By BRAD KEITH
It’s a big weekend for local professional rodeo athletes, with finals in the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo and the The American both on tap.
Many will represent Erath County and the surrounding region in two of rodeo’s premier arenas – ten at AT&T Center in San Antonio Saturday night, 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday and seven in both events.
One contestant, Huckabay third grade barrel racer Chayni Chamberlain, 9, has garnered national attention, even appearing on a Saturday morning episode of SportsCenter on ESPN. The Erath County cowgirl won her semifinal round at The American, sponsored by RFD-TV, for a payday of more than $40,000. She will win $1 million Sunday if she can beat the crop of the world’s top pros.
While Chamberlain is turning heads nationwide, she’s only adding to the overall success of local athletes.
Competing in the San Antonio finals in team roping are world champs Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill, Kaleb Driggers and Travis Woodard and Jake Cooper, who ropes with Justin Davis. Other finalists are tie-down ropers Chase Williams, Marty Yates and Ryan Watkins, bareback rider Bobby Mote, saddle bronc rider Sterling Crawley.
Chamberlain will compete against Stephenville’s Carlee Pierce and Desdemona’s Britany Diaz in the barrel race at The American. Other local finalists include Mote and Richie Champion in bareback, Jake Barnes, Driggers, Turtle Powell, Tryan, Speed Williams, Corkill, Travis Graves, Dakota Kirchenschlager, Jake Long and Patrick Smith in team roping, Crawley in saddle bronc and Cody Ohl, Reese Reimer, Williams and Yates in tie-down roping.