By Ddee Haynes
If you happen to see a 1972 Cadillac Deville with bull horns being driven by a beautiful girl with long brown hair, a $1 million smile, sparkling eyes with a hint of mischievousness, and more than likely wearing a cool pearl snap shirt, you have just encountered Sydney Bottoms, or as I like to call her, the Vintage Cowgirl.
Bottoms along with her parents, Brad and Kara, and her younger sister Sealy, make their home in Strong City, Okla., on the same ranch where Brad grew up. When Bottoms was just two years old, Brad’s dad became ill, and the decision to move from Childress, Texas, back to the ranch to help Brad’s dad was an easy one. Fifteen years later, the Bottoms family still makes their home on the ranch.
In addition to the ranch, Brad has an oilfield supply business, and Kara has an embroidery business. The Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association recently held their rodeo finals on May 30 through June 2, 2018, in Chickasha, Okla. It was two days of fierce competition with a rodeo performance each day. After the end of the second performance, the points were totaled and only the top 15 contestants with the highest points, a total of their year points, two days of finals points as well as average points from the last two performances, were able to compete in the final round known as the short-go.
When all the points were tallied, only the top four from each event proceeded onto the National High School Finals in Rock Springs, Wyo., where the qualifying cowboys and cowgirls compete against the top four of each event from High School Rodeo Associations across the United States. Teams and contestants will also represent Australia, Brazil, Canada and other countries at the week-long event of six rodeo performances and one short round performance where, again, only the top 15 high scoring contestants will be allowed to compete.
Bottoms and her horse, “Ricochet” came into the OHSR finals this year in the fourth spot in barrel racing. Only 21.5 points divided the second and seventh position. With seven of the toughest cowgirls and fastest horses vying for the top four positions, it was going to be a fight to the very end. The point system at the OHSRA is as follows: first place – 10 points, second – nine points, third – eight points, fourth place – seven points and so on. In addition to the regular point system, average points were be awarded. One bad run or a barrel knocked over could be detrimental.
The road for Bottoms to get to this position had not been easy, and to be honest, a lot of girls her age might have thrown their hands in the air and walked away, but Bottoms is not a quitter. Two years ago, at the end of her eighth grade year, Bottoms qualified for the National Junior High Rodeo finals in goat tying and went on to win the Reserve National Goat Tying Championship.
Pick up the July issue to learn more!