Shorty Garrett in search of another WNFR…one ride at a time

SPRINGDALE, AR – Shorty Garrett has been a PRCA member since 2014, but it’s only been in the last two years that the South Dakota saddle bronc rider has tried his hand at the Rodeo of The Ozarks in Springdale, Ark.

Sixteen seconds and nearly $7,000 later, Garrett has decided he likes the pre-Fourth of July stop on the NFR Playoff Series presented by Pendleton Whisky, after he claimed the victory on June 25 with an 85-point ride on United Pro Rodeo’s Wildfire.

“I got on Billie last year, that great horse of Hi Lo’s that Pete Carr bought,” Garrett said. “I was 89 and won second.

“So, I’ve only been here twice, but I might have to make sure and go back!”

Garrett’s 2022 win was worth $3,779, valuable dollars for the cowboy ranked 42nd in the PRCA | RAM World standings as he seeks a second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification.

Garrett didn’t have a script against Wildfire, just went with the horse’s bloodlines for research.

“I didn’t know anything about her,” he said. “I’ve been on her half-brother and he’s outstanding. She was really nice, definitely a good one to have there.”

Garrett, from Dupree, SD, also picked up critical NFR Playoff Series points as the rodeo season hits its busiest stretch; he was ranked 20th prior to Springdale and only the top 23 will advance to the $1 million NFR Playoff in Puyallup, Wash., Sept. 8-11.

“So far, I’ve been to four rodeos and won checks at three of them,” Garrett said.

In addition to Springdale, he also picked up checks in Reno and Pecos.

“It’s a good time to get hot,” Garrett said. “Way different from last year, it was slow.”

In 2021, he finished 20th in standings after competing in his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2020.

“I’m banking on a heck of a good Fourth to pick me back up to where I want to be.”

So far in 2022, Garrett has been picky about where he’s gone. The price of fuel has dictated some choices.

“I’ve been entering some, waiting for some good horses to make it worth the cost to drive there,” he said. “I’ve got enough to do around home, putting the cows out on grass and working.

“It’s been good to get stuff done. When I do start drawing good, I won’t have to turn out for some stupid reason like I didn’t get things done at home.”

Garrett hauls with Isaac Diaz and while they generally drive more than fly, he did have to drop his buddy at Denver International Airport, so Diaz could get back to the Reno short go following Springdale. They’re hoping to start their Fourth in Greeley for another short go on June 30.

“We’ve got Oakley (City, Utah) on July 1, Cody, Wyo., the second, St. Paul, Ore., and Molalla, Ore., on the third and then Belle Fourche, S.D., Mandan, N.D., and Killdeer, N.D., on the Fourth,” he said. “We’ll drive to all of them but the last day, you’ve got to fly to make them but it’s worth it.

“When you’re winning, it makes it easy to keep going.”

Other winners at the $133,677 rodeo were all-around cowboy Andrew Burks ($3,635 in tie down roping and team roping); bareback rider Rocker Steiner (87.5 points on Harper & Morgan Rodeo Company’s Apollo); steer wrestler Joshua Hefner (9.0 seconds on two head); team ropers Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres (4.7 seconds); tie-down roper Cory Solomon (7.2 seconds); barrel racer Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi (16.94 seconds); and bull rider Josh Frost (91 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeos’ Underdog).

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