Third time’s the charm
Third time might prove a charm for Ryanne Tracy who just finished her third year in college and while doing it, qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo for the third year in a row.
This year’s college finals will be June 11-17. She will tie goats and breakaway rope at the Casper, Wyoming event.
The Victor, Montana resident had a stellar season, bringing home the reserve champion goat tying, champion breakaway roping, and all-around cowgirl titles. She did it all on one outstanding horse.
Batman, an 18 year old gelding, was a breakaway horse that Tracy trained to work the goat tying and team roping events as well. “Everyone in the region knows his name.” Tracy says he is a somewhat of a celebrity in the Big Sky Region.
While she loves goat tying and has always considered it her best event, Tracy said breakaway roping might be edging out goat tying as her favorite.
Tracy’s wasn’t the only bobcat on the team to earn her stripes. Tracy contributed more than 1,800 points to the team’s total of 4,329.5. The lady bobcats won the region by over 1,500. She credits her teammates, including big sister Reagan, for the extra push to practice, even on the bad days. “I like to compete against my teammates,” she says, adding that she’s so competitive that can’t stand knowing that a teammate spent more time practicing than she did.
Raegan, ties goats with her frequently and qualified for the CNFR in team roping.
Although Batman is a blessing, working three events on one horse limits the amount of practicing she can do, and it means “Each run kind of means a little bit more,” she said.
Rodeo runs strong in the Tracy family’s blood. Ryanne’s mom Shelli also attended MSU and was the Big Sky Region all around cowgirl “a few years in a row” and sister Raegan earned the title in 2015. Ryanne likes Bozeman, and says, “I’m really glad I stayed at MSU the whole time.”
MSU provides a top-notch coaching staff for the rodeo teams, and they play a part in Tracy’s success. Head Coach, Andy Bolich, encourages his athletes with positive quotes and teaches them to use imagery for mental toughness. His wife also plays a huge role in coaching the team. She uses her breakaway roping knowledge to keep athletes focused. “My coach, Tracey, sat me down and told me that the only thing I need to worry about is between me and my calf run and me and my goat run,” says Tracy.
This isn’t Ryanne Tracy’s first trip to the college finals, but she remembers that initial experience well. “When I walked into the college finals it kind of took the breath from me,” she relates. Tracy is now a veteran to the atmosphere, and says, “I just want to take it one run at a time.” If the plan goes in her favor, she will be competing in the Saturday short round.
Tracy, 21, is working on a business marketing degree.