It’s an honest-to-goodness trailer race…and far from the negative connotation often associated with the term in Western sports, this time it’s actually a race where the winner gets a new trailer in the ARHFA Intermediate Trailer Race.
The 2023 American Rope Horse Futurity Association Intermediate Trailer Race rewards the highest money winning intermediate roper from the ARHFA season with a new Superior Industries Stock Trailer.
The Intermediate Division is a sidepot within ARHFA futurity events designated for ropers who fall in between professional rodeo ropers and beginners with mid-level classifications under the Global Handicaps system. Specifically, headers with rankings between 6.5 and 6 and heelers between 8 and 6.5 are eligible, encompassing a wide range of trainers, jackpot and circuit rodeo ropers.
Standings take into account Intermediate sidepot earnings (based on the third round at each futurity event) in both the heading and heeling throughout the ARHFA’s regular season schedule as well as it’s 2023 World Championships in October in Fort Worth, Texas. To be eligible to win, ropers must compete in a minimum of three events.
With the conclusion of the Cornhusker Classic event in Lincoln, Nebraska, on June 17-18, 2023, the Intermediate Trailer Race standings tightened up as second ranked Jordan Allyn made up ground on front runner Miles Baker, promising an exciting finish as only the Cowtown Classic in July and the World Championships remain on the schedule.
“I can smell Miles from here at least,” Allyn joked. “He was kind of running off with it and he’s still got a great chance. The guy’s good, that’s about all I can say.”
The Brock, Texas, trainer didn’t compete in the season opener in Arizona and had no luck in his first event in Ardmore. He stormed back with a 1-2-4 finish in the Heading at the Red Bud in Oklahoma City in early June.
Allyn entered the Cornhusker Classic trailing Baker by $10,474 after Baker had dominating performances at the Sun Circuit in Scottsdale in March and the Red Bud Spectacular in Oklahoma City in early June.
A fortunate number adjustment from Global Handicaps allowed Allyn more opportunity by the time the Cornhusker came around.
“They actually just lowered my heeling number so I was able to compete in the Intermediate on both sides in Lincoln,” he said. Allyn is a straight 6 in the heading and straight 8 on the back side. “I didn’t jackpot much last year and didn’t have much luck when I did.”
With the added opportunities, Allyn was able to close the gap some with a dominating performance in Lincoln, earning $8,825 in the Intermediate Division aboard a trio of horses: Karens Smart Shiner, Bama Montana, and Mississippi Drome. Allyn collected another $14,675 in Open and Limited earnings as well, making his total weekend haul $23,500.
“I’ve got some good horses right now and it’s coming together,” Allyn said. Calling himself a heeler at heart, he says heading is a good fit for him in the futurity world.
Baker held his lead by winning first and fourth in the Heeling with Relentless Remuda-owned Ruf N Wound Up and A Big Vintage Buckle, respectively.
However, his lead was reduced to $6,284 thanks to Allyn’s 1-2 finish in the Heading with Karens Smart Shiner, owned by Nic Zobel, and Mississippi Drome, owned by Lizzie Iwersen as well as a third place in the Heeling aboard Bama Montana, owned by Slick Robison.
Allyn appreciates the opportunity presented by ARHFA with the Intermediate Division.
“It’s gotten so tough at these futurities for a guy like me who never rodeoed or anything,” he said. “To be able to just train and try to compete with those guys is very difficult so I sure appreciate being able to compete in the intermediate and have a chance to win some money there as well as having a chance to also place in the open.”
As the season winds down, Allyn, like everyone else in the game, could use a free trailer should he pull through for the win.
“We’ll be giving them hell,” he laughed.
Other standings moves after Lincoln
Brad Lund leapfrogged Clay Logan, moving from fourth to third after winning $1,845 in the Heading, placing fourth on Tommy Johnson’s Show Me Poco Dot.
Gabriel Salgado jumped three spots, from ninth to sixth, after his own Blackened Chicken took second in the Heeling.
2021 ARHFA Limited World Champion Dustin Rogers made a move on the Intermediate leaderboard, landing seventh all the way from 19th after taking third in the Heading with Johnnys Lil Cash, owned by M Bar W LLC.
Bubba Garcia picked up one spot, from 10th to ninth, after earning $1,030 for fifth in the Heeling with RD Little Cattylac, owned by Rocker T Cattle Company.
Standings Through Cornhusker Classic, June 23, 2023