Amberleigh Moore

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James Phifer

By Jolee Jordan

NFRMoore Finds Redemption in Fort Worth


Fort Worth, Texas—Competition at the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo has been fierce from the first performance and that trend only accelerated as the rodeo wound down over the first weekend of February.

What began as a contest between 210 WPRA barrel racers narrowed to a field of 70 on Tuesday night as the second round began Wednesday afternoon. College champion Loni Lester hit the final two days as the round leader in that go as the final thirty cowgirls chased a spot inside the short go. Only the 12 best on the two prior runs got a third chance to earn the coveted title of champion of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo on the rodeo’s centennial anniversary.

Second Go

The second go round wrapped up with two performances on Friday as well as a matinee on the final day Saturday. Sissy Win was the fastest on Friday afternoon, putting up a 16.63 second run that was nearly matched by Tillar Murray. The 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifier posted a run of 16.65.

The race for the Championship Round got even tougher on Friday night with five of the ten cowgirls moving into the top 12 with outstanding runs. The best run belonged to Cheyenne Kelly and her mare Bendi. Kelly put up the fastest time of the rodeo to win the second go round at 16.26, edging past Lester.



Sayde Simpson - 2018 Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award Winner
Photo by James Phifer


Texas cowgirls Tammy Fischer and Sadye Simpson both ran into the money as well, stopping the clock at 16.47 and 16.48, respectively. Canadian Champion Carman Pozzobon and WPRA World standings leader Taci Bettis punched their tickets into the finals on Friday night as well.

Thankfully for first go round winner Amberleigh Moore, history did not repeat itself on Saturday afternoon. In 2017, Moore ran in the matinee performance, securing a berth into the finals with a solid run but her latigo came loose on the run home, causing the saddle to slide under the horse’s belly and throwing Moore to the dirt hard where she rolled into the bucking chutes just after crossing the timer line.

After several scary moments on the arena floor and being carried out by the Justin Sports Medicine Team, Moore bounced back to run in the finals that very night, finishing inside the top ten. She then went on a rampage, winning first in every go round in San Antonio and collecting wins in Jackson and Belton.

Fast forward to 2018 and it seems Moore skipped the hardship part and went straight for the torrid winter pace. She and her mare Paige went around Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum safely and quickly, putting a 16.52 on the board to win a check in round two and return to the short round in third place.

Leading the pack into the finals was Oklahoma cowgirl Kylie Weast. She and her mare Reddy took the lead on Saturday afternoon with a smoking run of 16.31 seconds. Weast is part of a WPRA legacy family: her grandmother Florence Youree is one of the pioneers of the Association and the sport of barrel racing and mom Renee Ward and sister Janae Ward-Massey have competed at the WNFR; Ward-Massey is the 2003 WPRA World Champion barrel racer.

Championship Round

Just a few hours after the field was determined for the finals, the 29th and final performance of the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo kicked off. The final group to compete for the title included an eclectic mix of both WNFR cowgirls, fresh from Las Vegas, and relative unknowns, ladies not ranked nationally in the WPRA World standings. Thanks to the high limit of 210 barrel racers accepted as entries in Fort Worth, the deep talent pool of the WPRA was allowed to prove their way into the final run.

The short go runs slowest to fastest as the committee hand rakes the ground around each barrel following every run through the 29 performance run of the rodeo.

With a great line-up of horsepower, the race for the title was likely to land in the hands of the top three cowgirls: Weast, Hailey Kinsel and Moore. Only .17 seconds separated the three from each other but they carried a bigger lead of .22 seconds on the rest of the field.

From a tie at fourth between WNFR cowgirl Kellie Collier and Lester to former WPRA Rookie of the Year Cayla Small in 12th position, the times ranged from 33.09 on two runs to 33.19 seconds, a razor thin margin that meant positions could easily be shuffled around with the final runs.

In the finals, Small continued her comeback tour with horse Gator, putting a 16.72 on top. Pozzobon was next aboard her big fast buckskin mare Rip; running to the left first, the Canadian moved to the lead in both the round and average with a blistering run of 16.33 seconds.

Bettis and Smash were next around the course, running 16.64 seconds. Bettis was followed in the draw by her hauling partner, Fischer, whose mare Zeva took a bad slip on the final turn, costing her big on the clock. Her 17.05 left her on the bottom of the average at that point.

