Home grown rodeo competitors nab top spots

Tiffani Lowe circles a barrel on her way to an overall 6th place finish at the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo.
Photos courtesy Greg Westfall/ |

It obviously isn’t easy to climb on board a bucking horse, race around a set of barrels or rope a calf’s heals. But its a whole lot tougher to compete in these exacting events when you are doing so in front of a grandstands packed with family and friends.

But the extra pressure of performing in front of their home town crowd didn’t faze a group of locally grown rodeo competitors during last week’s Eagle County Fair and Rodeo. Eagle’s Cody Martin notched an 85-point saddle bronc ride that held up as the top score for the four-day competition while Joel Schlegel’s 88-point bareback bronc ride was good for the overall second place award. Also finishing in the money were the team roping team of Pat Brier and Jesse Echtler and barrel racer Tiffani (Burton) Lowe.

From Princess to Placer

Tiffani Lowe’s Wednesday night barrel race time of 17.56 earned her sixth place overall in an arena she is well acquainted with. The daughter of long-time locals Dewain and Lisa Burton, Tiffani spent her childhood competing in Little Britches Rodeo at the site and is a former member of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo Royalty. Today both Tiffani and her husband Will Lowe compete in the PRCA circuit and their two young sons — Garrett and Levi — were cheering on their mom last week.

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“It was very fun, but was kind of nerve-wracking. When you are riding in front of people you know, you want to do good for them,” said Tiffani

Last week was a busy one for the Lowes. Both Will and Tiffani completed at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Will was also scheduled to ride in Eagle, but his Cheyenne schedule prevented him from coming to the local rodeo.

Tiffani’s barrel-racing career is experiencing a bit of a renaissance due to her new partner. She’s found a great racing horse in Pepto, a 6-year-old gelding she paired up with back in January

“This summer I have gained a lot of trust in him,” she said, noting that the bond between racer and horse is so critical in barrel racing.

“It’s a game of just a few fractions of seconds,” she said.

The Lowe family will continue competition through October and then they will return to their home base in Canyon, Texas. In the meantime, Tiffani says she is having a great summer on the road with Pepto and her two boys.

“They make traveling a lot more fun and it was great for them to see my folks when we were in Eagle.”

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