WPRA NEWS April 2023

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: CASEY MATHIS COMING UP THROUGH THE RANKS By Josie Fladager C asey Mathis has been on a roll lately. From her first solo professional win at the Parada Del Sol Rodeo in Scottsdale, Arizona, to another in her now-hometown rodeo of Queen Creek, Arizona, the 20-year-old cowgirl made just over $4,000 in one week. She also placed second at Cave Creek, Arizona. As of March 27 she was leading the Turquoise Circuit standings with $7,964 at seven rodeos.

She is riding SH Stylish And Sly, an 11-year-old bay gelding that she has been running since she was 15. Originally from Washoe Valley, Nevada, Mathis has been successful as a WPRA junior member, on her permit, as a rookie, and now as a WPRA cardholder. We caught up this this rising star to ask her a few questions about her recent wins, how her time in the WPRA growing up is shaping her career now, and how she is using her free time to run down her goals for the 2023 rodeo season. WPRA News: What does it mean to have a horse that you had in high school be so competitive in the professional ranks? Casey: I am so blessed to have a horse that has been successful transitioning into ProRodeo. I have been running Sly since 2018 and I think that really helped me when starting to rodeo. He and I know each other so well. Sly is such an incredible horse. Every time I walk out to his stall, he puts a smile on my face. I owe everything to him. He has truly been a blessing to me. WPRA News: Tell me about your support system. Who is in your corner, and what does it mean to you to have them there? Casey: I am so thankful for my parents. They are my biggest support system. I wouldn’t be able to do this without them. It meant a lot to me having them both there. I am so thankful for my sponsors as well. I have been with CSI Saddlepads and Western Dove for nearly 9 years. They have supported me so much and I am so grateful to have their support. WPRA News: What did it mean to you to win Scottsdale by over one-tenth of a second? Casey: I couldn’t believe I won Scottsdale by one-tenth of a second. Sly had a pretty big hang up on the second. I didn’t expect it to be a winning run. One of my favorite things about Sly is he can make mistakes and still be fast.

Photo by Kent Soule

WPRA News: I saw you sprained your back in February. How are you feeling, and what went into the decision to keep riding? Casey: The sprain really affected my riding in the beginning. I was wearing a brace, and just about anything I could think of to help while I ran. I decided to take a week off before Kingman and it helped a lot. WPRA News: Talk a little bit about your journey through the WPRA. You were successful as a junior member, on your permit, and then as a rookie. How has growing up around the best in the business prepared you for how well you are doing now? Casey: I joined WPRA as a Junior in 2013. I have been blessed to have grown up around knowledgeable people. Since I was little, this has been a dream of mine. WPRA News: Talk a little bit about the momentum you have created in the first part of 2023. How does it feel to be getting such a good start to the season? Casey: It feels great to have a good start! I am excited to see what the near future brings. I have to thank Wendy Winn with Burns Saddlery for talking with me and really pushing me to go this year! She really helped motivate me. WPRA News: Tell me a little about your stallion Hew Hefner. Is training futu- rity horses something you like to do? Tell me a little bit about your experi- ence getting to market a young stud. Casey: Hew Hefner, also known as GQ, has been so easy. To be honest, I don’t enjoy training futurity horses very much. However, he has made it so fun for me. I am going slow with him and enjoying the process. He is such a confident horse, so he makes it easy for me to be confident in him. He is by far the easiest one in the trailer to haul. He just goes with the flow. WPRA News: Do you have a job outside of rodeo? Casey: I do not currently have a job outside of rodeo. I am certified in Acuscope therapy, so if someone wants their horse worked on, I do that a little bit. I really just want to put one hundred percent of my time into rodeo and my horses. WPRA News: What are your goals for the 2023 season? Casey: This season, I would really like to go get some experience and hopefully get qualified for the big indoor rodeos next year. I would also like to qualify for the Turquoise Circuit Finals.

Photo by Fernando Sam-Sin


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