FORT WORTH, Texas — Ilyssa Riley from Hico raced to a first-round win at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo’s (FWSSR) Pro Rodeo Tournament. The Texas barrel racer qualified for the field of 56 tournament contestants from the qualifying rodeo at Waxahatchie last March.
Since then, she qualified for the Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo where she finished second and recently earned a big check at the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver. She’s ranked among the best in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), currently holding the number eight spot.
Riley earned $1,760 on Thursday. She and seven other cowgirls return Friday at 2 p.m. for their second qualifying round. The two highest money winners will earn a berth at the semifinals on February 3-4.
Once a contestant in the barrel racing, or any of the seven other disciplines makes the semifinals, that individual has a 50-50 chance of advancing to the FWSSR Pro Rodeo Tournament finals on February 5.
Fifty-six contestants in each event are divided into seven groups of eight. Each group competes in back-to-back qualifying rounds. The third-highest money winner in each group advances to a wild card round on February 2.
The other four competitors go into a non-qualifiers pool and the highest remaining money winner in each event also gets to move to the wild card round.
The top two money winners of that second-chance wild card competition also move on to the semifinals. Then, the top four from each semifinal advance to the finals when the champions will be crowned.
Stockton Graves of Alva, Oklahoma, wrestled his steer in one of the fastest times of the rodeo – 3.6 seconds – to win the round. Graves has qualified for eight National Finals Rodeos (NFR). He won a round in Las Vegas in December, returning to the NFR a decade after his last qualification.
The rodeo team coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University could jump start his 2022 season if he continues to win in Fort Worth.
Another duo who could use this rodeo as a springboard for their season are Florida brothers Joshua and Jonathan Torres. They rope together in the team roping and have come close to qualifying for the NFR. They won the round with a time of 4.6 and will be shooting for another win on Friday.
Lari Dee Guy of Abilene won the breakaway roping with a time of 1.9 seconds. The 2021 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee was roping just across the street from the Hall where her name and memorabilia are enshrined.
The fourth set of contestants finish their qualifying rounds Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. and a new group begins their tournament journey at 7:30 p.m. that evening.
FORT WORTH, Texas — The following are unofficial results from the FWSSR ProRodeo Tournament at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, Wednesday, January 27, 2022. (Qualifiers are based on tie-breaker rules.)
Bareback Riding: 1, Chad Rutherford, Hillsboro, Texas, 86.5 points, on Big Rafter Rodeo’s Minnie Pearl, $1,760. 2, Zach Hibler, Wheeler, Texas, 83, $1,320. 3, (tie) Jacob Lees, Caldwell, Idaho, and Mason Clements, Spanish Fork, Utah, 82, $660.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Stockton Graves, Alva, Okla., 3.6 seconds, $1,760. 2, Payden McIntyre, Douglas, Wyo., 4.6, $1,320. 3, Jace Melvin, Fort Pierre, S.D., 5.2, $880. 4, (tie) Zach Peterson, Lindale, Texas, and Bridger Anderson, Carrington, N.D., 5.3, $220.
Breakaway Roping: 1, Lari Dee Guy, Abilene, Texas, 1.9 seconds. $1,760. 2, TiAda Gray, Portales, N.M., 2.0, $1,320. 3, Amanda Coleman, Stephenville, Texas, 2.2, $880. 4, (tie) Kayla Olson, Chadron, Neb.; Sarah Morrissey, Ellensburg, Wash., and Amber Crawford, 2.6, $146.
Saddle Broncs: 1, Lefty Holman, Visalia, Calif., 84 points on Big Rafter Rodeo’s Tequila Sunrise, $1,760. 2, (tie) Kade Bruno, Challis, Idaho, and Wyatt Casper, Miami, Texas, 81.5, $1,100 each. 3, Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 81, $440.
Tie Down Roping: 1, Macon Murphy, Keatchie, La., 8.4 seconds, $1,760. 2, Blane Cox, Cameron, Texas, 9.0, $1,320. 3, Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah, 9.1, $880. 4, Adam Gray, Seymour, Texas, 9.3, $440.
Team Roping: 1, Joshua and Jonathon Torres, Ocala, Fla., 4.6 seconds, $1,760. 2, Jake Clay, Sapulpa, Okla., and Billie Jack Saebens, Nowata, Okla., 5.9, $1,320. 3, Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.C., and Hunter Koch, Vernon, Texas., 6.4, $880. 4, Kreece Thompson, Munday, Texas, and Chad Williams, Stephenville, Texas, 8.5, $440.
Women’s Barrel Race: 1, Ilyssa Riley, Hico, Texas, 16.54 seconds, $1,760. 2, Ivy Saebens, Nowata, Okla., 16.59, $1,320. 3, Kricket Ginter, Eau Claire, Wis, 16.64. $880. 4, Maggie Poloncic, Gillette, Wyo., 16.67, $440.
Bull Riding: (No qualified rides)