Cheyanne Guillory had every breakaway roper’s dream week, winning over $25,000 at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo and an additional $13,000 en route to locking down a spot in Globe Life Stadium’s The American Contender Finals.
But first, Guillory backs it up a step and talks through the whirlwind.
January 26 and 27: FWSSR Progressive Rounds
“My first run (in Fort Worth) was a 2.6,” Guillory, a two-time NFBR qualifier said. “I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back, but it ended up second inthe round. The next night, I tried to really be close to the barrier, stay behind the calf and take my first shot.”
Guillory’s first shot looked like an arena-record tying 1.7-second run, which earned the go-round win and clinched her Semifinals position. After two rounds, Guillory had banked $2,860. High Flyin Hawk, or “Hawk,” is the gelding who got the call for the Texas rounds.
“I knew if I got in a situation where I had to be fast, I felt like he would help me do that,” Guillory said.
February 02: FWSSR Semifinals
“Honestly, in the Semifinals, the neck rope hit my leg,” Guillory explained. “As I was already starting to throw, I got a little off balance and it kind of went around his eyes and fell back on, so I had some luck there.”
Guillory’s “lucky,” break was a 2.1-second run that earned her the No. 2 position in the round and a solid spot in the FWSSR Finals. She also earned $3,000 for that loop.
Then, the race was on.
February 03 and 04: The American Contender Tournament Regional Semifinals.
A pack of rodeo contestants, including Guillory took off for Tulsa, Oklahoma, immediately after roping on Friday night. At 12:30 p.m., she was ready to back in the box.
Athletes had to rope through two rounds in the event, which served as the Central Region finale for American hopefuls. Guillory qualified for the event due to her world standings positon after the 2022 NFBR. She called upon “Gus,” the gelding she used in Las Vegas to keep her consistent, and her times of 2.1 and 2.7 punched her ticket to the Finals on Sunday.
After her second round run at 11:45 a.m., it was back to Fort Worth for the 7:30 P.M. performance.
February 04: FWSSR Finals
“I don’t know if today’s Friday or Saturday,” Guillory said with a laugh after her Finals run. “But you know, that’s rodeo. When we can rest, we rest. But you know, there’s a lot of driving and it’s a hard lifestyle and that just kind of somes with the membership.”
She might have been worn out, but Guillory perked up when she got news of the draw for the Finals.
“Zack Jongbloed ran that calf (in the tie-down roping), I think in his Semifinals,” Guillory said. “And then Madison (Outhier) had him in the (breakaway roping) Semifinals. I wanted that calf. So when they told me what calf I had, I knew exactly what it was and was really excited.”
Guillory drew towards the top of the Finals, so her game plan was to lay it all on the line. She set her run up in a flawless 1.9-second run that set the tone for a stacked breakaway roping performance. Guillory’s run held out through the remaining ropers and she added $20,000 in earnings to her weekly total.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Guillory said. “I mean, the (FWSSR) committee, the hospitality, everything about it. We just love coming to this rodeo. I really appreciate them for having breakaway and equal money.”
February 05: American Central Region Contender Finals
Guillory returned to her home in Kingston, Oklahoma, and slept for a few hours, before heading back to Tulsa for the 2:00 p.m. Finals. The result?
A 1.86-second run that solidified Guillory’s position into The American Contender Tournament Finals in Arlington, Texas.
Guillory didn’t just earn an event position—she picked up around $13,000 for her runs in Tulsa.
Week in Review
Even though she’s on top for now, Guillory isn’t gatekeeping the keys to success. She encouraged breakaway ropers at home to enter up and leave the fear at home.
“There’s nothing that beats experience and just being there and going through it,” Guillory explained. “Just continue to show up until you get used to everything.”
Guillory is engaged to tie-down roper Cody McCartney, who was by her side through the demanding week. What she does have on her mind is hitting the ProRodeo trail in 2023 and keeping her momentum going.
“This doesn’t really change my game plan,” Guillory said. “There’s still a lot of money out there and a lot of girls that rope good. So, I’ll just try to keep my head down, take every day as it comes and do the best I can.”