Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 9, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD July 1974 What's a girl like Jerri doing in a sport like JERRI DUCE 'I like thrilling things. That's why I loved barrel racing and trick riding so much when I started. I Hnn't like hiim-rirnm stuff By GARRY ALLISON Herald Staff Writer Whether its the rodeo at the Cow Palace in San Francisco or the one in the Stavely one of the most colorful sights will be Jerri Duce. Long blonde hair flowing bedecked in brilliantly colored charging around the gal's barrel racing course or dangerously swinging over and under her mount in her trick riding Jerri Duce still comes up every inch a lady. While it may be hard to picture this petite blonde competing in what may be the world's most dangerous she is one of the best in the business. Five times she has been the best barrel racer in Canada and last year she became the first Canadian to go to the National Finals rodeo in her event and ended up fifth in the average. She placed 14th in the world stan- winning over the a total many professional Canadian male competitors would be pleased with. Rodeo was a matter of natural progression for Jerri and her who also barrel races and forms the other half of the Duce girls trick riding duo. dad was two time Canadian saddle bronc Jerri says. our Bob and Tom were also very active. Bob won the Canadian bareback title six times and Tom won the Canadian steer decorating As a matter of fact all three brothers were champions at the same time in 1951. The girls started riding early in life and were winning rodeos at ages seven and eight. Brother a leading amateur saddle bronc also got an early riding in the Calgary Stampede parade by himself at the age of only 11 months. Jerri started trick riding when she was nine. Joy was seven. kind of funny the way we got into Jerri says. spotted a trick riding saddle and talked dad into buying it. We were fool- ing around on practicing different and we saw an ad in the Western Horseman magazine offering a book on How to Trick Ride. We bought it. was a trial and error thing. Most- ly error. We'd read about a trick in the book and then go out and try it. We learned as we And learn they did. The girls built their act into one of the best in the in demand throughout the United States and Canada. The easiest trick to according to was the beautiful hippadrome where she stands high on the front of the saddle and leans out over the galloping horse's arms spread into the wind. crowds like that move. They like the grace and the beauty of but it really is the easiest to do. The in don't really know what is involved in the various movements as far as degree of difficulty is concerned. They just know what they Inrri was hnrn in fllareshoim but now makes her home in Granum with her parents. She enjoys trick particularly at the big indoor shows like Edmonton where the fans are really with but overall she likes barrel racing the best. The girls earned during their best year doing their trick riding. riding is more work than barrel putting the act together and getting both ourselves and our horses in The speed at which the girls do their routine makes their show exciting and distinguishes it from many other trick riding acts. Trick riding is very dangerous and time but the money is still at a 1930 Jerri feels. She also feels many people look on them as cir- cus types rather than rodeo oriented performers. The girl's wardrobes have always been colorful and distinctive. Their mother made most of their costumes for years. Today the girls make more of their own. Jerri has been suffering only an assortment of bumps and bruises over the years with her worst ex- perience being dragged by a horse dur- ing a tail drag trick. worst injury I've ever had was a broken ankle I suf- fered at school in gym What's a nice girl like her doing in a sport like like thrilling things. That's why I loved barrel racing and trick riding so much when I started. I don't like hum drum stuff.'' I'd like to try skiing and ski diving. They sound like The five foot four inch Jerri loves to travel to new places. a waste of time hitting the same old places time and said the girl who logs somewhere near miles a year. couldn't sit at home and be an or- dinary I love rodeo too That doesn't mean she isn't looking forward to a married life. She likes cooking and sewing and pictures herself as a mother of a batch of kids. Jerri will just be a bit more active than the average housewife. Jerri and Joy grew up in a situation where they were always not only against others but against each other as well. solved any rivalry problem we might have had between first by remaining a family unit and then by putting the money we won into a com- mon pot. We and still good friends. We were never bitter about For relaxation Jerri turns her talents to trick roping and Indian beadwork and listens to country and western music or quiet instrumentals. Jerri gives to rodeo too. She runs clinics in barrel racing and also tutors young prospective trick riders. She was one of the guest instructors at the Jim Gladstone rodeo school at teaching 17 students from as far away as New Mexico. Jerri Duce lives a exciting life and knew how to carve a place for herself long before women's lib became the thine.