By Jolee Jordan
Fort Worth, Texas — The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo runs each night with the tagline: "This Thing is Legendary!"
Its a well-earned moniker as the FWSSR has a 120 year history of firsts in the rodeo business. This is the Worlds Original Indoor Rodeo (R) first held at Northside Coliseum back in 1918. Ladies were a part of the very first rodeo in Fort Worth, although back then they competed in the cowgirls “bucking bronco” event.
Today the ladies of the Womens Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) compete in barrel racing and the FWSSR is one of the most lucrative on the road for the ladies with a committee purse of $40,000 along with entry fees from 210 contestants.
The FWSSR began January 22 and runs through February 6. All WPRA ladies make one run. Once that long go is completed on Tuesday, February 2, the field will be paired down to the best 70 times and each of those ladies will compete in one more round. Following the progressive round, the top 10 on two head will compete for the championship here during the short go on Saturday night, February 6.
The lead had been 16.60 seconds, a mark set during the very first performance by Kellie Collier and later tied up by Kelly Tovar. It took ten performances but the lead finally changed hands during the 11th performance, Friday afternoon, January 29. Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) cowgirl Michele McLeod stormed the leaderboard with her young sensation, Streakinflingindisco, aka Disco. Running to the left barrel first, McLeod stopped the clock at 16.58 seconds to move to the lead of the round.
Running on the bottom of the ground has been no problem inside Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum thanks to the efforts of local 4-H kids and the FWSSR committee. The ground is raked after each and every runner.
During Wednesday evening's rodeo, perennial top 20 cowgirl Kimmie Wall posted the fastest run of the night from the 10th position on the ground. Riding her superstar homegrown mare Foxy, who is registered TKW Bullys Famous Fox, Wall rounded the cloverleaf in 16.83 seconds.
Hudson, Colo., cowgirl Ivy Conrado has been on a big roll since the new season began on October 1. Just days removed from a Reserve title at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Conrado and her gritty little mare Tibbie outran the field during Texas Christian University (TCU) night, one of the fastest nights of WPRA action thus far in the rodeo.
Their time of 16.77 seconds is currently seventh in the round and was just two one-hundredths better than former Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) contestant Shelley Morgan who competed in the same performance Thursday night.
No one has had a hotter hand thus far in 2016 than 2006 WPRA World Champion Mary Burger. Burger continued her dominance with the fast time during the 12th perf of the rodeo. Her 16.80 may not place in the money but will definitely bring the current WPRA World No. 1 back for another run.
The long go marches on as the weekend kicks off with three perfs Saturday and two Sunday.
For more information on the FWSSR, visit them on-line at www.fwssr.com and stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates.
Current Go Leaders
1. Michele McLeod, Streakinflingindisco, 16.58 seconds
2. Kellie Collier, Streakin Easy April, 16.60
3. Kelly Tovar, BB French Fooledya, 16.60
4. Tiany Schuster, JSYK Im Famous, 16.75
5. Clay Sewalt, KR Silver Spur, 16.75
6. Ashlie Withrow, BA Brothers Profit, 16.76
7. Ivy Conrado, CFour Tibbie Stinson, 16.77
8. Shelley Morgan, Will Merada, 16.79
9. Mary Walker, Perculatin, 16.80
10. Dena Kirkpatrick, Kates Always First, 16.80