -trained 10-year-old gelding Jettin Ta Heaven (JL Dash Ta Heaven x Zeros Gypsy Jet x Three O Jones) to both the Days of ’47 round win, as well as the WCRA Corpus Christi win.
Hillman and ‘Lemon Drop’ Rock Days of ’47 Performance Two
JULY 21, 2022 — SALT LAKE CITY — The event of the night on Thursday night at the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo was definitely the ladies barrel racing.
Stevi Hillman came out on top of a tough barrel race that included four Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers and a current Women’s Professional Rodeo Association rookie. Hillman, of Granbury, Texas, jockeyed Famous Lemon Drop (First Down French x A Famous Lady x Dash Ta Fame) to the top of the leaderboard, stopping the clock in a blistering fast time of 17.111 seconds to knock defending gold medalist Wenda Johnson to No. 2 on the leaderboard. Johnson finished in a time of 17.183.
Hillman will be looking for her first gold medal on Monday, while Johnson will have to wait to see if she will earn a wildcard spot based off her time on Thursday.
Hillman and “Lemon Drop” have been partners since March 2021. Hillman has focused on seasoning and experiencing the mare to high-pressure situations that rodeos offer, picking up round money on big stages such as the 2021 Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas. Now, the duo is capitalizing on their momentum in the 2022 pro rodeo season.
“She is just amazing,” Hillman of said Lemon Drop. “She is only a 6-year-old, and she has done amazing things and I am blessed to have her. This rodeo pays really good, and I am thankful for the invite and this crowd is awesome.”
The Dunn Ranch-owned 6-year-old mare found futurity fame first with DaCota Monk, earning $92,903 in 2020. Started by Summer Hatch and trained for the futurities by Monk, she earned status as one of the leading futurity horses of 2020. Now, Lemon Drop’s EquiStat lifetime earnings stand at more than $248,660, not yet including 2022 pro rodeo earnings.
Reigning WPRA world champion Jordon Briggs finished the night third-fastest in a time of 17.277 and will also have a good shot at returning to Salt Lake City on Monday. Prior to her run, she watched her daughter, Bexley, compete in the mutton busting and win a trophy bigger than her. Rodeo is truly a family sport.
Tiffani Sonnier Tops Days of ’47 Performance One
JULY 20, 2022 — SALT LAKE CITY — The 2022 Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank kicked off in fine fashion with top rides and an arena-record time at the Days of ’47 Arena in Salt Lake City.
The Utah Days of ’47 barrel racing saw Tiffani Sonnier as the only barrel racer to post a sub-18-second time on Night One in Salt Lake City. The Boling, Texas, cowgirl stopped the clock in 17.80 to punch her ticket to the Gold Medal Round on Monday. Her next closest competitor, Kaitlin Schuck, ran right after her with a time of 18.076 seconds. Sonnier and Schuck were the final two runners on opening night.
It was lightening quick in the breakaway roping with 20-time world champion Jackie Crawford setting a new arena record in a time of 1.91 seconds. Crawford won Silver last year, but she has complete focus on Gold this year. Another run like tonight and she will be tough to beat. National Finals Rodeo-qualifying barrel racer and breakaway roper Taylor (Jacob) Hanchey finished second in a time of 2.17 seconds. Her husband, Shane Hanchey, competed in the tie-down roping and is currently second as well. They will both have to sweat out three more performances before they will know if they will be back here on Monday.
The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank, is taking place at the $17.5 million state-of-the-art Days of ’47 Arena at the Utah State Fairpark, custom designed and built for rodeo. The venue—an outdoor arena located in the heart of Salt Lake City—features over 10,000 stadium-style seats.
The Gold Standard in Rodeo features a total of 288 competitors who will take their shot at a share of the $562,500 in prize money and a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal that will be awarded July 25. There will be 32 competitors in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, women’s breakaway roping, barrel racing and bull riding.
The full field of 32 competitors is divided into four groups of eight each and compete in one of the first four performances (July 20-23). The one highest score/fastest time from each discipline of each performance will advance to the Gold Medal Round along with the three highest scores/fastest times overall, from all four combined Semifinal performances that have not yet advanced. In addition, the No. 1-ranked athlete in each discipline (for team roping it is highest ranked team after pairing) of the final audited standings of the WCRA Days of ’47 Rodeo Leaderboard will be automatically qualified for the Gold Medal Round, making a total of eight contestants in each discipline to compete in the Gold Medal Round. Scores/times from the Semifinal performances will not carry forward to the Gold Medal Round (only to break ties). The eight competitors in each event in the Gold Medal Round will compete in a sudden-death format with the winner collecting a Gold Medal and $25,000 cash.
For only the seventh time in the history of rodeo, riders have an opportunity to compete for Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals. The first two times were in conjunction with the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary (1988) and Salt Lake City (2002), when rodeo was part of the Cultural Olympiad, and the other four times being the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo from 2017-2021. 2022 marks an official name change of the event to Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo. This will be the third time for breakaway ropers, as their event was added to the roster in 2019. The medals will be produced by OC Tanner, the same company that made the Olympic medals for the champions of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo is live streamed on RidePass PlutoTV-Channel 720 nightly at 7:30 p.m. MT. CBS will air the Gold Medal Round of the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo on July 31 at 11 a.m. MT.
