Rifle girl a world champion in ribbon roping | PostIndependent.com

Rifle girl a world champion in ribbon roping

Jon Mitchell
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor

Taylor Davis would have been happy just placing in dally ribbon roping at the Little Britches Rodeo in at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo this past Saturday. She even admitted it.

"I would have been OK with seventh place even," the 12-year-old Rifle Middle School student said. "There's no way I would have thought I'd do this well."

How well? Real well. Better than everyone else in the field. That's how well.

Yep. Taylor Davis is a world champion.

Davis teamed up with Ryley Beach of Loma in the juniors age group to win its world championship in dally ribbon roping, beating a field of 115 other competitors from around the nation en route to a first-place finish that was a surprise.

"When we placed sixth [in the short-go], I didn't think that would even be enough for top three," Davis said. "I thought we would have had to have gotten first there for that to happen."

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Ribbon roping is a two-person team event which consists of a roper and a runner with a calf. The object is for the roper to rope the back legs of the calf and stop it, allowing the runner to pull a ribbon off the tail of the calf and — like a baton in track and field — run with it back across the starting line in as little time as possible. Each team gets up to three attempts, with the lowest combined time winning.

It's the overall time average, of course, that really makes a difference in the final standings. The combined times of Davis, a runner, and the 14-year-old Beach, a roper, was 36.547 seconds, which turned out faster over three runs than any other duo in the field.

Cyle Dennison of Iowa, La., teamed up with Garrett Ellender of Louisiana to finish second overall. Kash Kattoor and Kaytlyn Miller finished third in the standings.

Ironically enough, however, it was Davis' older sister, 14-year-old Tianna, who started out on top.

Taylor and Ryley posted a time of 12.8 seconds in the first go, but Tianna and her partner, Kinlie Brennise of Craig, won the first go with a time of 9.526 to enter the second go in first place. Taylor and Ryley, in the second go, finished up in 8.461 to post a better time than Tianna and Kinlie did in the first go.

Tianna and Kinlie's second-go run ballooned to 52.175 seconds, almost reaching the 60-second time limit for completing the task. The pair still advanced into the third and final go, however, since it posted the best time in the first go.

That pair, however, recorded a no-time in the third go. Taylor and Ryley went last among the 15 remaining teams and posted a sixth-place time of 15.226 seconds. Ryley's loop caught the back of the calf's hind leg, and he pulled it toward Taylor enough to help bring the third-go time down just enough.

"She ended up doing pretty good," Tianna said, laughing. "I'm a little jealous about the whole situation, but I am very happy for her."

It ended up being a while before Taylor and Ryley had a reason to make Tianna jealous. Officials at the rodeo ran into some computer problems that prevented the final times from being calculated for an extended period of time.

Then the final results were announced.

"And we were all like 'Whew!'" said Tori Davis, Taylor and Tianna's mom.

There's obviously plenty to celebrate now that the proverbial weight has been lifted off of everyone's shoulders. Taylor has time to look back and enjoy what she's accomplished.

"I felt really lucky," Taylor said. "I didn't think that last one Ryley had was going to stick, and I didn't have to go chasing after it."

She doesn't have to go chasing after a world title anymore, either.