By Jolee Jordan
Calgary, Alberta—It’s a fairly amazing hourly rate if you figure out that the difference in pay between the first and second place winners in the WPRA barrel racing at the 2019 Calgary Stampede equaled $25,000 per one one-thousandth of a second. That’s .001 on the clock.
The incredible finish was only fitting of what has truly been an awesome edition of the World’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
The Calgary Stampede is a tournament style rodeo, there are no averages kept nor paid and no times carry forward from one round to the next. The first eight days are reserved for pool competition and eight cowgirls—four from each pool—advanced directly to the final rounds on Sunday.
The rest of the field got one more, last ditch chance in the Wild Card where the top two fill out the field of Semi-Finalists for the opening round on Showdown Sunday.
Wild Card Saturday
The Wild Card Round is always exciting, fueled by the desperation of the competitors to use this one last chance to get to Showdown Sunday. It’s not unusual for several cowgirls to post their best runs of the week— two-time WPRA World Champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi did just that when she set the mark to beat midway through the field with a 17.54 on her mare Katniss despite a pretty big slip around barrel number two.
With the World Champion on top, Callahan Crossley Tryan came to the plate, riding a borrowed mount for the biggest run of her 2019 Stampede. Ducky is fellow competitor Amber Moore’s back-up horse and the Northwest cowgirls teamed up for quite a day on Saturday. Crossley Tryan took the lead with her smoking run of 17.37 seconds with Ducky simply flying.
That left Pozzi Tonozzi on the bubble with only Moore to compete as the final cowgirl in the field of 12 to run. Moore made a valiant effort and did enough to advance, stopping the clock at 17.50 seconds to bump Pozzi Tonozzi from the finals.
Though she and mare Paige did not best their stablemate, it was still a happy day as both horses advanced their jockeys to compete for $100,000 on the final day of the 2019 Calgary Stampede.
“I am one proud Mom!” Moore posted to Facebook of what was one of the Stampede’s coolest moments of competitor camaraderie. “Paige and Ducky advance to Showdown Sunday.”
The last two editions to the final field have a big opportunity on Sunday as the two lowest ranked competitors within the current WPRA World standings. Moore came to Canada ranked 16th (the money won already will move her solidly inside the top 15) while Crossley Tryan is ranked 28th, just about $16,000 from the benchmark 15th position and she’s already picked up more than half of that.
After nine days of intense rodeo action, the field of 20 original competitors had been cut in half for the final sprint to the championships on Sunday, July 14, 2019.
Showdown Sunday is comprised of the Semi-Final round of ten ladies. The four fastest from the Semi-Final round advance to the Showdown which starts again following a brief intermission.
With the slate wiped clean one last time, the final four race for the winner’s prize of $100,000.
The Showdown Round in 2019 was chocked full of exceptional talent. The field included the last two WPRA World Champions in Nellie Miller and Hailey Kinsel and the reigning Canadian champion, Callahan Crossley Tryan. Lisa Lockhart is the No. 2 ranked lady on the WPRA’s all time career earnings list—she and Kinsel are past champions in Calgary and Lockhart has made it to Sunday every year going back to 2012.
There are seven ladies with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) on their resumes and every one of them is already within the top 30 of the current WPRA World standings. Two of last year’s final four are back (Routier and Kinsel) and two from the previous year as well (Nellie Miller and Emily Miller).
As the round got underway, the pressure was high and the cowgirls delivered another fantastic round of barrel racing in the Semi-Finals.
Prior to Sunday, Kinsel and her mare Sister had made ten runs in Calgary in her career, winning first eight times and second twice.
She upped that number to nine firsts in eleven runs after wrapping up a super tight Semi-Final round with a run of 17.24 seconds.
Lockhart, aboard Rosa for the second time during this Stampede, was right on her heels with a 17.25 second run. Nellie Miller and her own super Sister were third at 17.27 seconds while Emily Miller made her second trip to the Showdown Round in as many qualifications to Calgary with a run of 17.37 seconds.
In the crying hole for the round were Ivy Conrado and her brilliant mare JLo, who missed the cut for the final round by a heartbreaking one one-hundredth of a second but still finished with more than $20,000 in Calgary earnings for the second straight year.
It would not be the slimmest margin of victory on the day.
Action resumed a short time later and after facing a dry track since the opening day of the Stampede back on July 5, a steady rain began to fall as the champion saddle bronc rider, Rusty Wright, was being recognized on the stage and the course was set once again for the barrel race.
