Winners Crowned at Final Gymkhana Rodeo Event

Winners Crowned at Final Gymkhana Rodeo Event

Here are this year's Wild West Outlaws Gymkhana Winners. SweetwaterNOW photo by Paul Murray

ROCK SPRINGS — The final Wild West Outlaws Gymkhana for the 2021-2022 fall and winter season at the Sweetwater Events Complex Indoor Arena concluded on March 5 by awarding prizes to the first through sixth place winners.

This included the handing out of championship buckles to the first place season finishers in the different age categories.

First place winners for the September 2021-March 2022 Gymkhana season included Kyle Carpenter (6 & under), Chase Westerberg (ages 7-9), Oaklee Hoffman (10-13), Kassidy Hewitt (14-17), Andi Carpenter (18-39), and Mishell Howard (40+). The complete list of first through sixth-place finishers and points totals is below.

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Weather or Not

The final Gymkhana event of the season took place on a day when heavy snow was falling in the morning as most of the contestants and their families arrived. Notwithstanding the same, event organizer Susan Nichols felt the participation was close to normal.

“Almost everybody showed up,” Nichols said. “It was just bad around here in Rock Springs. Mountain View and Farson were okay. Rawlins was not great, but handle-able.”

People coming to the event from far out-of-town agreed with Nichols that the weather gods singled out the Rock Springs area almost exclusively for their displeasure. “There was no snow till we got to Green River,” declared McKinnon’s Tracie Westerberg, 11.

Andi Carpenter, also from McKinnon, agreed with Westerberg. “There was no snow till we got to Green River. If the weather had been like Rock Springs all the way here, we probably wouldn’t have come,” Carpenter said.

Which Comes First—Horses or Riders?

It was a mixed bag in the final analysis among the Gymkhana riders whether most of the credit for success should go to the horse or the rider in competition.

Rock Springs’ Makenzi Scott, 18, always near the top of the Gymkhana monthly results lists, was away competing at the Junior American Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas on March 5. In an previous email interview, though, Scott gave credit to where credit is due: “…it all comes back to the amazing horses I’ve been blessed to work with,” Scott declared, in particular her mare Cat’s Raspberry Beret.

“Some people know the horses more than they know the riders,” Andi Carpenter said. Rider technique still has to be taken into account in order for a barrel racing or pole bending horse to be successful, others felt. Benny Villalobos, Rock Springs, was among those who shared that viewpoint.

“Coordinating hands and legs, half your weight has to be on your behind and half on your legs,” Villalobos said. “There’s a lot of leg coordination involved with riding.”

Then again, maybe it’s some of each. “I think it depends on how well a person bonds with their horse,” said Kyra Folks, 16, and a sophomore at Farson-Eden High School.

“I think horses do get credit, because some are good and some are bad,” Ashton Folks, 10, declared.

“A horse needs a rider,” Nichols emphasized. “A horse (by itself) isn’t going to just run barrels.”

“What would a horse be without a rider?” asked Jadyn Mortensen, 17, from Rawlins.

March 5 Gymkhana results (order of 1-2-3, and times)
Barrel Racing

Ages 6 & under
Kyle Carpenter, 31.854
Wes Wegener, 35.263
Kaislei Kenndy, 76.769

Kashlee Hill, 15.9
Kashlee Hill, 17.156
Kennedy Kleinlein, 17.91

Oaklee Hoffman, 16.644
Oaklee Hoffman, 17.193
Tenlee Maycock, 17.443

Kassidy Hewitt, 16.495
Jadyn Mortensen, 16.709
Makinsy Huntington, 17.548

Andi Carpenter, 16.319
Stephanie Root, 16.485
Kaitlyn Duran, 17.343

Louise Kennedy, 16.569
Mishell Howard, 16.66
Katie Gibson, 17.171

Pole Bending
6 & under
Kyle Carpenter, 45.433
Wes Wegener, 50.14
Wyatt Carpenter, 119.825

Kashlee Hill, 30.75
Sadie Nichols, 31.664
Sadie Nichols, 31.979

Oaklee Hoffman, 22.892
Andrew DeGrassi, 25.644
Bailee Nelson, 28.683

Kassidy Hewitt, 22.164
Nakoda Bird, 16.252
Makinsy Huntington, 28.622

Stephanie Root, 24.374
Savanna Wegener, 27.035
Ashley Simpson, 28.27

Margaret Jones, 23.992
Margaret Jones, 24.246
Mishell Howard, 24.828

3rd Event (backwards ride between two barrels)
6 & under
Wes Wegener, 28.181
Kyle Carpenter, 29.003
Kaisley Kennedy, 55.766

Chase Westerberg, 14.256
Ashton Folks, 16.355
Sadie Nichols, 18.687

Andrew DeGrassi, 10.848
Oaklee Hoffman, 15.991
Bailee Nelson, 15.993

Brynn Abbott, 10.772
Brynn Abbott, 10.91,
Makinsy Huntington, 13.917

Savanna Wegener, 13.264
Andi Carpenter, 14.176
Sandra Johnson, 14.971

Louise Kennedy, 11.936
Benny Villalobos, 13.659
Kelly Westerberg, 13.901

2021-2022 Wild West Outlaws Gymkhanas (Order of 1-2-3-4-5-6, with point totals)
6 & under
Kyle Carpenter, 115
WesWegener, 109
Wyatt Carpenter, 53
Kaisley Kennedy, 36
Corbin Soto, 22
Daizee Potter, 10

Chase Westerberg, 90
Kennedy Kleinlein, 79
Kashlee Hill, 78
Sadi Nichols, 52
Eberlee Okarma, 40
Ashton Folks, 27

Oaklee Hoffman, 66
Sage Cooley, 55
Andrew DeGrassi, 53
Tracie Westerberg, 51
Peyton Hadden, 45
Vivi Soto, 34

Kassidy Hewitt, 69
Jadyn Mortensen, 68
Makinsy Huntington, 63
Nakoda Bird, 49
DeEtte Powell, 36
Kendra Huntington, 25

Andi Carpenter, 84
Stephanie Root, 57
Kaitlyn Duran, 36
Savannah Wegener, 35
Emily Anderson, 33
Makenzi Scott, 21

Mishell Howard, 84
Kelly Westerberg, 76
Louise Kennedy, 70
Margaret Jones, 41
Anne Terri, 23
Laura Halbert, 17
Patty Pindle, 17