by Johna Cravens
for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo
FORT WORTH, Texas — Shelly Anzick finished a wild week of ups and downs at the 2016 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo with an unexpected $5,000 check as winner of the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award.
The Shepherd, Montana, cowgirl came oh-so-close to winning her second Fort Worth championship buckle as well.
Anzick had the fastest time at the Saturday, January 30, matinee performance for her first round run at the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo®. She was the second cowgirl to run and was taking the polo wraps off her horse Scooter (Scooten ta Fame) as the sixth runner finished.
Unbeknownst to the 2012 Fort Worth champion, a bull had jumped out of chute 3 into the arena and ran down the alleyway behind the sixth runner, Tyra Kane.
“I was as far back in the corner of that holding pen as I could get, since I was finished running,” she said. “I heard a bunch of noise, looked under Scooter’s neck and that bull was coming in hot. I’m ranch-raised so I knew to get out of the way. I jumped up on the fence, but the bull got Scooter twice.”
Several barrel racers and horses were hit by the bull, but none worse than Scooter. Anzick wasn’t sure how badly he was hurt and kept her horse under a vet’s watch for 24 hours.
“I knew that I needed to give him as much time as possible between runs as I could,” she said. That meant taking her second round run on Saturday afternoon, February 6, and, if she finished in the top ten, coming back that night for the finals.
“I planned to pull him up if he didn’t seem right (during the run),” Anzick said, but Scooter made a great run of 16.55 seconds to win the second round and put them first overall. That run was the fastest of the whole rodeo.
The barrel racing finished at a little after 4 p.m. and Anzick didn’t have much time to decide what to wear that night. She got some help from two-time Jerry Ann Taylor Award-winner Kendra Dickson and her TrueColors custom clothing who offered her an outfit.
“I said I would be honored to wear something she made,” Anzick said, adding that it takes a lot of effort to put together the outfit and match it with leg wraps and tack.
“Kendra is on top of it. She can sew and glue under pressure,” Anzick remarked. “Even the hat was hers.”
“The number one thing – it was comfortable. The pants felt like a custom fit. It was tasteful and beautiful enough to stand out, but not be loud. I couldn’t have picked a better color,” she said of the black with royal blue accents that she and Scooter wore in the finals.
Anzick was shocked to win the award. As the overall leader, she was the final barrel racer to run and the deeper ground shifted just enough for Scooter to knock over a barrel, costing her the championship and bumping her to eighth overall.
“I finished my run and they were saying ‘Ivy and Shelly’ needed to go to the arena,” she said. “I was thinking ‘but, I hit a barrel, you guys,’ then they said best dressed. I was blown away! I’ve been to the short round three years in a row and I sure was honored to receive this award.”
Anzick, who won the Fort Worth championship in 2014, still earned $9,065 in barrel racing checks plus the best dressed award for total earnings of $14,065, about $500 less than barrel racing champ Ivy Conrado. Only four event champions earned more than Anzick did at Fort Worth.
The Jerry Ann Taylor Award is presented by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and is only given at the National Finals Rodeo and at the finals of the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo in Fort Worth. Taylor, a 1986 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree was a flamboyant trick rider and roper who was known for her sense of style.
Pam Minick of Fort Worth, a National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame board member and honoree and former WPRA vice president, said the award is to encourage women in professional rodeo to carry on the tradition of wearing colorful western attire in the rodeo arena.
Barrel racing has a long history with the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo®. The Fort Worth rodeo began holding an invitational ranch girls barrel race in 1955, not long after barrel racing competition started.
Courtesy of PRCA