Barrel Racin’ Brynlee

Jensen Meeker

As she rides down the alleyway, ready to burst out of the gate, Brynlee Dudrey mentally reviews all of her goals for her race. In her competition on Aug.17, Dudrey had a very successful race, placing in the first division for the first time in her career.

Dudrey placed third out of 25 girls, with a time of 17.1 seconds. Leading up to this event she spent extra time training which she felt really improved her performance. Dudrey is a regular competitor at the biweekly Sutliff Sandbur Rodeo. Dudrey’s event, the barrel race, is a quick, thrilling race.

Dudrey, a sophomore, first started competing in rodeo in 2020. She started out with smaller, less competitive shows. But, this year, Dudrey has gone all out, competing at the usual Sutliff rodeos, at the Linn County Fair Rodeo, and the Jones County fair Rodeo.

In 2020, Dudrey decided to pull the trigger on competing in rodeo. ”I have always been interested in rodeo, and I had a lot of supportive people encouraging me,” Dudrey said. “I thought it would be a good thing to be involved in.” 

Dudrey practices with her horses daily. Every day after school she heads out to her stable to work. She practices on her own with no coach and teaches herself everything. Dudrey is very proud of all the training she has done to achieve the level of skill for competition.

Dudrey doesn’t take things for granted. “When you’re running full speed on a 1200 pound animal things can go wrong really fast,” she said. 

Dudrey owns two horses, both purchased in 2020. Ginger, a 7-year-old Red Dun, is her competition horse. Her second horse is Cricket, a 2-year-old paint horse. Because Cricket is such a young horse, Dudrey has just started to break her in this summer. Cricket has only 15 rides on her and has just begun training for barrel racing.

“The most exciting part of barrel racing is running out of the alleyway at the beginning of every race, “ Dudrey said. “And then at the end, hearing a good time announced, just knowing all the hard work and training has paid off.”

Outside of rodeo and being a student, Dudrey works at a produce stand in Cedar Rapids selling a variety of fruits and veggies. Some of the best products include watermelons and corn. All the product comes from a farm in Muscatine.

On Aug. 31, Dudrey was supposed to compete in the Sutliff Sandbur Rodeo until disaster struck. On the way to the arena, Dudrey’s truck broke down, stopping her from making it to the rodeo and making it a very disappointing night. Dudrey plans to compete in the Sutliff Sanbur Rodeo tonight.