The weather in Calgary during Stampede is a crucial element in the story, inserting itself—it seems—in the most critical of moments. The $100,000 winner has plowed through the mud and pouring rain more than a few times in the past few years, a testament that the champions here are not just great jockeys with great horses but that they are also mentally tougher than nails.
Emily Miller led off the pack in the final round as the fourth to qualify from the Semi-Finals. Displaying her incredible athleticism in the saddle, she placed a hand in the middle of the first barrel as Chongo turned it, steadying the can to prevent a five second penalty.
Chongo raced through the remainder of the course to set a high bar at 17.194 seconds, Miller’s best of the 2019 rodeo.
Note the time to beat . . . 17.194 seconds. The only round during the entire WPRA rodeo season to be timed to the one one-thousandth of a second (WPRA rules specify times only to the hundredth), the move is to help avoid a tie for the title, which by Calgary rules would require a run-off for the championship. A run off is not unprecedented in the barrel race here—it happened back in 2006 when Joleen Seitz beat June Holeman on the third run of the day for the cowgirls.
Back to the current race and the always efficient Nellie Miler ran next. Already ranked number one in the WPRA World standings after competing in just 18 rodeos, Miller seems to win more in less runs than just about anyone. On Sunday, Miller and Sister skirted around the pattern in 17.402 seconds to sit second.
As the crowd turned their attention to Lockhart, she made her way down the long alley with Rosa, helped by a trio of buddies. Angela Lockwood—Lockhart’s sister, mother of Showdown Sunday bull rider, PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood, and future mother-in-law of Kinsel—rode Lockhart’s horse Cutter while leading Louie.
Both horses played critical roles in that moment. Lockhart rode Cutter back in March to her first RNCFR title, a win that secured her position into the Calgary Stampede in the first place. And the immortal Louie, who not only helped Lockhart qualify for that RNCFR but who also won money in two rounds of Pool B to help advance her to the final round.
Lockhart would need her best run of the rodeo to swipe the lead from Miller. As Rosa sprinted to the first corner—the left barrel first, she cut in a bit and Lockhart had to jockey some to avoid the penalty. Then, as if shot from a cannon, Rosa flew to the second turn, leaving Lockhart with the wrong hand on the reins as they made the right hand corner.
The third was flawless and so fast it left the crowd breathless. As she rolled back across the electric timers, Lockhart’s time of 17.116 was met with a huge roar of approval from the Calgary fans.
As Kinsel began her trek down the alley, fans knew either way that there would be a two-time Calgary champion headed for the stage in less than 30 seconds. Would it be Kinsel, who had not been outrun in the Stampede in 2019 and already had run four times under 17.10? Or would Lockhart win her second title in five years on a second horse?
Odds had to be on Kinsel with the new Calgary arena record of 16.93 under her belt from just days ago and the super fast Sister who had been rock solid all week. The duo looked tough as Sister managed the first can and rolled around number two. As she bore down on the final barrel and made a pretty turn, there was nothing left but the race home to determine the winner.
There was almost a stunned silence across Stampede Park as the clock flashed the time, 17.119 as everyone tried to process just who had come out on top.
Stampede officials quickly had a teary-eyed Lockhart headed to the stage, claiming a second major rodeo title this season aboard horses other than her million dollar Louie. The margin of victory has to be a WPRA record at just .003 seconds.
“Oh my gosh, you know it has been a horse race the whole entire Stampede. Records have been set and I’m just thrilled to be a part of what has transpired at the Stampede,” Lockhart told Amy Wilson just moments after hoisting the bronze and big check. “There’s so many people to thank that have been invested in what we do . . . the Calgary Stampede committee and the spectators, I mean, it’s the Greatest Show on Earth. Thank you!”
Wilson mentioned Louie’s role as ride-up horse during Showdown Sunday.
“It’s very bittersweet,” Lockhart admitted. “Louie has been my equine partner for so many years and we’ve won this on Louie.” In fact, but for a tipped barrel in the Showdown Round in 2016, Louie would have been only the second to repeat as Showdown Champ. But this title belonged to the scary fast Rosa, who won second behind Kinsel in the final round of Pool B to clinch a spot in Sunday’s final rounds.
“I just can’t say enough great things about Rosa. She stepped up when I needed her so much, so thank you Rosa.”
Lockhart got to relive the run for the crowd as a video was shown.
“You know, it’s gets tough when you have multiple runs and I know she likes to crowd me just a little bit. I did what every barrel racer should not do, going around the barrel in the wrong hand, I’m going to admit, I did it!” she joked with her usual humility.
