By Ann Bleiker
For WPRA barrel racer Taylor Jacob it has been a goal to win the most money over the Fourth of July week (June 27-July 4, 2016) known in the rodeo circles as "Cowboy Christmas" and she achieved that goal in 2016 with $28,316. "It is an amazing feeling," said Jacob about winning that much in a week. "I set high expectations for myself and it feels real good to have achieved that goal. My buddy group (with Sarah Rose McDonald) worked very well this year and we were definitely pleased with the outcome."
While Jacob topped the leaderboard, McDonald was not far behind coming in fourth overall in the WPRA with $17,467. All totaled the Jacob-McDonald buddy group raked in a cool $45,784 for the week and are hoping to add more to that total in the coming days as they make their way to the Calgary Stampede.
"It definitely gives us a boost going into Calgary and we hope we can keep the momentum going," said Jacob.
Jacob handled all the entering this year and coordinated the two rigs running between Canada and the United States and she was able to capitalize on the opportunities thanks to three great horses and a great team behind her.
Jacob picked up checks at five out of nine rodeos she competed in with the two biggest paychecks coming at the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede with $10,583 and the Ponoka (Alberta) Stampede totaling $10,430. She rode her main man Bo (Honor Thy Frenchman) at both those rodeos and in Oakley, Utah, where she added $1,272. Bo was also used at Wainwright, Alberta, and Greeley, Colo. The Carmine, Texas, cowgirl called upon the services of a buckskin mare she bought earlier this year, This Firewater Rocks, aka Tink, at St. Paul and Molalla, Ore. Tink would add $1,644 in St. Paul to the overall total but a downed barrel in Molalla cost them a check. The final two stops would be in Window Rock and Prescott, Ariz. Jacob saddled Sissy B Gold, aka Madonna, for those two and added $4,387 from Prescott.
"It is a hectic time but totally worth it," said Jacob when asked how she would describe Cowboy Christmas. In 2015, Jacob finished behind front runner Jill Welsh ($23,976) for most money won over Cowboy Christmas with $23,385.
Lisa Lockhart had a big week as well finishing second on the WPRA leaderboard with $23,730. Her biggest win came at the Greeley (Colo.) Independence Stampede where she collected $12,216 for the title. Lockhart also collected checks at Livingston, Mont. ($4,241), Red Lodge, Mont. ($1,295), Oakley, Utah($5,357) and Mandan, N.D. ($620). She is ranked 12th.
Carley Richardson, who qualified for her first NFR in 2015, was third in total money with $18,545. Her biggest win came at the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo with $8,220. She also won checks at Cody, Wyo. ($6,879), and Livingston, Mont. ($3,446). She is currently ranked 4th in the World Standings.
McDonald picked up checks at Cody, Wyo. ($8,466), Ponoka, Alberta ($7,859) and Prescott, Ariz. ($1,143). She is currently ranked 5th in the World Standings.
PRCA tie-down roper Shane Hanchey was the top money winner over the Fourth of July with $32,293 followed by bareback rider Caleb Bennett with $29,911.
"My ultimate goal for the Fourth of July is to be the big money winner overall," said Jacob, who is currently ranked 8th in the WPRA and finished third overall, but that will have to wait another year.
A full recap of the Fourth of July rodeos will be available in the August issue of the Women’s ProRodeo News.
Top 10 WPRA Money earners over the Fourth of July
1. Taylor Jacob $28,316
2. Lisa Lockhart $23,730
3. Carley Richardson $18,545
4. Sarah Rose McDonald $17,468
5. Rene LeClerq $14,659
6. Jana Griemsman $13,516
7. Kerilee Noval $11,035
8. Mary Burger $10,681
9. Cayla Melby $10,552
10. Tillar Murray $10,521