Past Fort Worth champ Sarah Rose McDonald took her shot next, following her own comeback trail in 2018 with a new stick. The horse she calls Dutch was solid on three runs in Cowtown, with a 16.79 on the final night.

Next came the wild card, Kelly, who had won the second go with the fastest time of the rodeo. She and her 13 year old mare were fast again, this time posting 16.44 seconds. That time was good enough for second in both the round and average behind the Canadian cowgirl, just five one hundredths behind.

Sadye Simpson took her shot next, at both the Fort Worth Rodeo championship and also the Jerry Ann Taylor Award for being the Best Dressed Cowgirl. Dazzling in black and silver, Simpson and her horse Toby put a 16.93 second run together.

Kellie Collier and Lolo ran next, continuing the consistency that earned them a spot in Las Vegas last December. Collier’s 16.52 slid her behind Kelly into third, keeping the race close.

Lester ran her mare Champagne next, taking a penalty after cutting it too close on the third turn.

So the heart of the title race came up to bat with Moore, Kinsel and Weast closing out the night. Moore needed just 16.63 seconds for the lead. With Paige the Perfectionist flying down the alleyway, Moore turned three tight cans, easily taking ahold of the lead with a run of 16.45 seconds.

With a one one-hundredth of a second lead over Moore coming into the final run, Kinsel ran next. She and her WNFR arena record holding mare Sister were staring down a 16.45 to take the lead but came up just short at 16.47 seconds.

That time landed her one one-hundredth behind Moore with just Weast yet to run.

Weast won the average title at WPRA World Finals Futurity competition with the young standout Reddy last October and finished third in the Card Holders race as well at the World Finals. That win launched her 2018 season. She missed the championship in Denver last month by just two one-hundredths of a second and found herself in another dogfight in Texas.

Needing a 16.61 to take the win, Weast and Reddy got a little bit of room on the first corner and ended up a bit short at 16.73 seconds.

Moore earned the title by the slimmest of margins over Kinsel with Weast just a tenth behind them. It was the tightest race here since Shelly Anzick won the championship over Shelley Morgan by the same margin in 2014.



Amberleigh Moore
Photo by James Phifer


Fort Worth icon Pam Minick was on hand to interview the winners and noted Moore’s mishap the year prior, telling the crowd that the victory a year later was “what a cowgirl is made of.”

“I don’t remember that but I can remember this and I always will,” noted Moore, wryly.

“Simply amazing,” Moore told Minick on how it felt to come back and win the event. “Paige never ceases to amaze me.”

When asked how she adjusts from small indoor arenas in the winter to the larger confines of Will Rogers, Moore had a simple answer.

“I just let Paige do her job.”

All the Fort Worth champions received buckles, a custom bottle of TX Whiskey and a $5,000 bonus check from the Stock Show.

On her Facebook page, Moore posted: “Oh wowzers, Paige and I won the Ft Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on their 100th anniversary, what an amazing rodeo to come back and win, after last year's little mishap. Congrats to all of us in the short go, what an amazing group of horses running tonight.”

Moore earned an event-best $15,100, not counting the bonus check, followed closely by Kinsel with $14,512. Thanks to the huge committee purse—$40,000 added—there were four cowgirls who earned more than $10,000 in Fort Worth while short round winner Pozzobon came close at $9,049.

Bettis will hold her position atop the WPRA World standings with $4,682 earned here while Weast will likely move into second. Kinsel and Moore should slot in behind them in the standings along with Collier.

Simpson earned the Jerry Ann Taylor Award and a $5,000 bonus check.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at and watch for more on the FWSSR and the Jerry Ann Taylor Award in an upcoming issue of Women’s Pro Rodeo News.

