Chelsie Stodghill is one of the finest young barrel racers on the national high school rodeo circuit, but sometimes she just can’t catch a break.
For example, at the Arizona State Junior Rodeo Championships June 6-9 at the Payson Event Center, Chelsie was in contention for the barrel racing championship when her horse, Peso, tripped and almost fell while rounding a barrel.
While stumbling, Peso’s rear hoof hit a front hoof, knocking off a shoe.
“It was scary; we all thought Peso was going down,” said Chelsie’s mother Dee Dee.
The horse, however, miraculously recovered from the fall, allowing Chelsie to finish the run, but a few seconds slower than she would have, had the stumble not occurred.
“What an athlete the horse is to not fall,” said Dee Dee.
The incident was not the first scare mother and daughter have had in the rodeo arena.
On opening day of the 2012 National High School Rodeo Championships, Chelsie’s first attempt was made during a huge storm accompanied by wind, rain and lightning.
“The arena was full of water and it was sill raining when Chelsie ran,” said her mother.
What resulted was a clocking of 18.097, which dropped her to a disappointing 40th place overall.
The second barrel run four days later was held in much better conditions and Chelsie took advantage, turning in an impressive 17.188 ET.
“The fastest time for the whole week,” said Dee Dee.
Buoyed by that fine run, Chelsie went on to finish second in the national championships.
At the 2013 Arizona State Championships last weekend, she finished third overall in the barrel racing which qualified her for a second successive trip to the national finals, which once again will be held in the Sweetwater Events Complex in Rock Springs, Wyo. Since opening day is July 13, Chelsie has plenty of time to fine-tune her racing skills at the family arena in Pine.
In addition to Chelsie competing in the state finals rodeo, Quinton Wells, Monty James and Bryce Stodghill, Chelsie’s younger brother, represented Payson High.
Monty James and partner Colton Clem of Wilcox, finished second in the first two go-arounds of the team roping.
Wells, a senior who just took up rodeo, competed in team roping as did Bryce, a freshman.
James competed in the calf roping and was second in the first go-around.
Although neither of the three qualified for the national finals, all represented PHS well, said Dee Dee.
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