“All I could think about was get around the third barrel. When you just got to keep them standing, sometimes horsemanship goes out the window but you just got to do what it takes.”
The difference in payout from first to second in the Showdown Round is $75,000 — making each one one-thousandths of a second worth $25,000 to the WPRA’s $2.5 million cowgirl.
Lockhart earned $107,500 for her six runs in Stampede Arena; of that total, $57,500 will count towards the WPRA World standings where she was already ranked fifth. The win pushes her career total at Calgary well above $330,000.
Kinsel won every round but the last one, earning an impressive $47,000 while in Calgary. Nellie Miller won $27,000. All three cowgirls will jump over $100,000 for the year as they hold down the top three spots in the WPRA World standings.
Emily Miller got herself very close to a first Wrangler NFR appearance. Her $23,750 in Calgary earnings moves her over $80,000 for the season.
Five of the 20 cowgirls competing here won more than $20,000 while six more earned more than $10,000.
For more information, visit www.calgarystampede.com.
- Callahan Crossley Tryan, Blue Duck Down, 17.37, $6,000
- Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 17.50, $5,000
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Ima Famous Babe, 17.54, $4,000
- Brittney Barnett, Chicks Keen PocoPoo, 17.64, $3,000
- Sarah Rose Waguespack, Straight Toasted, 17.72, $2,000
- Kylie Whiteside, 17.84, $1,000
- Taci Bettis, 17.85
- Kaylee Gallino, JC Truly Bob, 17.85
- Carman Pozzobon, 18.20
- Jimmie Smith, 22.55
- Diane Skocdopole, 23.11
- Shelby Spielman, Fame N Red Hot, 24.93
- Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 17.24
- Lisa Lockhart, Rosas Cantina CC, 17.25*
- Nellie Miller, Rafter W Minnie Reba, 17.27*
- Emily Miller, Namgis D 33, 17.37*
- Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift of Fame, 17.38, $3,300
- Callhan Crossley Tryan, Blue Duck Down, 17.45, $3,300
- Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 17.64, $3,300
- Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 17.78, $3,300
- Jessie Telford, Famous Cool Whip, 18.08, $3,300
- Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 22.43, $3,300
*Advance to Showdown Round
- Lockhart, 17.116, $100,000 ($50,000 to WPRA World standings)
- Kinsel, 17.119, $25,000
- Emily Miller, 17.194, $15,000
- Nellie Miller, 17.402, $10,000
Total Money Won—Showdown Sunday
Lisa Lockhart, Pool B, $107,500
Hailey Kinsel, Pool B, $47,000
Nellie Miller, Pool A, $27,000
Emily Miller, Pool B, $23,750
Ivy Conrado, Pool A, $20,800
Amber Moore, Pool B & Wild Card, $15,800
Jennifer Sharp, Pool B, $14,800
Callahan Crossley Tryan, Pool B & Wild Card, $11,800
Jessica Routier, Pool A, $11,300
Jessie Telford, Pool A, $11,300
Total Money Won—Other Competitors
Brittney Barnett, Pool A, $11,000
Jimmie Smith, Pool A, $7,000
Shelby Spielman, Pool B, $7,000
Sarah Rose Waguespack, Pool A, $6,500
Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Pool B, $4,000
Kaylee Gallino, Pool B, $2,500
Kylie Whiteside, Pool A, $1,000
Taci Bettis, Pool B, $750
Calgary, Alberta—Fast. There is no other word to describe the action in the WPRA barrel race during Pool B at the 2019 Calgary Stampede.
The Stampede began on July 5, 2019 with 20 total competitors in each event vying to walk through the tournament style rodeo and emerge as the Champion on July 14. Half the field was done on Monday, July 8 as the competitors are placed into one of two pools for preliminary action. Each pool gets four full rounds of sudden death competition to try to earn as much round money as possible. The four high money winners advance automatically to Showdown Sunday on July 14 while the remaining six get a second chance with Wild Card Saturday. On Saturday, the 12 contestants get one more run with the two fastest also punching a ticket to Showdown Sunday.
At the end of the Calgary rainbow is the chance to earn $100,000 as the Champion in the final round.
As the WPRA barrel racers wowed inside the arena, it was perhaps fitting that during the week, WPRA legend and 11-time World Champion Charmayne James was honored with induction into Calgary’s Pioneers of the Rodeo.