Final Results

1st Go

1. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 16.35, $5,175

2. Kylie Weast, Hell on the Red, 16.39, $4,436

3. Shelly Anzick, Scooten ta Fame, 15.51, $3,696

4. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.57, $3,204

5. Taci Bettis, Bogie is a Smash, 16.58, $2,464

6. Tracy Nowlin, DJG Madison, 16.60, $1,971

7. Cayla Small, Shameon U, 16.61, $1,479

8.    Jodi Colton, BB French Effort, 16.62, $986

9.    Kellie Collier, Easy Streakin April, 16.63, $411

9.    Carman Pozzobon, Ripn Lady, 16.63, $411

9.    Sadye Simpson, Apt to Be Special, 16.63, $411

2nd Go

1. Cheyenne Kelly, Running ta Dash, 16.26, $5,175

2. Loni Lester, A Dash of Champagne, 16.27, $4,436

3. Kinsel, 16.29, $3,696

4. Weast, 16.31, $3,204

5. Collier/Sarah Rose McDonald, Holland By, 16.46, $2,218

7.   Tammy Fischer, LK Sheza Hayday, 16.47, $1,479

8.   Simpson, 16.48, $986

9.   Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 16.51, $739

10. Moore/Katie Pascoe, JR Naughty Jet, 16.52, $246

Short Round

1. Pozzobon, 16.33, $3,833

2. Kelly, 16.44, $2,875

3. Moore, 16.45, $1,917

4. Kinsel, 16.47, $958


1. Moore, 49.32, $7,762

2. Kinsel, 49.33, $6,654

3. Weast, 49.43, $5,545

4. Pozzobon, 49.51, $4,805

5. Kelly, 49.56, $3,696

6. Collier, 49.61, $2,957

7. Bettis, 49.81, $2,218

8. Small/McDonald, 49.91, $1,294

10. Simpson, 50.04, $739

Total Earnings

Moore, $15,100

Kinsel, $14,512

Weast, $13,185

Kelly, $11,746

Pozzobon, $9,049

Collier, $5,586

Bettis, $4,682

Lester, $4,436

Anzick, $3,696

McDonald, $3,512

Small, $2,773

Nowlin, $1,971

Fischer, $1,479

Simpson, $1,150

Colton, $986

Wilson, $739

Pascoe, $246


NFRKinsel Keeping it Fast in Fort Worth


Fort Worth, Texas—College rodeo has long been touted as the springboard to the pro ranks. A pair of barrel racers are lending a huge amount of credibility to that notion here at the 122nd edition of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

On top of the heap at the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo is Cotulla, Texas cowgirl Hailey Kinsel. Kinsel won the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) during a dream season in 2017 in which she also went to her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) and ran the two fastest times ever laid down inside the Thomas & Mack Arena.

During the Fort Worth rodeo, Kinsel won fourth in the opening go round against the 210 entries here. She came back in the progressive second go round during the Thursday night performance, the 25th of 29 during the long run of the Stock Show. Riding her freaky fast mare Sister, Kinsel stopped the clock at 16.29 seconds to roll out to a big lead in the average with her time of 32.86.

It was already well established that Loni Lester was a hand long before the Stock Show kicked off three weeks ago. The cowgirl from the south Texas community of Gonzales owns a pair of National Championships from the CNFR, earned in 2017 in both the all around and the breakaway roping.



Loni Lester
Photo by Kenneth Springer


Competing in the 23rd performance in Fort Worth, Lester showed that she can circle the barrel pattern every bit as fast as she can throw a breakaway loop. Lester rode her mare Champagne to the best time of the event so far, a smoking fast 16.27 second run.

Lester rolled into a share of second in the average, tying with fellow Texan Kellie Collier. Collier ran her mare Lolo in the same performance as Lester, stopping the clock in a time of 16.46 seconds. Both ladies are 33.09 on two runs.

Former Fort Worth Champion Sarah Rose McDonald is fourth so far after her run on Thursday night of 16.46 seconds. McDonald is on a new stick in 2018, a horse known as Dutch that helped Jackie Schau qualify for the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo in 2017.

Also competing in the 25th performance was Cayla Small, who is currently fifth in the average as the FWSSR rolls into its final four performances. Small piloted her horse Gator to a time of 16.58 seconds, staying consistent after a first round run of 16.61.

Jody McKay was on the schedule on Thursday night as well, part of an electrifying set of ladies and horses. McKay and her horse Hellion ran first and set the fast course with their time of 16.56 seconds. They are sixth to come back for a final run on Saturday night.

Californian Katie Pascoe was the best in the 22nd performance, the first of the progressive round. Pascoe and her tough gelding Naughty were 16.52 on their second trip through Will Rogers Memorial Center. They are currently sixth in the second go and ninth in the average.

