Garrison finishes 4th in barrels at the CNFR

J.P. Plutt
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Hard left

Hailey Garrison of Glen, a MSU Bobcat, rounds a barrel during the Tuesday slack performance at last week’s College National Finals Rodeo. Garrison ended the rodeo fourth in the nation. Jackie Jensen photo

Hailey Garrison of Glen, a graduate of Beaverhead County High School in Dillon, enjoyed a wildly successful run at the College National Finals Rodeo at Casper, Wyo. The rodeo concluded Saturday night with the short go comprised of the top 12 competitors in each event. Garrison was the only female athlete to make it back to the short go in two events.

“I was just happy how everything worked out,” said Garrison. “I think I was the one of the only girls to make it back to the short round in two events, so I was happy that I was able to capitalize on every chance that I got. I was really happy with the way goats went and I was really happy with the way barrels ran. I never in a million years, looking back from last year, would I think that I would be here with my horse sitting at fourth in the nation, so it was pretty special.”

Garrison’s connection with her barrel horse Hebe is special and almost ended a year ago.

“He got diagnosed at the end of July last year with EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis),” explained the cowgirl. “It is a protozoal which is kind of like a parasite. It started out in his blood and he had it for a while, and then it crossed into his spinal fluid and it ate away at his nerve endings and it started to paralyze his whole hind end. We weren’t sure if he was going to make it or not. A lot of horses don’t make it out and if they do make it out they’re never really back 100 percent.

“It was pretty crazy that he made it back alive and that he came back stronger and compete like he’s competing.”

The horse responded to a treatment with Marquis.

“It goes in there and kills everything in his system,” said Garrison on the attack on the protozoal. “Sometimes when other horses go on that drug it can shock their system and they can die from the drug. It was scary times.”

Going into the CNFR, Garrison and Hebe hadn’t made a run in about a month, so Garrison’s first round strategy was to make a solid run.

“I just wanted to go out there and keep the barrels up and just make consistent runs and ride my horse how I was supposed to so he could compete to the best of his ability and I think I did that,” said Garrison.

Garrison and Hebe posted a 14.6 second run, good for 11th in the round. In each subsequent run, the team improved their time until at the end of the short go, they were fourth in the nation.

“I bought him when he was just about to turn five and I’ve had him for three years and he’s a special dude,” said Hailey.

In goat tying, Garrison ripped off three solid rounds to make it to the short go. She rode good and tied good in the final round, but the goat kicked free leaving Garrison in 12th place in the nation due to the no time.

Garrison plans to go professional, first on area PRCA circuits (Mont., Wyo.), with occasional bigger rodeos, “and then just kind of go from there.”

Montana State University Hailey Garrison, Glen, Mont., BCHS barrel racing

RND 1 - 14.6 seconds, tie for 11th. RND 2 – 14.34, 9th in round, 6th overall. RND 3 – 14.19 seconds, second in the round. Short Round (top 12) - 14.17 seconds, fifth in round. Average - 57.30 seconds, fourth in the nation. 145 team points. goat tying

RND 1 - 6.4 seconds, tie for 10th in round. RND 2 – 6.8 seconds, tie for 19th in round. RND 3 – 6.7 seconds, tie 18th in round. Short Go - no time. Average - 19.3 seconds on three, 12th in nation, no team points.