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#CFD13 Rodeo News: Nikki Steffles gets help to make it to the finals

#CFD13 Rodeo News: Nikki Steffles gets help to make it to the finals


     Rodeo Country News Centre:  CFD  Rodeo News Update

Thanks to the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle for this CFD Story


CFD Notebook: Steffes gets by with a little help from a friend

Nikki Steffes 01Michael Smith/staff

Nikki Steffes 01


The hair of Nikki Steffes of Vale, South Dakota, and her horse fly into the air as she turns around the second barrel during Barrel Racing slack at Frontier Arena Tuesday morning. The University of Wyoming graduate had the second best of the day time with17.51.


Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 8:00 am | Updated: 9:51 am, Sun Jul 28, 2013.

By Alex Riley | 0 comments

CHEYENNE – For Nikki Steffes, there was only one thing she could think of to do – quit.

It’s not a word the Vale, S.D., cowgirl likes to use, but it seemed like her only option. After qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in 2012, Steffes and Alan Woodbury, owner of Steffes’ racing horse, Nilla, decided not to reunite for 2013. That left Steffes without a horse.

The only option Steffes saw was to step away from the sport she loves.

That is, until Mary and Byron Walker stepped up.

“If it wasn’t for the Walkers, I probably would have just stayed in South Dakota and felt sorry for myself after the finals. They’ve really encouraged me along the way,” Steffes said

“There was a lot of times I wanted to quit. And I’m just thankful to my rodeo family for not letting me.”

The Walkers loaned Steffes a barrel racing horse to start the 2013 season. Tonka, a horse the Walkers bought at the NFR last year, helped keep Steffes in the game.

“She was without a horse and I thought, ‘You know what? She’s my friend and I think that she needs something to ride,’” Mary Walker said.

“You know what, sometimes you need friends. She was so upset over losing her other one and getting it taken away.”

Mary Walker, the defending world barrel racing champion, said Steffes was a daughter to her. The two talk several times a week.

With some money won, Steffes purchased her own horse from some friends. The horse belonged to Bill and Deb Meyers, and after many offers from other prospective buyers, Steffes found herself in the right place at the right time to purchase him.

Steffes has ridden Sky to a little more than $30,000 this year. She sits 25th in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racing standings.

Her time of 18.61 during Friday’s second-go at Cheyenne Frontier Days placed her outside the top 12 in the aggregate. She won’t be back for today’s championship finals but did win $4,831.36 for her time of 17.51 in the first go-round.

It might not be a perfect season but it beats sitting at home.

“It’s kind of been a learning curve because he’s only been to the futurities and jackpots, so he’d never been to rodeos before. So it’s been kind of a learning curve for both of us,” Steffes said. “He’s done great. He’s just right up into the mix with everybody and he’s been very competitive.”

Stoneburner almost gets another buckle

D.J. Stoneburner had dreams of leaving CFD with another championship buckle, his second in two years.

Unfortunately for the rookie saddle bronc rider from Santa Maria, Calif., he fell two points short of that goal.

Stoneburner won the first-go round of the rookie competition with a ride of 76 points. He followed that up with a 72-point ride on Saturday, but his 148-point total was two points shy of tying for the lead.

Will Shaffer won the title with 75-point rides for 150 points. Joseph Lufkin was runner-up at 149.

“I definitely could have rode him a little bit better at the start. It probably would have gotten me those two points, but I feel good about being able to go out on a good note,” Stoneburner said.

Last year, Stoneburner earned his first CFD buckle as part of the winning wild horse race team. He’s competed in the event the past three years.

Stoneburner and his team,, didn’t win any money this year. Even though he won’t get a second buckle this year, Stoneburner didn’t go away upset.

“It was good to come back here and do good in Cheyenne after winning the wild horse race,” he said.

Local hands

For the second day in a row, Cheyenne steer wrestler Brett Vosler recorded a no-time.

Wheatland cowboy Seth Brockman recorded a time of 15 seconds in steer wrestling while fellow Wheatland resident Dean Finnerty did not record a tim


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