Cambra Smith topped the 24th perf on Thursday afternoon aboard her gelding Hank. The 11 year old helped the cowgirl from Hico, Texas fill her permit during the WPRA World Finals in 2016, allowing her to get her card and enter rodeos like Fort Worth. Now, he’s helping her win performances. Smith posted a 16.58 to sit sixth in the average so far.

The progressive round ends on Saturday afternoon during the 28th performance of the FWSSR. It’s a short turn-around to the Championships that same night where the fastest 12 from the two-head average will battle for the title. Those short round qualifiers will also have a chance at a $5,000 bonus for being named the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Cowgirl.

The final 30 runners before then include the top three from the first round: Amberleigh Moore, Kylie Weast and Shelly Anzick. Moore and Weast brought a nearly two-tenth lead into the second round and have a great opportunity to advance to the final night. They will both compete on Saturday afternoon while Anzick takes her shot in the Friday matinee.

Also still yet to make a second run here are first round money winners Taci Bettis, the WPRA standings leader, Tracy Nowlin, Jodi Colton, reigning Canadian champ Carman Pozzobon and Sadye Simpson.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at and stay tuned to for continuing updates from the event.

Current Results (In Progress)

2nd Go

1. Loni Lester, A Dash of Champagne, 16.27

2. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.29

3. Kellie Collier, Streakin Easy April/Sarah Rose McDonald, Holland By, 16.46

5. Jill Wilson, 16.51

6.   Katie Pascoe, JR Naughty Jet, 16.52

7.   Jody McKay, RL Rare and Lucky, 16.56

8.   Cambra Smith, Honor Me Firewater/Cayla Small, Shameon U, 16.58

10. Nikki Hansen, Sky High Guy, 16.61


1. Kinsel, 32.86

2. Lester/Collier, 33.09

4. McDonald, 33.12

5. Small, 33.19

6. McKay, 33.34

7. Smith, 33.44

8. Jessi Fish, Guys Night In Vegas, 33.49

9. Ari-Anna Flynn, Tobys Poco Misterio & Sunny Two Socks, 33.50

10. Pascoe, 33.54

11. Hansen/Jane Melby, Perks Pizazz, 33.56



NFRTop 70 Advance to Second Round in Fort Worth


Fort Worth, Texas—The first chunk of the nearly $100,000 WPRA purse at the 122nd Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo was divvied out on Tuesday night as the first round of competition came to a close.

The World’s Original Indoor Rodeo accepted 210 entries in the ladies barrel racing, with each competitor getting one run. Following the 21st performance, the field was pared down to 70 based upon the first round times.

The final forty for the first round competed during the Monday and Tuesday performances and though some wicked runs went into the books, no one was able to top the fast time posted by Amberleigh Moore and her tough mare Paige.

Will Rogers was on fire on Monday afternoon with five cowgirls stopping the clock under 17 seconds. The best run belonged to Shelly Anzick and her horse Scooter. The pair has won the title here in Fort Worth before, winning the rodeo back in 2014. Anzick ran fast, slipping into third in the round with a 16.51 second effort. Behind Anzick there were three 16.6’s in that set, run by Kellie Collier, Tammy Fischer and Sarah Rose McDonald, another former Fort Worth champion.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifier Tillar Murray thrilled the hometown crowd on Monday night, running the fastest time of the night at 16.73 seconds. Murray was aboard Commander, the horse which carried her to a round win in Vegas in December.

On Tuesday afternoon, Bentonville, Arkansas cowgirl Bailee Snow won the performance, putting a smooth run of 16.79 seconds on the board. Though it did not earn a check, the time does ensure Snow will make a second run here with her twelve year old gelding, Baby Ghost.

A tough pack of cowgirls ended the long round on Tuesday night. They were led by reigning Canadian Champion Carman Pozzobon and Texas cowgirl Sadye Simpson. The pair put up identical runs at 16.63 seconds to split the final money holes in the go.

There were four sub-seventeen runs on the night with past Fort Worth champ Nikki Hansen and four-time WPRA World Champ Sherry Cervi also advancing to the next round.

For winning the first round, Moore earned better than $5,000 while Kylie Weast took second, running just four one hundredths behind Moore. Riding her young phenom Reddy, Weast earned $4,435. Apart from the two cowgirls on top, just .12 seconds separated the money winners for the first go round. Things were tight all the way down to the cut-off with the line for advancement landing at 17.11 seconds.

