Hillman Hitting Her Stride In Houston

Courtesy of RodeoHouston hillman_A92V5251.jpg

By Jolee Jordan

HOUSTON -- Once upon a time, Stevi Hillman worked as a radiology technician, training horses on the side to feed her passion for barrel racing. She took a leap of faith to hit the rodeo trail full time, putting her other career on the back burner but always knowing she had a great backup plan if the rodeo road was too unkind.

That backup plan is looking smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror as Hillman continues to establish herself as one of the premier pro barrel racers in the WPRA. After competing in her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) in December 2016, Hillman has just kept "Truck"-ing in the new year.

Aboard her tough partner Cuatro Fame, who is known as Truck around the barn, Hillman won a round at the prestigious Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo back in January and captured the rodeo in Sinton, Texas, while earning more cash at San Angelo and San Antonio.

The Weatherford, Texas, cowgirl showed her versatility in the saddle by riding a new mount, the 5-year-old Sharpie, aka MCM Imasharpguy, to the title at the always tricky La Fiesta de los Vaqueros rodeo in Tucson, Arizona.

Back aboard the big bay Truck for her second trip at RodeoHouston, Hillman got off to a rocky start when she kicked over the second barrel to take the first round of Super Series III on Monday night. The good news? Her time of 14.30 seconds would have won the go round.

The win went instead to Jana Bean, who rode her own super-fast bay horse, Chick; she picked up the $3,000 paycheck for her run of 14.41 seconds.

More than half of the 40 invited competitors in Houston have competed in the tournament-style rodeo. Eight women make up each of the five Super Series rodeos and get three go rounds in which to earn as much cash as they can. Following the Super Series Championship--the third round--the top four money winners advance to the semifinals on March 22-23.

All competition at the rodeo is sudden death and no averages are paid out. Once past the Super Series, advancement to subsequent rounds is based on single run times. The four fastest from each semifinal move on to the championship on March 25. The six from each semifinal who don't move on are given one more shot in the wild-card round on March 24. Only the two fastest from that round make it to the final night.

The 10 women run in the championship with the four fastest earning one more run in the Shootout, which is held later that same night. The biggest portion of the purse is divvied out on that final run, with the winner earning $50,000.

With the confidence born of her fast first go time, Hillman came roaring back in the second round with a time of 14.17 seconds, the third fastest of the rodeo so far and best in Super Series III.

Bean picked up another check, this time for fourth, to take the lead in the standings following two rounds. Super Series III championship round on Wednesday night got off to a smoking start with a very tight field making its last plays for advancement to the semifinals. Pam Capper took the early lead with a run of 14.30 as the first runner, hoping to put more cash with her third-place finish in round one.

Jackie Ganter switched from Shooter to Cartel in hopes of another check and pushed Capper to the limits with her 14.31 second effort. Florida cowgirl Sabra O'Quinn and Nosey were also in there tough with a 14.34.

What had been a very tight barrel race suddenly got blown wide open when Hillman's turn to run finally came. With Truck chewing up the ground with his huge stride, Hillman stopped the clock in 14.18 seconds to win her second straight round and come from behind for the Super Series title.

I'm just so proud of my horse," Hillman told the crowd following her second win. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be here. I'm just so thankful and so excited.
Hillman finished with $6,000 won, followed by Bean with $3,750. Last year's Reserve Houston champ, Brenda Mays, stayed in the hunt with $3,000 won to tie for third and fourth with Capper. All four women will make plans to be back in Houston next week for the next round.

"I'm very blessed ... that's all I have to say," said Hillman.

Super Series IV begins Thursday night with another all-star lineup, headlined by the WPRA's richest cowgirl, four-time WPRA world champion Sherry Cervi. Cervi is also the only former RodeoHouston champ left in field; she has won the title in Houston four times on three different horses.

The set also includes Rachel Dice, one of the four finalists here a year ago, along with Amberleigh Moore, the WPRA's No. 2-ranked cowgirl. Rounding out the set are Ivy Conrado, the reigning champion of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, along with Prairie Circuit champ Emily Miller, Badlands Circuit champ Jana Griemsman, 2016 Cheyenne Frontier Days champion Tillar Murray, and Kassie Mowry, who earned her invite by winning the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo last month.

For more information on RodeoHouston, visit www.rodeohouston.com and stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates.

