By Laura Lambert—Photos by Westfall Photography
Veteran barrel racer and multiple National Finals Rodeo qualifier Kelly Yates, of Pueblo, Colo., is having a banner year. Ranked 37th in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Standings, Yates has been scoring big checks when it counts thanks in part to the incredible chestnut gelding, Kissmyskooter (“Skooter”), owned by Rivon Nilson. Skooter laid down two great performances in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the Pike’s Peak Or Bust Rodeo Days, a part of the PRCA Silver Tour, held July 13-16 at Norris Penrose Events Center.
In the first round, the talented pair collected the first place check for their run of 17.21. The run appeared to be nearly flawless and as the team rounded third, not more than a millimeter of space was left between horse, rider and barrel. Yates banked $4,693.79 on two runs.
“I was just really fortunate because of the weather,” explained a humble Yates. “We didn’t have to run in the mud or the rain like some did. Skooter had worked nice in a slot race held at the same place in May and I just went in with a lot of confidence. I was really tickled with him. The ground allowed me to win as I had drawn in the middle on both runs. Skooter handled everything great. There were a lot of girls left to run when I was done. I knew we were going to place well in the average but I didn’t know if we would win it, so I was really thrilled to get the win.”
Yates enjoyed the win and got to go back home to recuperate and get ready for rodeo-filled week following the Pike’s Peak Or Bust. The comforts of home paid off as Yates went on to place at Steamboat Springs, Colo., Laramie, Wyo., and Estes Park, Colo., to continue her assault on the Mountain States Circuit standings.
The second round win belonged to Jeanne Anderson, of White City, Kan. Having recovered from a misstep going around the second barrel in the first round, Anderson still clocked a 17.53 and earned $563.25 for a seventh place win in that round.
Flaming Firebug sure wasn’t thinking about his near fall in the first round when he came through the gate for round two. Laying down a beautiful run just a few hours after competing in the first round, Anderson and her great horse stepped up the pace to set the bar in the second round at 16.93.
Anderson is making fierce bid for the NFR and pocketed a total of $4,506.03 in Colorado Springs when go rounds checks combined with her second place finish in the average. Firebug and Anderson are ranked #24 in the WPRA World Standings.
“I nearly pulled Firebug up when we started to fall in the first round and I am really glad I didn’t. I though the ground was a little drier when I ran the second time and Firebug just really fired. He felt great the second round.”
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