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JETTIN TA HEAVEN GETS THE GIFT OF HIGHEST MONEY EARNER FOR COWBOY CHRISTMAS

 


Christmas in July was good to JL Dash Ta Heaven son, Jettin Ta Heaven and WPRA barrel Racer, Halyn Lide. The team took the biggest summer run rodeo head on and came out on top earning $32,162 and being crowned highest money earner for the 2024 Cowboy Christmas 4th of July Run.


 

Barrel Racing News Story


Halyn Lide made her boldest bid yet for her first ever National Finals Rodeo



qualification. The China Springs, Texas, barrel racer and her homebred gelding Jettin Ta Heaven (“Keeper”) earned $32,162 to be the richest barrel racer over famed Fourth of July run known as Cowboy Christmas.


“It was just fun to have an awesome Fourth of July with a horse that loves to come out and do that,” said Lide, who raised the 12-year-old gelding by $8.6 million dollar sire JL Dash Ta Heaven, out of her high school and college rodeo horse Zeros Gypsy Jet, by Three O Jones. “He loves this. The summertime is just his favorite thing. He tries his hardest and when it doesn’t work out he knows it. He’s probably more determined than I am.”


Lide started off her summer run in late May, early June to work her way up to the Calgary Stampede qualifier in Canada. After she earned the right to compete at the historic rodeo, Lide dropped back to the States for a couple of Utah rodeos and Reno.

After some bad luck in Reno, Lide headed to Lehi, Utah, where she placed on Hez Running To Heaven, before driving to the $30,000-added Greeley Stampede in Colorado, where she officially started her Fourth of July run.


After placing ninth in the progressive slack first round at Greeley, Lide traded into the rodeo’s first performance on June 27 so she could leave for the $60,000-added Ponoka Stampede in Alberta, Canada, the next day.


She said that the 16 hours from Reno to Greeley and 18 hours to Ponoka was one of the hardest treks to make, driving by herself with just her two boys, ages 5 and 7, for company. On the way to Ponoka, she stopped at Great Falls, Montana, to pick up her hus- band Aaron to help drive. “After that drive from Reno to Greeley and Greeley up to Great Falls, I was like, ‘I know you didn’t sleep last night, but here you go! I’m done!’” she said. “He drove us the rest of the way to Ponoka and everywhere else since then ‘til now.”


At Ponoka, running in the last performance on June 30 to con- clude the long round, Lide and Keeper took advantage of a great draw. “It had rained earlier in the week and dried out to perfection for my first run,” she said. “I was also first on the ground, so I think I got lucky that it all worked out well. It rained again overnight, but I think that played a role in my next two (runs).”


On July 1, they were fourth in the short go during the matinee performance and second



in the aggregate, which advanced them to the Showdown Round that evening.

She said being in the Calcutta auction for the Showdown was a little strange. “That was kind of wild,” she said. “I didn’t know they did that. You have these people bid on you...no pressure or anything. Then I hit a barrel in the strangest way. I felt terrible that they’d paid money just for me to mess it up!”

Lide still left Ponoka with $14,743.


She hit the $16,000-added Livingston Roundup in Montana on her way down to the short round in Greeley, Colorado, but didn’t have any luck in her performance on July 2.

In the Greeley short round on July 3, Lide and Keeper made the fastest time of the rodeo in the short round to jump from fourth to first in the aggregate. The victory was worth $9,774. From Greeley, it was an easy drive across Wyoming for the $30,000-added Cody Stampede on the evening of July 4, where they were last on the ground in the very last performance of the rodeo


“It had rained a little bit,” Lide said about the performance in Cody. “It was good for the first few girls, but after the drag it almost seemed to make it a little bit slicker. He got to the second barrel and had a little slide to it. He safety-ed up and said no. He’ll do that a little bit if he doesn’t feel like he can get in and turn it. If he can’t do what he wants, he tells me.” Their last run was at the $20,000-added 89th Annual Oakley Independence Stampede in Utah on Sunday, July 6. Ashley Castle- berry and Skyy Blue had led the rodeo since slack and Lide and Keeper running mid-pack in the last performance caught them by .02, to win $7,708.


“I can’t believe he won Oakley!” she exclaimed. “We’ve never got a check there before!”

After winning Oakley, Lide decided to turn out of the rest of her rodeos. “I didn’t expect Keeper to win that and after he did, I thought he deserved some time off and a little less driving,” she said. “I was entered up heavier for the Fourth of July and decided to keep the miles off Keeper in the end. Terrible for Tour points, but it will be what it will be.” She said she was hoping for a great Fourth run but never ex- pected to be the high-money earner.


“It was definitely a far-reaching goal that I had but one that I didn’t know that I could accomplish,” she said. “It is part of the reason that I entered the rodeos that I did. When I turned out of St. Paul and Prescott and didn’t do as well as I had hoped at Cody, I didn’t know that it was possible.”


Lide has several of the big summer rodeos left including Sheridan, Wyoming, before heading up for her pool at the Calgary Stampede. Afterward, she’s entered at Salt Lake City, Nampa, Idaho, Salinas, California and Spanish Fork and Ogden, Utah.


“After that I’m going to run home and get everything ready for school,” she said “Caldwell is a rodeo that I really like, and it over- laps the first day of school. They’re starting a new school, so I’m going to go home and get everything ready.”

Lide’s performance at Ponoka had already bumped her to 16th in the WPRA World Standings before the stateside run of rodeos.

 

Photo and Story courtesy of Barrel Racing News.

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