By: Julia Dondero

6.25 seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but it can feel like a lifetime in the rodeo world. 

In 6.25 seconds, dreams can be brought to life, and history can be made. For Alli Autrey, 6.25 seconds was all it took to take home the hotly contested Youth Goat Tying race. This run also secured the coveted Youth All Around Cowgirl title at the 2023 CINCH World Championship Junior Rodeo presented by Montana Silversmith. 

Anticipation filled the Fabulous Lazy E Arena come the Final Round, and championship hopefuls began to set their sights on the final run that would determine their fate. With a record-breaking payout on the line, the electrifying environment presents nerves many young athletes are not yet used to experiencing. However, for the 15-year-old cowgirl from Abilene, Texas, this opportunity created the perfect storm of adrenaline and determination to capture the title. 

Alli Autrey during the WCJR Saturday performance. Photo By: Bull Stock Media

“I love high-pressure environments like the WCJR. I love being surrounded by friends and the excitement short-round Saturday at the Lazy E creates,” said Autrey. 

Autrey also expressed how she has grown up with a love for high pressure because of her parents, who are no strangers to the mental game of rodeo. With both parents being veteran competitors, Autrey has gained the mental edge essential to success in high-pressure, short-go situations. 

“My family is my biggest support system. From the wins to the losses, they are always there for me”, explained Autrey, who also accredits her 13-year-old sister Acey for being a consistent source of support and competition in the practice pen. 

This love for the sport propelled the young cowgirl to the top of the Youth Goat Tying leaderboards with a blazing 6.25-second run in the final round atop her main horse, “Freak.” Confident and booming equine partnerships are essential in any rodeo event, particularly in the world of goat tying. 

Alli Autrey during the Studio shoot at the WCRA World Championship Junior Rodeo. Photo by Bull Stock Media

“Having confidence in a goat horse is everything. ‘Freak’ is my heart horse, and I owe him everything,” explained Autrey, who trained “Freak” to become her number one mount in goat tying and led her to several significant wins, including a Texas Junior High State title. 

This success in the goat-tying extended Autrey’s lead in the Youth All-Around race and secured the title. Autrey entered the WCJR atop the Youth All Around Cowgirl leaderboard with her sights set on maintaining her position. 

“Winning was a sigh of relief. It was so great to see all of my heart work pay off,”  explained the All-Around Cowgirl, who explained focusing on the mental game and visualization has been her key to success. 

As the sun sets on the 2023 WCJR, Autrey is already looking forward to her next victory. Autrey is already back in the practice pen with her sights set on qualifying for the Rodeo Carolina’s Division Youth Showcase. 

“The WCJR has been an incredible opportunity to compete on a large stage with a great payout. I am already looking forward to the next event,” said Autrey. 

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