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Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Kansas Professional Rodeo Association (KPRA) breakaway roping director, Dara Short, has just wrapped up her fourth year-end title by dominating the event throughout the season. “It was an excellent summer. I started clicking with my horse to the point that we could trust each other and just go rope,“ she said. Placing in the money or winning 18 out of the 20 regular season rodeos, she wrapped up the year by finishing fourth in the finals average to take the saddle by approximately $4,000 above her closest competitor. “It was one of those dream summers. We won a couple big ones in there, but I owe a lot to Rocky,” she said of her nine-year old horse, whom she started on four summers ago. “I’ve been seasoning him and letting him mature. I just wanted to get him going, while gaining confidence to be successful,” she explained.
Also competing from the heading box, Dara finished 12th in the 40/40 team roping standings to win her fifth runner-up all-around title with a little over $10,000 between her two events. Obviously, not new to the winner’s circle, Dara’s KPRA resume also includes two all-around titles (2007, 2009) and three breakaway year-end runner-up titles (2004, 2005, 2007). “I have been very blessed with quite a bit of success,” she modestly said.
Growing up in Goodwell, Okla., Dara and her sister (Tanya Goad, two-time KPRA breakaway year-end champion) took to the loops early on in life. Learning from their dad (Dwayne), who is a team roper within the KPRA and the United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC), the sister-duo started their competition in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association and then the National High School Rodeo Association. “Dad started us when we were young and it just stuck with us,” she said of her start in rodeo. Progressing through the years, Dara received a rodeo scholarship to Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) and, soon after, won the Rookie of the Year in the KPRA in 2000. Her mom (Joyce) does not compete, but is her family‘s biggest fan. “She is our time keeper, secretary, photographer and supporter. She is our everything,“ Dara detailed. Joyce, too, has found her ties within the organization and has served as a secretary for the past nine years. “My family has supported the KPRA for several years and I have always enjoyed the family aspect of the sport, which is something that the KPRA offers,” Dara said of the association. Among the family ties, Tanya’s husband (Travis Goad) competes within the organization as well.
The 32-year old cowgirl’s sensational summer started off with an engagement to calf roper, Kyle Belew, back in May. The couple were brought together through rodeo in the NLBRA, but were reunited about three years ago while both competing in the KPRA. They have set the day for March of 2014 and Dara says she does not know how hard she will travel next season. “It will all depend on how we settle in,” she said. In the mean time, Dara continues to reside in Goodwell, where she is the Administration Counselor and Enrollment Coordinator at OPSU.
“I mainly breakaway rope in the summer and team rope in the winter,” she said. Dara competed with her dad at the USTRC Finals in Oklahoma City and recently with her uncle (Byron) at the World Series Team Roping in Las Vegas, where she won fast time of the rotation, earning each of them $3,000. “Team roping with my dad and uncle is something that is pretty special to me. They have taught me so much and it feels great to be able to compete with them,“ she said. “I just want to rope the best that I can and be as successful as I can.” While Dara enjoys riding and roping as often as she can, her roots remain with her family. “I like to spoil my nephew (Kyler, 8) and niece (Kynlee, 4) and spending time with the whole family. It doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as we’re all together,” she said.