Begun in 1974, the Pioneers of the Rodeo is Calgary’s own Hall of Fame, recognizing a small, select group each year from both the rodeo and chuckwagon racing. Candidates are chosen based upon outstanding performances during the Stampede or for their impact on the sport and the event itself. They may be contestants, volunteers, staff, or other visionaries of the sport.
A two-time champion in Calgary (1992 & 2003), James is one of just six barrel racers to be inducted and only the second American barrel racer, joining Marlene McRae who was inducted in 2018. As preference is given to Canadians, the ladies are two of only four Americans to be included in the Pioneers; the others are Jim Shoulders and Dean Oliver.
Other inductees in 2019 were Doug Nelson, who ran a chuckwagon outfit for many years, has written books and created a board game to honor the sport’s history and whose father is also a Pioneer, and 1994 PRCA World Champion Steer Wrestler Blaine Pederson, a five-time Wrangler NFR competitor who won four Canadian titles and the Stampede twice.
“Thank you to the Calgary Stampede for the acknowledgment as one of the Pioneers of the Rode,” James posted to social media. Though unable to attend the ceremony, she thanked friend Ginger Besplug for accepting on her behalf; James won the 2003 Showdown on Besplug’s daughter Jill’s horse Chic.
Interestingly, Besplug is the last cowgirl to win back-to-back titles here in Calgary—she claimed the championship in 2001-2002 while James used her horse to win the title in 2003, giving Chic the three-peat.
With that history in mind, the reigning Calgary champion Hailey Kinsel kicked off her title defense in 2019 during Pool B. Could she become the first repeat winner in nearly two decades?
Just 24 hours after Ivy Conrado came close—just two one-hundredths—to the arena record, the reigning Calgary champion Hailey Kinsel tied it. Running her amazing mare Sister, Kinsel stopped the clock at 16.99 seconds to tie the mark set two years ago by Tiany Schuster on her gelding Show Mance.
“Pretty awesome, Tiany Schuster is going to kick me in the butt for it but that’s ok, it’ll buff out,” she joked with Ted Stovin of the Wrangler Network after the run.
“It was pretty cool,” Kinsel continued. “There’s an awesome group of horses that ran today so we knew the ground was great. Good job, Kynan [Vine, GM of the Stampede], they did a really good job on the ground; it’s not only safe but it’s also fast. So that was awesome for us to be able to post those kind of times.”
Kinsel was facing a tough race as she ran from the seventh position on the ground. Amber Moore and Paige had led off with a 17.27 second run that was bested on the next run by newlywed Callahan Crossley Tryan who ran a 17.21.
Texas cowgirl Shelby Spielman took the lead three runners later at 17.18 seconds before relinquishing the lead to the champion.
“Everybody wants their first day here in their pool to just be good, whether it’s a money run or not, just make a good run,” Kinsel admitted. “I think that’s a good run for me!”
“Those of us who got in here, we all had similar ideas about maybe just kind of resting just come to Calgary so a lot of us didn’t go to as many rodeos and I’m one of those,” she continued, noting she ran at just four rodeos over the Fourth of July in the week leading to the Stampede. “We were just waiting to come here because it’s the best one.”
“It definitely is [a game changer] even just in the go round money regardless of who wins overall, you get great checks just for making one run and that means a lot to us that we can win so much for asking our horses to make a run,” Kinsel said. “Business wise we definitely need to be making money and being as efficient as we can so it helps to be able to come to a rodeo like this, hang out for a few days, the hospitality is great, they take care of us and not only get to run on good, safe ground but win money for it.”
Running ninth on the ground, Jennifer Sharp slid into second with her run of 17.14 seconds competing in her very first Stampede.
Day Six of the Stampede was simply incredible.
Sharp stayed hot. Running behind top Fourth of July money winner Emily Miller’s 17.33, Sharp and her tough lefty Smooch broke the arena record, blasting through the course in 16.96 seconds.
Unfortunately for Sharp, her name did not make it to the record books as Kinsel ran just two cowgirls later, breaking the new mark with an equally impressive run of 16.93 seconds.
The two palomino mares are dominating the competition in this pool thus far, running first and second both days in record fashion.
The record breaking day led former record holder Tiany Schuster to quip on Facebook, “I officially went and got me a yellow horse to start riding. Jussss sayin’!”
“I was OK with the first one but my horse wasn’t so it was a good thing,” Kinsel laughed in her post run interview. “I tried to do things about the same; she was real quiet in the back so I really thought she was going to be a tick slower than yesterday maybe.”
