Daughter living dad's dream


Saturday, December 13th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Like most fathers, Mike Floyd said he worries about his 12-year-old daughter, Stormi.

Floyd has a little more to worry about than many parents -- Stormi is a competitive barrel racer.

Last summer she was riding in competition at the Norman Roundup Club Arena. Mike Floyd said he was in the booth, announcing.

"The ground was too dry. It was slippery and the horse she was riding slipped and fell. I've told her to stay in the saddle, there's where you're safest. She held on to the horn."

When the horse got back up, Stormi was still in the saddle.

"Danged if she didn't finish the race in third place," he said.

He said the worry is pretty constant when she competes, but he said he has gotten almost numb to it now.

"She's a good rider. She's confident. I'd put her up against any adult who wasn't running pro rodeo or something," he said.

Stormi confirmed his trust recently in Tulsa when she won the American Barrel Racers Association 2003 Youth National Championship.

She and her quarter horse, Pin Ball, won it all in the 9 to 12 year age bracket at the show in mid-October.

"She competed against the best of the best -- 206 riders. She was the best in the 9- to 12-year-old class," her dad said.

He noted that she was 28th overall in the adult open category. Only 27 adults are better than she is in the American Barrel Racing Association competition, he said.

Mike Floyd said Stormi started riding when she was 2 years old.

"She got bucked off and was crying. I thought she would never get back on a horse. But she was crying because she wanted back on," he said.

Mike Floyd, who also competed in rodeo events -- everything except roping -- said he started taking Stormi to rodeos when she was about 4.

"She told me she wanted to be a rodeo queen and go to OSU," he said.

Mike Floyd said she has sort of given up on the rodeo queen goal but still plans to go to Oklahoma State University on a rodeo scholarship and study veterinary medicine.

She rides well enough to apply for a scholarship and her grades won't be a problem, either. Records show she's an "A" student at Noble Middle School and is on the superintendent's honor roll.

Stormi has a shy, quiet voice and her conversation is sprinkled with, "Yes, ma'am."

She confirmed that OSU and veterinary school are still very much in her plans. She said she likes all animals and has two dogs, five cats and three horses.

Her dad said Stormi trained Pin Ball herself. He was a roping horse when they bought him.

Stormi's rodeo career began three years ago in the arena in Davis when she competed in her first open rodeo barrel race.

Mike Floyd said that years earlier his dad, Rex Floyd, rode his first bull in the same arena.

In addition to the Davis Arena, in the past three years Stormi has ridden at Tecumseh, Shawnee, Choctaw, Chandler, Tulsa and at arenas in Texas, Missouri and Mississippi.

Mike Floyd watched as his daughter confidently ran the barrels in the Norman arena on Pin Ball.

"She's living my dream," he said with a proud grin on his face.