ALVA, Okla. – There are times in each person’s life when a little tough love is needed to help him or her along the right path.
Trisha Price got a taste of it during practice last week, and it led her to the breakaway roping winner’s circle this past weekend at the Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College rodeo. It was the first time in her two-and-a-half years of Central Plains Region rodeo that the Faith, S.D., cowgirl earned a breakaway title.
“I was really struggling, and I cried three days in practice last week,” said Price, who received a little motivation from former Ranger, Perry Dietz. “Perry made me get off the horse and run. I was throwing a fit, so I had to run down the arena and back and help bring the calves back.
“It definitely gave me the mental toughness I needed.”
Dietz also helped in other ways. Price dismounted her own horse and borrowed Dietz’s palomino mare, Trudy. It paid off in southeastern Kansas, where Price scored a 2.8-second run in the first round to finish in a tie for fifth place; she followed that up with a 3.1-second run to win the short round and the two-run aggregate.
“That was a good little boost of confidence,” she said.
Yes, it was. Her poise came from many outlets, including Trudy.
“Switching horses was another variable,” Price said. “She’s a nice little mare. It was hard to get on a different horse, because they’re two completely different horses, but I was blessed that he was willing to let me ride her.”
It paid off quite well. Price moved from out of the running to ninth in the breakaway roping standings in the region with 145. She trails the leader by 143.3 points. She could, in one fell swoop, move up to the top spot in the Central Plains with another strong weekend – the next opportunity will be at the Southeastern Oklahoma State University rodeo, set for April 3-4 in Durant, Okla.
“With the amount of points that separate ninth to first, a lot can happen,” Price said.
Price led the way for a strong showing by the Northwestern women, which finished third in Fort Scott with 165 points. Lauren Barnes of Buckeye, Ariz., finished second in breakaway and eighth in goat tying to place second in the all-around standings, while Kelsey Pontius of Watsontown, Pa., finished sixth in breakaway.
In the men’s race, Stephen Culling of Fort St. John, British Columbia, won the steer wrestling title with a two-run cumulative time of 11.0 seconds. The men finished with 215 points, good enough for fifth place in the team race. They also held on to fourth place in the region standings. Other short-round qualifiers were tie-down roper Jess Woodward (second) of Dupree, S.D.; bulldogger Jimmy Hoke (seventh) of Connellsville, Pa.; and team ropers Trey Young of Dupree and Chase Lako of Hunter, N.D., who finished fourth roping together.
“The matches we’ve been having in practice really help,” Price said. “For us to compete against each other – and to beat each other and still be able to get along and support each other – helps us every time we get to a rodeo.”
That’s a good thing.