The run to this year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) in Red Deer marks a new focus for Ponoka barrel racer Shayna Weir.
The last two years Weir put extra effort on qualifying for the CFR and just barely missed the 2017 finals. Coming into the 2018 finals in Red Deer, Weir was in third spot out of 12 who competed.
“Last year going into this year I knew I had a really good shot at it,” said Weir.
Riding her horse Dyna, the last two years the pair showed they have what it takes to be champions.
Seeing growth in 2017, Weir just kept with the same exercise and training routine, with Dyna helping her along. While she humbly suggests her story is no different than other rodeo athletes, Weir put in the hours to be ranked.
She is proud to have competed at the first CFR held in Red Deer. However, with a new location comes new challenges.
Weir and Dyna had to adjust to the smaller arena in Red Deer compared to Edmonton’s Northlands. Add to that, Dyna works best outdoors.
“We definitely had to change our game,” she said of the smaller pattern.
The 2018 rodeo season was a strong one for Weir who also landed herself in the showdown round with the top four barrel racers at the Ponoka Stampede.
A knocked barrel in the showdown ended up hurting her chances at a win. During the rodeo, Weir’s times were right in line with the fastest runs landing a 17.837 seconds on the first performance, 17.686 in the finals (second only to American Tammy Fischer) before the knocked barrel added five seconds to her showdown run.
Still, Weir walked away with $7,065 from Ponoka. At CFR Red Deer, Weir finished up in seventh spot with season total earnings of $32,141.
This is really just the beginning for the barrel racer who is readying herself for the 2019 season. For Weir, it’s about having a game plan and then going for it.
“I think everything is possible if you make it work,” said Weir.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my family,” she added, pointing out that it really is an army that helps her get on the road to compete.