Images courtesy Billie-Jean Duff Photography/Roughstock Studios
The Melby family made out like bandits on September 26 at The American qualifier in Calgary, Alberta. Seventeen-year-old Cayla Melby of Burneyville, Oklahoma, piloted her Paint THC Lynard around the barrels to place second—just behind her mother, Jane—bringing home winnings of $1,508 and the right to compete at the American rodeo Semi-finals in 2016.
“When she drew to run last, I said, ‘Cayla, this is perfect; they’re saving this for you,’ ” Jane said. “If she ran a fast time, she had it. It was pretty exciting; plus, she always likes to beat her mom, so I knew she was going to try really hard because I was the one winning it.”
The pair earned their victories among a fierce turnout of 71 competitors on Canadian soil. Cayla (right) came in a close second to her mother’s 16.205-second run (bottom picture), clocking a 16.241 on her mount THC Lynard, a 2009 sorrel solid gelding by Frenchmans Specialty (QH) and out of Strut Me Special.
“The atmosphere was electric,” Jane said. “Calgary Stampede Park is absolutely beautiful but I knew it could be nerve-racking for Cayla. I wanted her to experience the rush you get when you have the opportunity to win.”
In addition to her second-place finish, Cayla also placed tenth on another horse.
“I was feeling a little homesick for the states,” Cayla said. “My mom said that if we got there and qualified all three of our horses, we could go home.”
Cayla and her mother share a healthy appetite for competition and that hunger to perform well isn’t squelched by the family dynamic that comes into play when the two go head to head.
“Competing against my mom makes things a little more exciting,” Cayla said. “If one of us runs after the other, we always want to out do who went first.”
The mother-daughter-duo are making plans to run at The American Semi-Finals, which takes place February 17–21, 2016, at the historic Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.
[Reprinting this article is permitted, so long as credit is given to Flash/APHA and a link provided to my flashy ride.com]
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