Super Series III

1st Go
1. Jana Bean, Dashing Klee, 14.41, $3,000
2. Brenda Mays, Judge My Fame, 14.62, $2,000
3. Pam Capper, Sheza Smooth Flight, 14.73, $1,000
4. Jackie Ganter, Marthas Sixshooter, 14.94, $750

2nd Go
1. Stevi Hillman, Cuatro Fame, 14.17, $3,000
2. Cayla Small, Shameon U, 14.31, $2,000
3. Mays, 14.43, $1,000
4. Bean, 14.49, $750

3rd Go
1. Hillman, 14.18, $3,000
2. Capper, 14.30, $2,000
3. Ganter, Cartels Fame, 14.31, $1,000
4. Sabra O'Quinn, Bring It On Guys, 14.34, $750

Total Money Won
*Hillman, $6,000
*Bean, $3,750
*Mays, $3,000
*Capper, $3,000
Small, $2,000
Ganter, $1,750
O'Quinn, $750

*Advanced to Semifinals

Courtesy of WPRA

Like what you see? Sign up for our newsletter to stay current on all the latest rodeo news and your favorite content from FloRodeo.

Ky Marshall Leads Bareback Competition After Day One At 2017 Pro Agribition

Ky Marshall

Under the floodlights at the spectator-packed Brandt Centre, competitors at the 2017 Pro Agribition Rodeo showed they weren't holding anything back on the first day. Although Pool A athletes at the Pro Agribition Rodeo will have to wait to learn their fate until Friday, when Pool B competitors take their first-round runs and rides, it's never too early to break down the leaderboard—let's start with today's top bareback rider.

CINCH Boyd Gaming Chute-Out Touts World-Champion Competitors for 2017

© Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports FloSports: FloRodeo World Championship

Press release provided by Boyd Gaming

LAS VEGAS — Boyd Gaming has unveiled the full roster of competitors and world-champion rodeo talent set to compete in the third-annual CINCH Boyd Gaming Chute-Out, happening Dec. 7-9 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

New Faces At The Canadian Western Agribition

Shayna Weir 20246127_10154781397968443_8638063281970904070_n.jpg

While there will be many familiar faces at this year’s Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan, here’s a rundown on some new faces you probably haven’t met yet.

Getting A Jump Start On The Competition: Canadian Western Agribition

Canadian Western Agribition unnamed.jpg

Even though the snow seems to have settled in for the winter and most rodeo athletes have either headed south or hunkered down, the Canadian Western Agribition offers a chance for competitors to kick-start their 2018 season. With one of the top 10 largest payouts in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) Season, Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan, is a great opportunity for the competitors to get ahead of the game before they pack it in for the winter.

Athletes Fresh Off CFR Win Head to Agribition

Jason Thomas 1901465_826018790772979_8614827697792271285_n.jpg

The top athletes of the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association have hardly worn the shine off buckles, or even had a chance to break in their Canadian champion saddles, before the 2018 season is yet to begin. The cowboys are still reeling from the exciting CFR44 last week at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, but with the next event kicking off in Regina, Saskatchewan, on November 22, they hardly have time to reminisce. It’s time to prepare for the Canadian Western Agribition.

5 Highlights Of Epic Week At Canadian Finals Rodeo

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports Garrett Smith

By Lincoln Shryack

The biggest rodeo event north of the border — Canadian Finals Rodeo — concluded on Sunday in Edmonton, as several of the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls competed for big prize money and gold buckles at the Canadian Professional Rodeo season finale.

Scott Snedecor Wins Third Steer Roping World Title

Scott Snedecor Scott Snedecor

By Lincoln Shryack

Forty-two-year-old Texas cowboy Scott Snedecor took home his third career steer roping world championship title on Saturday at the 2017 National Finals Steer Roping (NFSR) in Mulvane, Kansas. Snedecor was propelled to the top spot by winning the average at the Kansas Star Arena, roping nine head in 104.1 seconds over the two-day competition.

Who Has The Top Season In PBR History?

© Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports Rodeo: PBR-Winstar World Casino Inventional

By Lincoln Shryack

Now that the 2017 PBR season is in the books and 20-year-old Jess Lockwood has established himself as the greatest bull rider in the world, we felt like it was a good time to see how this year’s top cowboy stacks up against past PBR champions. Which world champion can claim the best PBR single season in history? We’ve combed through the bull riding record books to find the answer.

Jess Lockwood Becomes Youngest To Win PBR World Title

Jess Lockwood jpeg.jpg

By Lincoln Shryack

Twenty-year-old Jess Lockwood made history on Sunday night in Las Vegas as he became the youngest PBR World Champion of all time after finishing third in the bull riding World Finals. The Montana cowboy is just the second rider in history to follow up a rookie of the year season with a world title, as Silvano Alves of Brazil first accomplished the feat back in 2011.

Young Guns: The Five Best Cowboys 20 And Under

Cooper Martin

By Lincoln Shryack

Inspired by 20-year-old Jess Lockwood and his impressive round one victory last night at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, we’re highlighting the rodeo young guns who are making the most noise in the professional ranks.

These cowboys are all 20 years old or younger, and each man has been among the very best in their respective disciplines in 2017. With these five leading the way, an exciting future awaits rodeo fans.