Barrel racer Tiany Schuster wins Super Series II championship

Barrel racer Tiany Schuster brought four horses to RodeoHouston.

She primarily rode her top horse, Show Mance, in her first two appearances inside NRG Stadium, but after coming up short in the semifinals both times, Schuster decided it was time to try a new horse.

That left her to pick from Gator, Version Six and untested A Dash of Killian.

The New Orleans native said she was hesitant to use Gator, after previously having trouble with him in key rodeos, making Version Six the next best option, but she typically saves him for smaller, daytime rodeos because he’s easily distracted — and there’s a lot to see inside cavernous NRG.

Still, she sided with Version in heated discussions with longtime boyfriend and traveling partner Edwin Cameron while making the 300-mile trek to Houston from her current residence in Krum, Texas.

“At Houston, the barrels are in the middle of the field, so the crowd and excitement is so far away it’s not going to matter,” she argued. “And he said the only thing dumber than running Version Six would be running Killian.

“And that’s the horse I ended up running.”

And as many men in long-term relationships will attest, the womanis always right.

Schuster won her first round, placed second on Day 2 and claimed the Super Series II championship with a fourth-place ride Saturday at NRG Stadium, sending her to the semifinals with $5,750.

“A good horse makes a rider look really good, so I’m grateful he’s there for me,” Schuster said.

Only a couples months ago, he wasn’t.

Cameron bought Killian last summer, but before even getting him home, the 13-year-old gelding hung his shoe on a lug nut while pawing at his trailer and ripped off a piece of his foot in a bloody disaster.

He only returned to action last month — then made his pro rodeo debut in Houston.

Schuster compared the challenge to a football player playing his first professional game in the Super Bowl.

So far, Killian's handling it like an All-Pro.

If he continues to do well here, and helps her reach her first Houston final, Schuster said she may give him the rest of the year off, and save him for what she hopes is a return to the National Finals Rodeo.

She finished third there two years ago but missed out on a second trip last year.

“If he keeps on winning, we’re going to take him home, put him in a padded plastic stall and save him for Las Vegas, because I think he might be the right type of horse to run in Vegas,” she said.

Bareback rider Logan Patterson, a Colorado native in his first RodeoHouston, won his first two rounds here and claimed the series title on a tiebreaker after he and Morgan Wilde each earned $6,000.

He was third in the rookie standings, and top 40 overall, last year.

A win in Houston, which finally regained PRCA sanctioning this year, would go a long way toward clinching his first NFR.

“There’s a lot of money here in Houston,” he said. “It’s a fun rodeo, and it can really help us get to where we need to be in the long run.”

Patterson won the first two rounds on Capone and Hangover.

Wilde took Round 3 with an 85-point showing on Oil Held Hostage.

Jesse Clark won two rounds, including the third with a time of 9.8 seconds, and the series title in tie-down roping, earning him $6,000.

Sam Kelts was the best saddle bronc rider Saturday, winning the round with 85 points on James Bond, but Jesse Wright, who made $5,500, edged Kelts by $250 for the series championship.

Cole Edge and Tanner Brunner tied atop the steer wrestling series with $4,500, but Edge claimed the title on a tiebreaker, Stetson Wright ($5,000) was the high earner in bull riding, and Jake Cooper and Caleb Anderson, who combined for $14,000, placed first in the team-roping series.