The progressive round runs off fast with two performances a day beginning on Wednesday afternoon. The second round of 70 barrel racers—as determined by their first round times—will complete the long rounds of competition on Saturday afternoon, February 3. Then it’s a fast turn-around to the Saturday night Championship Round where the twelve fastest on two rounds will compete for the title. In addition those that make the final round will also compete for the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award.

The progressive round is drawn based on competitors’ first round times. Due up on the first two days of competition on Wednesday and Thursday are three former champions here: Hansen (2012), WPRA World Champ Fallon Taylor (2017) and Sarah Rose McDonald (2015). Former WNFR cowgirls Kellie Collier, Hailey Kinsel, Jana Bean, Cayla Small, Jane Melby, Michele McLeod, and Cindy Smith will all participate in the next two days along with Cervi.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at and stay tuned to and the WPRA Facebook page for continuing updates from the event.

Current Results

1st Go-Final

1. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 16.35, $5,175

2. Kylie Weast, Hell on the Red, 16.39, $4,436

3. Shelly Anzick, Scooten ta Fame, 15.51, $3,969

4. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.57, $3,204

5. Taci Bettis, Bogie is a Smash, 16.58, $2,464

6. Tracy Nowlin, DJG Madison, 16.60, $1,971

7. Cayla Small, Shameon U, 16.61, $1,479

8.    Jodi Colton, BB French Effort, 16.62, $986

9.    Kellie Collier, Easy Streakin April, 16.63, $411

9.    Carman Pozzobon, Ripn Lady, 16.63, $411

9.    Sadye Simpson, Apt to Be Special, 16.63, $411


GBR Fort Worth Progressive  
  Judges Draw
22 Perf Mat, Wed, Jan 31 @2p Competition Order
Skyla Whitters 1
Kelly Forell 2
Nikki Hansen 3
Cindy Smith 4
Kassi Mowry 5
Brianna Trepanier 6
Katie Pascoe 7
Tami Semas 8
Teri Bangart 9
Brooke Rix 10
23 Perf Night, Wed, Jan 31 @ 7:30p  
Fallon Taylor 1
Dena Milner 2
Kellie Collier 3
Leslie Schur 4
Loni Lester 5
Jordan Moore 6
Ryann Pedone 7
Kylan Shaw 8
Jordan Minor 9
Jill Wilson 10
24 Perf Mat, Thur, Feb 1 @2p  
KL Spratt 1
Ari-Anna Flynn 2
Sherry Cervi 3
Cambra Smith 4
Bailey Snow 5
Jessi Fish 6
Blythe Beshears 7
Morgan Breaux 8
Kelly Tovar 9
Cierra Chapman 10
Haley Wolfe 11
25 Perf Night, Thu, Feb 1 @7:30p  
Jody McKay 1
Jmaie Hinton 2
Hailey Kinsel 3
Jana Bean 4
Sarah McDonald 5
Cayla Small 6
Melissa Thiessan 7
Lacinda Rose 8
Jayne Melby 9
Michele McLeod 10
26 Perf Mat, Fri, Feb 2, @2p  
Kim Schulze 1
Abby Phillips 2
Shelly Anzick 3
Sissy Winn 4
Tillar Murray 5
Christine Laughlin 6
Liz Herrin 7
Alex Lang 8
Martha Wright 9
Janie Johnson 10
27 Perf Night, Fri, Feb 2, 7:30p  
Sadye Simpson 1
Cheyenne Kelly 2
Taci Bettis 3
Tammy Fischer 4
Jodi Colton 5
Tracy Nowlin 6
Carman Pozzobon 7
Stacey Grimes 8
Carissa Bryant 9
Andrea Busby 10
28 Perf Mat, Sat, Feb 3, @2p  
Lisa Lockhart 1
Deb Guelly 2
Amberleigh Moore 3
Ashley Schafer 4
Ivy Conrado 5
Kylie Weast 6
Kristin Shoppa 7
Mary Walker 8
Michelle Darling 9
Shayna Gattis 10



NFRMoore Moves to Top Spot in Fort Worth


Fort Worth, Texas—The Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo is one hundred years old this year. Though the Stock Show began 22 years earlier, the rodeo was only added when the event moved into the new Northside Coliseum in 1918. The whole event was cancelled in 1943 as the Stockyards transformed into assembly plants to help the war effort in World War II, but resumed the next year, moving to its current home at Will Rogers Memorial Center in 1944 as many of the Stockyards buildings were still not usable.

