Catlyn Ward has been waiting a long time for the stars to align. Though consistently competitive each year at the AjPHA Youth World Championship Show in Fort Worth, Texas, the coveted high-point awards have always been just out of reach for the cowgirl from Miles, Texas.
“Last year was especially hard. I broke my arm the day before we came, my goat got up and we didn’t do so well in our other classes,” Catlyn said. “So it feels good to do well this time—a whole lot better than last year!”
Paired with her diminutive-yet-spirited mare Frito Pie, Catlyn took the 2015 Youth World Show by storm, clocking fast times and snagging steers in speed and roping events to capture the High-Point Power Performance award, which recognizes the most successful Youth in roping, reining, speed and working cow events.
Catlyn redeemed her goat tying skills, keeping her nanny down and finishing more than five seconds faster than the reserve champion. The duo also earned world championships in Youth Stake Race 14–18—clocking a 16.59-second time and finishing 0.25 seconds in the lead—and Youth Breakaway Roping 18 & Under, which Catlyn says was her favorite run of the show.
Though she left the World Show at the conclusion of her classes—there’s always more cans to chase, after all—Catlyn’s wins catapulted her to the top of the standings for a second award: the High-Point Western Youth, an award open to all Western events in the show. The chase for the Western High-Point concluded with the show’s final class, but Catlyn and her plucky Paint held on to the lead to the end, scoring the second title by a single point.
“I didn’t know I’d won a second award until I was already home,” Catlyn said. “It was really cool to win two; it felt good.”
The pair took home more than titles, buckles and glory, though. On top of the $1,000 scholarship presented by the Permian Basin Paint Horse Club and Cross Timbers Paint Horse Club for the Power Performance award, Catlyn pulled in $1,500 in scholarships for her stellar class results.
“Of course, I’d like to thank my friends and family for helping me get here,” she said. “I also wouldn’t be able to compete without Palmer Feed and Supply, Cook Saddlery and Broken Arrow Crop Insurance; I can’t thank them enough for their help.”
[Reprinting this article is permitted, so long as credit is given to Flash/APHA and a link provided to myflashyride.com.]
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