The 2011 Canadian Cowboys Association finals was one for the record books. Not only was there an arena record of 7.2 seconds in the Tie Down Roping (by Matt Switzer), Dannielle Dinius became the first barrel racer to win 4 consecutive championships.
There have been 2 others win 4 championships (Gayle Howes and Teri Leibrand) but never 4 in a row. Dinius has owned “the crown” since 2008. Her first championship was aboard her now 14 year old gelding Trix (by Royal Generation). This year Dannielle used both Trix and her 7 year old Crimewave mare Legacy at the finals to make it extra special.
The caliber at this years finals was tough. The reserve championship went to past CCA Champion and CFR qualifier Janet Moen. Tied in go round points, it went to the average points where Dannielle had the advantage.
Going into the finals Dannielle won the year end championship with over $17,000 won. With her finals championship she will have padded her bank account with over $20,000 in CCA earnings.
Legacy did the majority of the work this year with Trix running at only 6 or 7 rodeos. He earned his keep though, winning 4 of those and placing at another. Dannielle described Legacy as a bit of a diva who loves people watching her and performs for big crowds. Trix is really solid. One of her favorite moments this summer was winning Wood Mountain rodeo back to back but this year on Trix (last year Legacy).
When it came finals time Danielle said she was looking forward to giving both horses the opportunity to make some money. Her goal going into the finals was just to make some money and have 5 clean runs. The first two rounds she ran Legacy (who Dannielle will also refer to as Legs). Looking forward to running both horses at the same place and seeing how they compared to one and other she jumped on Trix for the 3rd round. I asked her how she decided to jump on Trix after Legs just won the round the night before and she said “Legs just seemed a bit tired when I went to check on her in the barn. I thought the rest that night would keep her fresh. She had a really awesome run the night before, but we did rock a barrel pretty good so I thought it would be a good time to try Trix.” “What was really cool was the next night (the 4th round) I ran Legs again and she clocked the exact same time as Trix!” For the final round Dannielle went back to Trix to be just out of the money, but still fast enough to hold on to the average win. For those of us following the results from home, you never would have guessed there was a horse change because of the times being so consistent.
During the week, the 25 year old Cowgirl enjoys the Construction and Irrigation job she holds with PFRA. Trix and Legs will enjoy some time off now while Dannielle gets back to work on her young horses. She has a 4 year old Unleashed filly she looks forward to taking to futurities next year. We will see her on the CCA trail next year but perhaps with one less champ in the trailer as she contemplates selling one of her standouts to make room for one of the up and coming champions she has in the barn. The upcoming year will be a busy one as she and finance Tyler Knudson plan their upcoming wedding and work on their home.
We caught up with Dannielle earlier in the year for an interview after her win at Mankota. You might want to check it out too.
Congratulations Dannielle on this amazing achievement! Best of luck to you in 2012.