With 10 no times posted in the fourth and final performance of the 42nd Annual Indian National Finals Rodeo, the Mexican Springs, N.M., cowgirl embraced the pressure she was faced with as the high callback.
“I was thinking that it was just another run,” Bates said. “It was like a practice run to me and I didn’t want it to get to my mind.”
Meanwhile, in the all-around race, Kirtland, N.M. cowgirl Kylie Gilbert took home the coveted trophy saddle and trailer. Gilbert qualified in three events to earn her first INFR world title.
With most of the other ropers missing their calves, Bates said you have to have a different mentality when you ride into the box.
“This was my fourth qualification and each time I’ve come back on Saturday night,” she said. “I didn’t let the nerves get to me. I knew that I deserved to be here and I was more confident with myself. I wanted to go out there and do what I can.”
What she did was rope her first INFR world title as she finished the aggregate race in 13.77 seconds on four heads.
Her win capped a remarkable year for Bates and her horse “Little Mama” as her equine was named Horse of the Year by the INFR.
“My horse plays a big role so I am thankful that I have her,” she said. “I am so blessed that God brought her into my life. We’re a great team and I am happy that she got horse of the year.”
Together Bates felt that they made a statement this year as they won the tour.
Bates won the world title by a large margin as April Pablo came in a distant second with a 34.12 aggregate on this chaotic night with Pablo moving up five places.
Faith Holyan also moved up the final standings as she won Saturday night’s round with a 3.25 run. Going into final performance she was sitting in ninth place by roping two runs in 5.28 seconds.