FAST FEET Lee and Ace Set A New Record in Estes Park En Route to the Title By Ted Harbin W hen things change in barrel racing, it happens in a hurry. Three seasons ago – before COVID ravaged the country and upended the rodeo applecart – Kathy Grimes set a new standard in barrel racing at Rooftop Rodeo in

Estes Park, Colorado, with a 16.64-second run. Kathryn Varian and Carley Cervi sped past that mark on the second night of the 2022 Rooftop Rodeo, and the times just kept getting faster through the final four days of the six-night competition. In all, 10 ladies and their brilliant steads surpassed Grimes’ time from 2019, with Tarryn Lee and Sadiesace Inthe Hole taking the top prize and setting a new mark inside Granny May Arena. “I’ve been struggling,” said Lee of St. David, Arizona, who was the first cowgirl on the pattern during the fifth performance on Sunday, July 10. “I didn’t win a check for 32 days. I was on the road and never went home. I knew it was bound to turn around, because I knew I have the horse to do it. “Everybody was pushing me to stay out here, and I kept going, and it turned around in Estes Park.” That it did. In 2017, the town of Estes Park invested $125,000 into making a better footing for all competitors, and Rooftop Rodeo was named the WPRA’s Medium Rodeo of the Year. Two years later, with a change that shortened the pattern by 11 feet overall, there were some blazing times. Grounds crews went to work for 2022, and it showed. Varian’s

16.62-second run on the second night of competition was two- hundredths faster than Grimes’ winning run in 2019, and Varian finished 10th this year. Lee, meanwhile, stopped the clock in 16.36 seconds with Ace, a 12-year-old red dun gelding out of Minnie Two Shoes by Sadies Frosty Drift, a Frenchmans Guy stallion. With that, Lee collected $4,177 and put an end to the drought that had plagued her summer run. It was also a bit of redemption for Ace. “He has been through more than any horse ever,” she said of her prized speedster, which stands 16.3 hands tall. “He had cancer, and there have been only two horses to have that cancer, and the other one died. That was four years ago. He lived through it after three surgeries. “We were going to put him down, but we wanted to try one more thing, and we did and he survived it. He fractured his flint bone, and we got that taken out two years ago. He’s had colic problems probably four times.” He is quite resilient. “He’s got a big, big heart,” she said. Ace also has some quick feet and an ability to turn on a big motor. He helped Lee qualify two straight years for the National Circuit Finals Rodeo, which was dubbed the NFR Open in 2022. During its last year in Kissimmee, Florida, Lee and Ace earned nearly $14,000 by winning the first go-round, placing in the second and winning the two-run aggregate. Tarryn Lee found her groove at the Rooftop Rodeo in Estes Park, Colorado, winning the rodeo in record time. Lee and her 12-year-old red dun gelding stopped the clock in 16.36 second to capture the title. Photo by Phillip Kitts

Tarryn Lee had been struggling on the rodeo road going 32 days without a paycheck, but that all turned around in Estes Park, Colorado, not only winning a check but winning first. Lee and Ace stopped the clock in 16.36-seconds and collected $4,177 putting an end to the drought that had plagued them this summer. Photo by Phillip Kitts


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