Action at the Utah Day of ’47 Rodeo continues July 21 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
2022 Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo Barrel Racing and Breakaway Roping Results
Find complete results from all events at wcrarodeo.com.
Gold Medal Round Results:
Barrel racing: 1. Jordon Briggs, Tolar, TX, 17.195 seconds, $25,000; 2. Stevi Hillman, Granbury, TX, 17.220, $12,500; 3. Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, OK, 17.266, $6,000; 4. Jana Guthrie, Canton, TX, 17.311, $3,000; 5. Stephanie Fryar, Waco, TX, 17.376; 6. Halyn Lide, China Spring, TX, 17.426; 7. Michelle Darling, Medford, OK, 17.476; 8. Tiffani Sonnier, Boling, TX, 19.439.
Gold Medal medalist: Jordon Briggs
Silver medalist: Stevi Hillman
Bronze medalist: Wenda Johnson
Breakaway roping: 1. Josie Conner, Iowa, LA, 1.85 seconds, $25,000; 2. Jackie Crawford, Stephenville, TX, 2.36, $12,50; 3. Taylor Hanchey, Carmine, TX, 2.42, $6,000; no other qualified times
Gold Medal medalist: Josie Conner
Silver medalist: Jackie Crawford
Bronze medalist: Taylor Hanchey
Performance 4 – July 23, 2022
Barrel racing: 1. Michelle Darling, Medford, OK, 17.562 seconds, $1,600; 2. Brooke McGehee, Stephenville, TX, 17.654, $1,200; 3. Ava Garcia, Bulverde, TX, 17.664, $800; 4. Casey Wagner, Park City, MT, 17.692, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Tiffani Sonnier, Stevi Hillman, Halyn Lide, Michelle Darling, Wenda Johnson, Jordon Briggs, Stephanie Fryar, Jana Guthrie
Breakaway roping: 1. Rylie Edens, Hillsboro, TX, 2.42 seconds, $1,600; 2. Jordi Edens, Gatesville, TX, 2.50 seconds, $1,200; 2. MaryBeth Beam, Terrell, TX, 3.85, $800; 4. Lindsei Harvey, Seguin, TX, 2.93, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Jackie Crawford, Hali Williams, Bradi Good, Rylie Edens, Taylor Hanchey, Lari Dee Guy, Jordi Edens, Josie Conner
Performance 3 – July 22, 2022
Barrel racing: 1. Halyn Lide, China Springs, TX, 17.199 seconds, $1,600; 2. Stephanie Fryar, Waco, TX, 17.360, $1,200; 3. Taylor Johnson, Wichita Falls, TX, 17.540, $800; 4. Ari-Anna Flynn, Charleston, AR, 17.599, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Tiffani Sonnier, Stevi Hillman, Halyn Lide, Jana Guthrie
Breakaway roping: 1. Bradi Good, Abilene, TX, 3.11 seconds, $1,600; 2. Ari-Anna Flynn, Charleston, AR, 3.51 seconds, $1,200; 3. Bailey Bates, Tohatchi, NM 5.42, $800; 4. Tiffany Schieck, Floresville, TX, 7.42, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Jackie Crawford, Hali Williams, Bradi Good, Josie Conner
Performance 2 – July 21, 2022
Barrel racing: 1. Stevi Hillman, Granbury, TX, 17.111 seconds, $1,600; 2. Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, OK, 17.183, $1,200; 3. Jordon Briggs, Tolar, TX, 17.277, $800; 4. Laura Mote, Llano, TX, 17.496, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Tiffani Sonnier, Stevi Hillman, Jana Guthrie
Breakaway roping: 1. Hali Williams, Comanche, TX, 2.33 seconds, $1,600; 2 Taylor Engesser, Spearfish, SD, 2.51, $1,200; 3. Ashlee Carley, Seguin, TX, 6.04, $800; 4. Josey Murphy, Keachi, LA, 7.44, $400
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Jackie Crawford, Hali Williams, Josie Conner
Performance 1 – July 20, 2022
Barrel racing: 1. Tiffani Sonnier, Boling, TX, 17.800 seconds, $1,600; 2. Kaitlin Schuck, Wickenburg, AZ, 18.076, $1,200; 3. Brittney Hipp, Tuttle, OK 18.279, $800; 4. Lorie Diodosio, Fowler, CO, 18.634, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Tiffani Sonnier, Jana Guthrie
Breakaway roping: 1. Jackie Crawford, Stephenville, TX, 1.91 seconds, $1,600; 2. Taylor Hanchey, Carmine, TX, 2.17, $1,200; 3. Lari Dee Guy, Abilene, TX, 2.34, $800; 4. Shelby Boisjoli, Calgary, AB, 3.60, $400.
Gold Medal Round current qualifiers: Jackie Crawford, Josie Conner