Winning mentality: Silt teen looks to defend title at Carbondale rodeo |

Winning mentality: Silt teen looks to defend title at Carbondale rodeo

Jon Mitchell
Sydney Surin of Silt pays attention to one of her two horses, Zans Baby Chick, at her home in Silt in this October 2013 file photo.
Jon Mitchell / Post Independent |


Where: Gus Darien Riding Arena, Carbondale

When: 6 p.m. today for slack events, 7:30 p.m. for main performances

Cost: $10 per person or $30 per carload, which consists of six people or less. For each additional person over six in a carload, admission is $5 per person.


SILT — Winning barrel races has become so common for Sydney Surin, they’ve all blended together over time.

“Yeah, I won a couple,” the 16-year-old home-schooled competitor who lives just outside of Silt said sheepishly.

Then she added: “My mom says that I’ve run in 240 barrel races so far and that I’ve won 90 percent of those.”

That high winning percentage has come from running races not only in Colorado, but around the country in places like Texas, Arizona and Utah. Many of those victories have come at the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo, where Surin is the defending barrel racing champion.

Needless to say, Surin will be one of the competitors to watch when the rodeo begins its 12th season tonight at the Gus Darien Riding Arena just south of Carbondale on Catherine Store Road. Slack events begin at 6 p.m., with primary performances scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. Performances are scheduled to take place every Thursday through Aug. 20.

Overall, Surin brought home $3,528 in winnings from Carbondale last season, including 10 first-place paychecks in the 12 scheduled Carbondale rodeo events. The last time she didn’t finish first at Carbondale as a competitor was last year’s season opener on June 5, when she finished third behind first-place finisher Tina Collins, also of Silt, and runner-up Dina Miller.

Surin hasn’t lost since then, with her paychecks getting as big as $384 after her victory on Aug. 7 of last year. Not to be outdone, she set an arena record in the event with a winning time of 15.2 seconds in the July 3 rodeo.

All of those victories in Carbondale last year came on Zans Baby Chick, the 14-year-old horse that two years ago Surin rode in qualifying for the semifinals of The American rodeo, which is held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Today, however, Surin will be riding 5-year-old Chicky, who last year Surin didn’t completely trust to do what she was hoping for in the arena thanks tthe youth of the horse.

An extra year of barrel-racing experience and a pedigree Surin feels confident about, however, has her feeling confident about Chicky’s chances in Carbondale.

Then again, Surin, who this year doesn’t plan on competing outside of Colorado, is quietly confident about her chances this year at the Darien Arena.

“I can’t be cocky all the time thinking that I’m the best, because there’s a lot of good barrel racers out there,” she said. “I’m just hoping that all of my time, effort and hard work pay off.”

Surin isn’t the only returning champion that’ll be competing in today’s season opener. Bull-riding champ Ethan Cook of Fruita, whose $3,890 in winnings last year were more than twice the amount of second-place finisher Bryant Osborne ($1,710), will be back as part of a seven-rider pool in tonight’s performance.

Hallie Taylor will be back to defend her ladies breakaway title, and more than 50 team-roping teams, according to rodeo spokesperson Ginny Harrington, will be taking part in slack events prior to the grand-entrance ceremony at 7:30 tonight.

Also among the returning champions are Hallie Taylor and Ryley Beach, who combined to win the season’s dally ribbon roping title last year but will team up this season to take part in performance team roping tonight.

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