In just a smidge over five seconds, Tacy Kay Webb has herself in contention for $1 million.
The WCRA’s Triple Crown of Rodeo $1 million bonus is offered to any athlete who wins three straight WCRA Majors—Webb won the Days of ’47 Cowboy Games in Salt Lake City in July and took her second straight major on Saturday night, December 18, 2021 at the Cowtown Christmas Championship event at the historic Stockyards in Fort Worth.
Webb roped her calf in 2.49 seconds to edge out Britta Strain and Hope Thompson in the Triple Crown Round, earning $12,500. If she wins the next WCRA Major, Rodeo Corpus Christie in May 2022, she’ll become the first rodeo athlete to earn the innovative bonus.
“I’m honestly shocked. I don’t mean that in an ugly way because I do believe in myself but as tough as it is, I was thinking, this is going to be really hard to do,” Webb, 24, laughed, just days after noting she thought the breakaway would be one of the last events in which the bonus would happen due to the extreme depth of talent and the fact that no breakaway roper had previously won two WCRA Majors.
“But it’s happened for two so maybe it will happen for three, I don’t know!”
Webb’s march to her second Major began with a win in the second perf to advance to Saturday’s Showdown Round. Once there, all seven competitors got one calf with the three fastest moving on again to the Triple Crown Round where the titles are awarded.
In the Showdown Round, Webb roped fifth and backed in just after watching WPRA and Women’s Rodeo World Championship (WRWC) World Champ Hope Thompson take the lead at 2.38 seconds. Webb opened her night with a 2.81 that ended up staying second in the round.
Texas A&M cowgirl, and tough all around talent, Britta Strain rounded out the top three with her run of 2.92. Moments later, Strain would also advance to the Triple Crown Round in the barrels, the only athlete entered to make appearances in two disciplines.
WCRA rules allow the ropers to draft their stock for the Triple Crown Round from the fastest runs in the Showdown Round.
“We got to pick our calves and Hope, she came back first so she picked her calf,” Webb explained. “Obviously, she was going to pick the one she was just really fast on!”
Webb decided to stay with her previous draw too, noting that she knew what he would do and could take the same plan of attack. She said she wanted to be sure to get a time and ensure a good paycheck but also wanted to go for the win.
In the end, she stuck with the simple approach that had been working for her all along.
“Just focus on your score and the rest will fall together and it did.”
Cowtown Coliseum is known for its diminutive size, including the somewhat claustrophobic roping boxes but the setup for the WCRA event was a bit different than other events held here.
“Usually when we rope here, the start is short so it being longer was great,” Webb said of the barrier that forced competitors to wait in the corner longer than normally expected. “I loved it.”
Strain opened the final round with a smooth 2.56 second run but Webb squeaked by her with a run of 2.49. Thompson was third with her 3.12.
While the night began with three contestants eligible for the Triple Crown Bonus, by the time the final round of breakaway was starting, Webb was the only one still standing and the announcers made sure to point out the implications of her upcoming run.
“Honestly, I took it the same outlook I did at Salt Lake,” she said. “I can’t get nervous because if this is in the cards for me, it’s God’s plan and I’m going to trust in Him and believe in where He wants me at the time.”
Making Webb’s win that much more impressive is the fact that the full-time working ICU nurse also has been dealing with a traumatic injury that’s left her with only about 50% of the vision in her left eye. In October 2020, she was knot roping on her good horse Hondo to tune up for an event and the rope broke, snapping back and hitting her across the face.
“I had to have eye surgery and total reconstruction of my left eye,” she admits but says the eye will require another surgery which is scheduled for the coming week. “I have one of the top specialists in the country that does it in Houston and he was not super impressed with how my vision turned out. We thought we could get it better.”
“It was very traumatic; I’m definitely pretty gun shy about a lot of things now,” she said. “I’ve just tried to overcome it and at first it was tough, learning to rope again.”
Webb’s focus now will be on improving her vision through the second surgery. She’s unsure how long she’ll be out of commission as far as roping but she didn’t ride for a couple of months following the first surgery and is hoping to shorten that recuperation time in order to be ready for her date with history in May.
“I’m just so blessed. This is such an awesome opportunity. I really do think the WCRA is all for rodeo. All for the girls,” she added. “I think that it’s awesome and I also think that it’s so cool they make an event just for us and give us recognition.”
Following the big win Saturday, Webb exuded grace, gratitude, and joy.
“I always want to give glory to God and my family,” she said of parents Dan and Lisa. “My family does so much for me and they’re both here tonight cheering me on.”
“And for my awesome horses. It was pretty cool because I won Salt Lake on my good horse Hondo, that I trained, and tonight I rode my other horse Spooner and I never would have expected to do that. That was so pretty cool, just to have two good horses that I can rely on.”
- Thompson, 2.38-second run
- Webb, 2.81-second run
- Strain, 2.92-second run
- Lari Dee Guy, 3.90, $1,500
- Danielle Lowman, 8.06, $1,500
- Madison Outhier, NT, $1,500
- Josie Conner, NT, $1,500
Triple Crown Round
- Tacy Kay Webb, 2.49-second-run, worth $12,500
- Britta Strain, 2.56-second run, worth $6,750
- Hope Thompson, 3.12-second run, worth $2,750