Cheyanne Guillory made the greatest leap in the WPRA Breakaway Roping World Standings after adding $14,375 to her earnings, moving her from 23rd to third in the standings with $19,371.29 in season earnings.
“I’m not really thinking about where I am in the standings in regard to the end of the year, but mainly just so if something is limited, then I won’t have to miss some of the bigger rodeos,” Guillory, 24, originally from Louisiana and now living in Gainesville, Texas, said. “That’s what I’m mainly excited for because there are so many rodeos left and there’s so many good ropers, but it’s good to get into the rodeos that are limited.”
Guillory kicked of her Cowboy Christmas run at the Cody (Wyoming) Stampede, where she was the fourth roper out in the first performance, drawing a calf that was held as an extra at the College National Finals. She finished second with a 2.1-second run, earning her $3,076.
“I was nervous because I didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing,” Guillory, who had stepped away from roping her freshman year of high school for four years to play softball, said. “I just watched the first three girls and decided what I was going to see. I was just hoping it was enough. My calf went a little left, and I normally struggle when they do that. I was glad that I was able to get up over my horse and get it on the calf.”
Guillory then split the win at the Oakley (City, Utah) Independence Day Rodeo with McKenna Hickson. They each roped their calf in 2.2 seconds, earning each of them $6,400.
“That run actually felt the fastest for me,” said Guillory, a recent Texas A&M graduate in commerce, who is working toward her real estate license. “I’m not sure why. I had a rerun there and had a good calf. I took an extra swing there.”
Guillory finished her fourth run in quick fashion at the Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. She drew the calf that Sawyer Gilbert had been 1.9 seconds on and stopped the timer in 1.8 seconds to win the rodeo, adding $4,899 to her earnings.
“[Sawyer] was splitting the rodeo whenever I got there,” Guillory said. “I saw the times and who was all left to rope. I just decided on a start and thought, ‘I’m going to throw my rope as soon as I even think I can get it around the calf’s neck.’ That was probably my favorite run that I’ve ever made because of how fast I had to be, and it was not a nod and ride setup. You definitely had to let the calf move and go somewhere.”
Guillory’s 7-year-old sorrel gelding, Hawk, was thrown to the fire, as her only breakaway horse she had to load up in the rig.
“He has made all of the runs in the past three months that I’ve made,” she said. “I was proud of him at the perfs because it was so loud, and he hadn’t really been in anything that big before. He handled it very well.”
Guillory was hesitant about putting her name down when it was time to enter the rodeos as the one-year anniversary of her father Carl Guillory’s passing in July of 2020.
“I really debated back and forth if I was going to go,” Guillory said about whether or not she would enter over the fourth run on the one-year anniversary of her father’s passing. “I finally decided to go.”
She fortunately skipped the anticipated fourth run in 2020 which gave her more time with her dad than she realize she needed.
“Last year I didn’t go. Normally, I’m gung-ho to go everywhere and anywhere that I can, but my good horse was an older horse. I had just gotten the horse that I’m riding now and decided to stay home and season him. It was more time that I got to spend with my dad. It’s funny how it worked out.”
Guillory found her dad laid out in the field after coming home from exercising her horses.
“I was gone for maybe two hours. He was working at our place. When I got home, I pulled up the driveway and he was outside, and I could see him laid out there. I ran across the field and when I got to him his hands and face were blue. They said it was caused by a heart attack. He didn’t have a pulse or anything when I got to him. I saw him and then within two hours he was just gone.”
Even though the thoughts come flooding back of that treacherous day, Guillory is buddied with Alex Loiselle, who also lost her father to a heart attack seven years ago, and they each keep each other in high spirits.
“I have a great traveling partner, Alex Loiselle,” Guillory said. “Alex is the most salt of the earth, best person that I know. She is the most positive, want you to win, in your corner, would do anything for you. She’s that person that is going to talk you up when you really need it the most.”
Guillory also surrounds herself with elite athletes like Joe Beaver and Fred Whitfield and friends and family to keep her mind from wandering.
“I have an amazing boyfriend,” she said. “And I spend a lot of time with Joe and Jenna Beaver. My dad was friends with them and Fred Whitfield. They check in on me a lot. I busy myself. I’m a type-A person that stays busy and works hard. At the time, I was in school taking a full load with roping and everything. I didn’t quit any of that. I just stay busy, and God is the only thing that has really gotten me through it. God, faith and having myself surrounded by great people. We all have our different battles that God chooses for us to go through.”
With her elite inner circle and her drive to compete, Guillory is set for the remainder of the Pro Rodeo season.
“This isn’t something that I have to do, this is something that I get to do. I have a horse that I really like and I love to rope. Whether I come home with more money or less money, I’m just going to go and enjoy it.”