It’s the dog days of summer and the competition at last weekend’s Pro-Youth Association finals proved it wasn’t just hot outside - it was hotter than normal inside Lonestar Arena.
There were several tight races going into the finals and the contestants’ performances over the weekend determined several year-end winners.
With over 200 contestants vying for over $100,000 in cash awards and prizes at the 20th anniversary of the finals, youth contestants from all over the state of Texas put their best into the two-day event, with awards being presented to event winners, average winners and all-around winners.
By Sunday afternoon, several races were still up for grabs. One particular race being watched was the boys’ 9-12 year old division all-around, with a battle between Aaron Callaway of Dublin and Stephenville’s Marty Yates.
Yates took home his share of the $100,000 pot, placing in the first go-round of competition with a first place finish in breakaway roping with a 2.58 time; first in tie-down calf roping with a 13.31 time; first in team roping with a 12.126 time and a second place finish in barrel racing with a 15.906 time. The second go-round saw Yates place second in breakaway roping with a 2.903 time and second in pole bending with a 21.580 time.
Aaron Callaway, blew- out the competition in the first go-round with a first in the flag race with a 7.141 time; a first place in goat tying with a 9.137 time; third in ribbon roping with a 10.671 time. The second go-round saw impressive results with a second place finish in the ribbon roping with a 7.166 time and third place in goat tying with a 9.119 time. Callaway’s times propelled him to a first place average finish in the flag race of 14.307 time. Keeping it in the family was sister, Sarah Callaway, placing third in the second go-round in pole bending with 22.623.
Stephenville barrel racer and brother of Tarleton State University and PBR bull rider, Harve Stewart, Phylicia Stewart showed she could win in her hometown, taking first go-round win with a 15.905 time and then the average win with a two-round combined time of 32.092.
Skylar Chipman of Stephenville, contestant for the Pro-Youth Princess contest placed second in the ribbon goat event with a 9.267 time.
New to the Pro-Youth Association finals this year is the Katherine Floyd Memorial Heart Award, given in memory of Stephenville resident Katherine Floyd, who lost her life in May of 2006 as a result of injuries sustained in a January 2006 accident. The award is given to the Pro-Youth Rodeo barrel racing contestant who has overcome adversity and hardship in the last year, showing the most heart and try. This inaugural year’s winner is Stephenville resident Rebba Wright, who lost her mother earlier in the year to cancer. According to Neville Remmert, Floyd’s mother, the award will continue to be given annually.
Wright made her presence known at this year’s finals, with first go-round finishes of second in goat tying with a 10.177 time and third in pole bending with a 21.578 time. The second go-round saw Wright place third in pole bending with a 22.156 time. Wright also took home the second place win in the average for pole bending with a 43.734 time.
At press time, contestants were still competing and final results from some events were unavailable, including all-around races. Those results will be featured on the Rodeo Page in Wednesday’s edition of the Empire-Tribune.