Rodeo Corpus Christi (RCC) kicked off early this week with Qualifying Rounds for the $553,000 rodeo. Held in nearby Robstown at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, the Qualifying Rounds also served as the finale for the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) Division Youth (DY) season.
Launched in August 2020, the DY Rodeo series allows competitors 13-19 years of age the chance to nominate events through the WCRA’s Virtual Rodeo Qualifier app and earn points towards various WCRA Major events as well as working towards a year-end title.
For RCC, the top 8 competitors in each timed event on the DY Leaderboards came to compete for a share of the $21,000 DY Incentive purse but also had the opportunity to win in the open division as well.
Perhaps no event had a more stacked field than the breakaway roping with several WPRA World Champions and most of the qualifiers to the Wrangler National Finals Breakaway Roping (NFBR) the last couple of season on the draw sheet. Despite this, the youth managed to run right with the big dogs, with three DY competitors making the 24 cowgirl cut into the Progressive Rounds held at the American Bank Center during the first three perfs May 11-13.
Cooper, Texas’ Kerstin Freeman was the DY Incentive winner, taking home a boogie board matching the surfboards given out to Rodeo Corpus Christi champs later this week along with a check for $2,500.
Freeman also placed against the open field, taking fourth in the average after catching two necks in 6.49 seconds. The showing allowed her to win the buckle for the year-end title for DY 2022.
The cowgirl has a chance to add even more to her $3,480 haul thus far when she ropes on Wednesday night during the first perf. If she’s one of the top two, she’ll move on to the Showdown Round on Saturday.
Qualifying Results—Division Youth (DY) Inventive
- Kerstin Freeman, 6.49, $2,500
- Rylie Edens, 12.35, $1,000
DY Competitors in the Progressive Round
Wednesday, May 11
Thursday, May 12