In 2018 the barrel racers are assembling a fantastic race for the title here on the centennial anniversary.

Cayla Small was the second barrel racer to compete during the opening performance way back on January 19 and she survived the challenge of the first 122 of the 210 barrel racers entered to compete here, staying on top of the leaderboard all the way until the Saturday morning performance on January 27.

But the big weekend of rodeo brought warm weather outside and super hot runs inside Will Rogers Memorial Center.

Of all the big winter stock shows except for San Angelo, Fort Worth has the highest limits, accepting 210 barrel racers. Each competitor gets one run and then the fastest 70 from the opening round come back in the progressive round held during the 23rd through 28th performances on Wednesday through Saturday, Jan 31 to Feb 3. The finals on Saturday night, Feb 3 is comprised of the 12 fastest from the first two rounds.

The final two one performance days were Wednesday and Thursday, January 24-25 but then the rodeo kicks into a sprint to the finish, hosting two performances a day and three on Saturday.

2012 WPRA World Champion Mary Walker topped the Wednesday performance thanks to a ride on the borrowed pony called Boy, owned by Carley Richardson. Walker was able to finish at 17.03, a time likely to make the cut for the next round.

The Stock Show turned purple on Thursday for TCU Day—a nod to Texas Christian University just down the street. It looked more like Canadian night in the rodeo competition with several neighbors from the north turning in great performances including the fastest run in the barrels set by Alberta cowgirl Melissa Thiessen, who rode her horse Fly to a time of 16.82 seconds.

On Friday afternoon, a trio of cowgirls moved into the progressive round with 16.8 second runs. The fastest of the bunch was 2018 leading rookie KL Spratt, who piloted her horse OK to a 16.81, just edging out Loni Lester (16.82) and Cierra Chapman (16.89).

Kassie Mowry was the biggest star on Friday night, just one week removed from a $10,000 win in the unsanctioned Fort Worth Super Shootout. Mowry again topped the night, running a 16.97 aboard a six year old she calls Victor.

Then the track got really fast. There were no sleepy eyes on Saturday morning as Taci Bettis knocked Small from the top spot with her smooth run of 16.58 seconds aboard Smash. The 2017 WPRA Rookie of the Year did not get to celebrate her lead for long as Hailey Kinsel followed up just two runners later with a 16.57. Kinsel was riding her Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) arena record holding mare Sister. Christine Laughlin, fresh off a win in Denver last week, ran last and put up 16.64 seconds to move into the money.

Like Bettis, Kinsel would not stay on top of the leaderboard for long. Just a couple of hours later, Amberleigh Moore and her mare Paige lit up the crowd with a blistering fast 16.35 second run. The run tied the fastest time run here in the last two years. Ivy Conrado ran on Saturday afternoon as well; the former Fort Worth champion rode J-Lo and stopped the clock at 16.74 seconds.

On Saturday night, Jaime Hinton and The Goob were the best of the perf, putting 16.90 on the board, well within the cut-off for the next round.

Riding her 11 year old gelding Hank, Cambra Smith ran a smooth 16.86 as the first cowgirl on the Stock Show’s final Sunday afternoon perf.



Kylie Weast
Photo by Kenneth Springer


Meanwhile, Kylie Weast made a mad dash from San Angelo, where she won third in the long round held in the morning slack, to compete in Fort Worth on Sunday night. The drive clearly did not bother Weast or her mare Reddy as they made a real challenge to Moore’s lead, blistering through the course in 16.39 seconds during a fast group where five cowgirls came in under seventeen seconds.

Along with Weast, Tracy Nowlin (16.60) and Jordan Moore (16.75) both moved into the top ten on Sunday night as well.

The FWSSR continues for another week and the long round of the barrel racing is winding down. The cut-off to come back in the progressive round is now sitting at 17.23 seconds. Just four more performances remain before the first cut to the field is made on Tuesday night and the first checks are written.

