Rylee and Red Bring the Heat
As anticipation grows for RFD-TV's 2016 THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER, so too does the excitement at barrel racing qualifier events across the nation.
All gunning for a shot at a one-day rodeo paying out $2 million, barrel racers converged at stop No. 9 in Glen Rose, Texas, on Nov. 7. Held in conjunction with the BBR TX/OK Regional Finals, the event hosted at Somervell County Expo Center, drew 157 entries.
A hot run from the team of Riley Jo Dick and her horse Designing Scooter, aka “Red,” topped the ultra-competitive field. The time of 14.666 seconds earned Rylee $3,336 and a chance to run in The American Semi-Finals slated for Feb. 17-21 at Fort Worth’s historic Cowtown Coliseum. Qualifiers there will battle for entry into RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, taking place Feb. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“I always knew that if I didn’t enter the qualifier, I would regret it,” said Rylee. “Plus, I had good confidence coming into Glen Rose because we finished in the top 10 in Waco right before, in the cardholder race at the WPRA World Finals.”
Originally from Oakley, Utah, Rylee rodeos for Odessa College where she is in her second year and studies psychology. No stranger to success in the arena, the college hand is ranked second in the tough Southwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
Her main strategy coming into Glen Rose was navigating the unique downhill slant of the alleyway leading into the arena.
“It’s downhill and I usually have someone helping me in so he doesn’t freak out, but luckily he went in good there and worked great,” she said. “He handled the awards great too. I was a little worried about taking him back in for that afterward.”
While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing with Red, Rylee has come to appreciate the coming 12-year-old gelding’s developing consistency in the five years he has been owned by her family. Originally purchased from Julie and Courtney Dobson out of Idaho as a barrel and pole bending horse for Rylee’s older sister, Carlee, Red is described by his jockey as, “extremely consistent. He runs so consistent that actually at two college rodeos recently he ran the exact same time in both rounds, down to the hundredth.”
Red will get a rest following his big win in Glen Rose while Rylee returns home from college for her Christmas break. She has never been to Cowtown Coliseum, but Riley plans to enter a few professional rodeos after the first of the year to begin preparation for the American Semi-Finals.
Rylee is thankful for the support of her parents, Ladd and Cassie, as well as older sister Carlee and twin brothers, Kendall and Kyler, all of whom enjoy the sport of rodeo. She thanked her extended rodeo family, college rodeo traveling partner Kelly Collier of Hereford, Texas, and her mom, Kathleen, for their support as well.
Top finishers in barrel racing in Glen Rose who advance to THE AMERICAN Semifinals in Fort Worth, Texas on Feb. 17-21, 2015:
- Rylee Dick, Odessa, Texas, Designing Scooter, 14.666, $3,336.25
- Rylee Hardin, Newcastle, Texas, Whisper Cowgirl, 14.765, $2,845.63
- Kassie Mowry, Dublin, Texas, Firewatermakemehappy, 14.803, $2,355
- Sheryl McJunkin, Killeen, Texas, Catchin Air, 14.861, $1,962.50
- Jordy Wright, Oglesby, Texas, Frenchmans Signature, 14.865, $1,570
- Kay Blandford, Sutherland Springs, Texas, KN My Mamas Famous 2, 14.874, $1,373.75
- Nicole Riggle, Scottsdale, Texas, Shoeless Joe Biankus, 14.923, $1,177.50
- Katie Jo Boyd, College Station, Texas, Famous Moon Cheyn, 14.929, $981.25
- Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, Blazin Baby J, 14.945, $785
- Kylee Scribner, Azle, Texas, 14.961, $686.88