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First performance of Pro Rodeo kicks off at National Western 2022

Steely Steiner and her great gelding Cupcake are blazing a trail at the National Western Stock Show Rodeo. They have the fastest time at the rodeo so far at 15.22 seconds. Steiner, from Weatherford, Texas, is making her debut in the Denver Coliseum. NWSS photo by Ric Andersen.

By Susan Kanode

National Western Stock Show Rodeo, Friday, Jan. 14

Just three performances in so far at the 2022 National Western Stock Show Rodeo and action is already getting fast and furious.

Friday saw the first set of contestants finishing their preliminary competition and a new set beginning. At the matinee performance, Don Payne of Stephenville, Texas, stopped the clock in 3.8 seconds in the steer wrestling. He is the first to be under four seconds. He also had the fast time in the first performance and leads the overall standings with a total time of 8.5 seconds and could well be back here next weekend for the semifinals.

The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel race on Friday featured a rising star who comes from a long line of world champions. Steely Steiner, from Weatherford, Texas, has the fastest time in the Denver Coliseum so far. Riding her great gelding “Cupcake,” she stopped the clock in 15.22 seconds.

Steiner’s mother, Jamie is often competing right alongside in the barrel race. Her father, Sid Steiner is a world champion steer wrestler, her grandfather Bobby Steiner is a world champion bull rider and former stock contractor. Her brother Rocker Steiner bought his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association membership as soon as he turned 18 and will be competing in the bareback riding here on Monday and Tuesday.

Rodeo is a multigeneration family affair for the Steiners. It looks like Cupcake will be taking Steely to the pay window at the National Western, but Jamie has also had success on the horse. The mother-daughter duo work together training horses. Mom gets them started then turns them over to the younger barrel racer to put finishing touches on them.

Steely finished 47th in the world standings last year and is ready to make a bid for her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification. She was a baby when her father won the steer wrestling world title in 2003. Her parents both competed at rodeo’s championships in 2000. They are hoping that the siblings get to be in Las Vegas competing for gold buckles.

Friday also saw the first tie-down roping run under eight seconds. Ty Harris of San Angelo, Texas, needed to be fast and that’s just what he did. During his first run, he clocked in at 10.8 seconds. Then came back and stopped the clock in 7.9 seconds. That run will likely get him another opportunity in the Denver Coliseum next weekend.          

 Rodeo competition continues on Saturday with three performances at 11 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 8 p.m.

About the National Western Stock Show — The National Western Stock Show is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides college and graduate-level scholarships in agricultural science, business, and rural medicine. It is our mission to serve producers and consumers throughout the world by being the premier livestock show, horse show, and center for year-round events. The 16-day show in January also serves as an entertainment arena, hosting one of the world’s richest regular season professional rodeos, world-class horse events, family educational events, and Colorado’s largest western trade show. For more information, visit

National Western Stock Show & Rodeo Contestants will head to Steamboat Springs for Cowboy Downhill January 16th – 17th

Bob Feist and John Shipley
Bob Feist and John Shipley at the Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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