Still to compete are WNFR cowgirls Jana Bean, Shelley Morgan, Tammy Fischer, and Kellie Collier, all on Monday afternoon along with past Fort Worth champions Shelly Anzick and Sarah Rose McDonald. On Monday night, watch for Tillar Murray—a Fort Worth native—and WPRA World Champion Kappy Allen.

Rounding it out on Tuesday are Turquoise Circuit Champ Lori Todd, WNFR qualifier Cindy Smith, four-time WPRA World Champ Sherry Cervi, 2017 Canadian Champion Carman Pozzobon, and former Fort Worth champion Nikki Hansen.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at and stay tuned to for continuing updates from the event.

Current Results

1st Go

1. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 16.35

2. Kylie Weast, Hell on the Red, 16.39

3. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.57

4. Taci Bettis, Bogie is a Smash, 16.58

5. Tracy Nowlin, DJG Madison, 16.60

6. Cayla Small, Shameon U, 16.61

7. Jodi Colton, BB French Effort, 16.62

8. Christine Laughlin, Jess Undeniable, 16.64

9. Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift of Fame, 16.74

10. Jordan Moore, CCR Ring of Fire, 16.75

11. Lisa Lockhart, Rosas Cantina CC, 16.76

12. Kim Schulze, Holy Moly Im Famous, 16.78

12. Jody McKay, RL Rare and Lucky, 16.78

14. Liz Herrin, Bogies Lil Mikey, 16.79

15. KL Spratt, KK Cash Colours, 16.81




NFRSmall Now Topping the Leaderboard in Ft. Worth


Fort Worth, Texas—They’ve now been rodeoing in Cowtown for a full century.

The Fort Worth Fat Stock Show actually began in 1896 but the rodeo was not added as part of the attractions until 1918 as one of the first events to be held in the brand-new Cowtown Coliseum at the Fort Worth Stockyards. There, the “World’s Original Indoor Rodeo” was born.

"Holding the world's first-ever indoor rodeo 100 years ago contributes greatly to the identity and mystique of Fort Worth. It's says a lot about who we are as a community and a city," said Stock Show President and General Manager Brad Barnes in a press release.

The WPRA is celebrating 70 years in 2018 but its history with Fort Worth is a little shorter. Aside from a stint in 1966 when the Stock Show hosted the WPRA’s National Finals Barrel Race as part of the show, the ladies of the WPRA have only been a part of the regular rodeo since 2004.



Cayla Small
Photo by Kenneth Springer


Fort Worth has quickly become a favorite of the ladies however, both for its huge payout thanks to the $40,000 committee purse and high entry limits as well as the chance at a $5,000 bonus for being the best dressed cowgirl in the finals thanks to the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and the Jerry Ann Taylor Foundation, that the award is named for.

The rodeo is one of the most open of the big winter rodeos, accepting a whopping 210 entries. Each lady makes one run during the opening 21 performances of the rodeo and then the field is cut to 70 based upon the first round times. Beginning on Wednesday, January 31, the second round—also known as the progressive round—will start with the matinee performance. Following the 28th perf on Saturday afternoon, Feb 3, the 12 short go round qualifiers will be determined based on the two-head average.

2016 WPRA Rookie of the Year Cayla Small had some struggles in 2017, beginning with an injury to her good horse Gator in the spring and ending with a horse accident that left her with hairline fractures in her collarbone. Finally healed up—for the most part—Small has hit 2018 with a vengeance, winning more than $4,000 in Denver at the National Western last week.

Small and her mom, fellow Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifier Jane Melby, made the drive from Denver to Fort Worth for the first performance at the big Texas show before heading back to Denver for the finals there on Sunday, January 21.

Small and Gator stayed on the same track they established in Denver, taking the early round lead in Fort Worth with a blistering 16.61 second romp through the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

Her closest competitor on Friday night was Hallettsville, Texas cowgirl Cheyenne Kelly, who stopped the clock at 16.86.

Saturday’s in Fort Worth mean three big performances and the ladies brought their game for each set. Glencoe, Oklahoma cowgirl Skyla Whitters topped the morning with a run of 16.99 seconds while Kacey Kirby’s 17.19 was the best of the matinee.

On Saturday night, Great Lakes Champion Lacinda Rose and her gelding Real Deal took the performance honors, stopping the clock at 16.97 seconds. Rose is ranked tenth in the WPRA World standings.

Sunday’s are a bit more relaxed with just a pair of performances on the schedule. Sissy Winn piloted her horse Flash to the win in the Sunday matinee, putting 16.92 seconds on the board.

On her own comeback trail, former college champion Liz Herrin has battled her way back from a major head injury suffered during the Reno Rodeo in 2013. Now riding a young horse she calls Mikey, Herrin discovered that Mikey likes Fort Worth as the pair streaked to a time of 16.79 seconds on Sunday night.

Two million dollar cowgirl Lisa Lockhart started her season off well with an appearance in the finals at Denver on Sunday but then battled her way through winter road conditions to arrive in Fort Worth just an hour prior to the seventh performance on Monday night.

Lockhart had to scramble to find a farrier to tack a shoe back on her horse—blown during a brief stopover on the road down from Colorado—but she and her newest superstar Rosa didn’t let any of that slow them down in their trip through the pattern. Horses who run to the left barrel first, as Rosa does, have done well here in the past and the trend continued on Monday as Lockhart moved to second in the go round at the time with her run of 16.76 seconds.

While others were making comebacks, Jody McKay was making the most of opportunities. A last minute replacement into the rodeo on Monday, McKay rode the horse she calls Hellion to a fast time of 16.78 seconds.

The Stock Show went pink on Tuesday to support the Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth’s efforts toward breast cancer awareness and treatment. Half of the proceeds of tickets for the day were donated to the cause.



Jodi Colton
Photo by Kenneth Springer


In the barrel racing, Small’s lead was strongly challenged, beginning with Dena Kirkpatrick, who would have passed Small with her run of 16.57 but for a downed barrel. Instead, Jodi Colton was tops of the performance with her 16.62 second run on her eight year old mare Solo. Colton lands second by just one one-hundredth of a second.

A pair of lefties also jumped into contention on Tuesday night. Kim Schulze rode Holy Moly and Fallon Taylor was aboard Babyflo as the pair put up runs of 16.78 and 16.87, respectively. Taylor is the reigning champion here.

Right behind them was Michele McLeod, who was back on the great stallion Slick for just their third run in a year; the pair put 16.91 on the board to sit in a tie for ninth.

The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo continues with single performances on Wednesday and Thursday nights before kicking into high gear with two on Friday and Sunday and three on Saturday. Due up in the barrels Thursday are WNFR qualifiers Terra Bynum-Gernentz and 2012 WPRA World Champion Mary Walker.



Jodi Colton
Photo by James Phifer


Regular season earnings record holder Tiany Schuster highlights the Friday field along with top rookie contender K.L. Spratt and WNFR qualifiers Trula Churchill, Sabrina Ketchum and Cassidy Kruse along with Kassie Mowry, who claimed $10,000 inside Will Rogers already after winning the non-sanctioned Fort Worth Super Shootout on Thursday, January 18 while competing for the San Angelo Rodeo team.

Over the weekend, the barrel racing lineup includes WPRA World standings leader Taci Bettis, Hailey Kinsel, Lindsey Hayes-Banks, Amberleigh Moore, Carlee Pierce and Brenda Mays, all former competitors in Las Vegas along with former Fort Worth Champions, two-time WPRA World Champion Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi (2007), Taylor Jacob (2013) and Ivy Conrado (2016).

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at and stay tuned to for continuing updates from the event.

Current Results

1st Go

1. Cayla Small, Shameon U, 16.61

2. Jodi Colton, BB French Effort, 16.62

3. Lisa Lockhart, Rosas Cantina CC, 16.76

4. Kim Schulze, Holy Moly Im Famous, 16.78

4. Jody McKay, RL Rare and Lucky, 16.78

6. Liz Herrin, Bogies Lil Mikey, 16.79

7. Cheyenne Kelly, Running ta Dash, 16.86

8. Fallon Taylor, Flos Heiress, 16.87

9. Kristin Shoppa, JW Freeze Fame, 16.91

9. Michele McLeod, Slick by Design, 16.91

11. Jane Melby, Perks Pazazz, 16.92

11. Sissy Winn, Flashy Red Flame, 16.92

13. Ashley Schafer, KR Last Fling, 16.93

13. Deb Guelly, Shining Red Zetta, 16.93

15. Kelly Tovar, A Dash ta Glamour, 16.94