“The ground was heavier but she stayed really honest, stayed right in the hole and turned really tight and I think that helps. Some of the horses that maybe had some looser turns got down into those ruts a little bit more but she didn’t, so thankfully that was good. I think Jenny’s horse does the same thing, has a one point turn right by the barrel so we were both able to be fast on it.”
Kinsel acknowledged the terrific run by her fellow Texas barrel racer Sharp to lead the day.
“I feel bad,” she admitted. “I wish, just one day she would have been better, if she could have had the moment but I can’t complain, that’s for sure. She had an outstanding run, that shouldn’t be taken away from her. I hope everybody remembers that there were two records today.”
After finishing one out of the dough on the opening day, Miller stayed in the money this time around, winning third. Moore and Paige were solid again at 17.41 to win fourth while Lisa Lockhart and the immortal Louie captured their first 2019 Calgary check for fifth with a run of 17.43 seconds.
“With the field of horses it could get very fast,” Kinsel noted. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets broken five more times. It’s just that good, the ground is that good. Thankfully the weather has been good thus far. They do such a good job just keeping it safe for us and letting it be fast as well.”
The third round of Pool B began with 2018 WPRA Tour Champion Kaylee Gallino and her great horse Bob. The duo set the pace with a 17.51, a mark that was bested a few racers later by Emily Miller. Miller pulled out some gymnastics in the saddle as she reached down and reset the first barrel as her great horse Chongo turned it to take the lead at 17.41 seconds.
Kinsel competed in the second half of the draw, following the tractor drag. As arena announcer Wayne Brooks told the crowd of 20,000-plus that Kinsel’s mare Sister loved big crowds, the WPRA World Championship pair laid down another run virtually in the same tracks as the previous two days. Though slightly slower than the arena record time, the 17.04 shot to the lead by nearly four tenths of a second.
“It would be really neat,” Kinsel said of the chance to win every round, something that has only been done previously by Sydni Blanchard. “Mary Burger was probably the most recent to do it in 2016 and she put on a clinic the whole time.” Burger won every round except the Semi-Finals but still maxed her earnings as the top four in the Semi-Finals are not paid.
”Yeah, it would be cool but I mean, we’ve got one day left and of course Sunday so we’ll see how it goes.”
Following Kinsel, Spielman slid into position for another check with her run of 17.44 aboard her mare Hot Donna. Lockhart and Louie ran tenth on the day but managed to grab another check for fifth with their smooth run of 17.60 seconds.
With just one more chance in Pool competition, Kinsel of course is a lock for Showdown Sunday with maxed out earnings of $16,500. Though failing to place for the first time on Thursday, Sharp is still solid with $9,000 won. Miller is third with $8,000 while the final qualifying position is currently held by Spielman with $7,000. The closest contenders are Moore ($4,000), Lockhart ($3,000) and Crossley Tryan and Gallino ($2,500 each).
In 2015 Lockhart captured the championship at the Calgary Stampede aboard “America’s horse,” the great buckskin Louie. So far in 2019, Louie had been his same old solid self, picking up two checks in the first three rounds of Pool B after just returning to competition the first of July after an injury in March had him sidelined.
But with advancement to Showdown Sunday on the line, Lockhart opted to change horses for her final round in pool competition, going with the electric—and often quirky—Rosa, who carried her to fourth in the Showdown Round a year ago.
As the first runner on the ground, the move paid off. Rosa sprinted around Stampede Arena in Lockhart’s best time of the rodeo, 17.21 seconds to take the early round lead.
Though the nuclear-hot tandem of Kinsel and Sister moved them a few runs later with a 17.03, the second place money proved to be the difference maker for Lockhart.
Lockhart edged out Moore in the round, 17.21 to 17.28 to tie the Oregon cowgirl with $7,500 won as the fourth highest total for the pool. The tie breaker for advancement goes to the single highest check in one go round—Moore was consistent, placing fifth, fourth and third but Lockhart’s second place finish on the final day broke the tie in the former Calgary champion’s favor.
Sharp placed for a third day, running 17.42 seconds to boost her total earnings to $11,500, second best of Pool B. Miller changed horses, going to Chongo’s brother Pipewrench and managed another check, this one worth $750 for tying for fifth with Taci Bettis and Tinker Belle, a horse change after three runs aboard Smash.
Miller finished third in the pool money with $8,750 won.
But the story has still been all Kinsel. She managed the clean sweep of her pool to earn $22,000 already while at the Stampede.
Up Next—Wild Card Saturday
Wild Card Saturday gives all the cowgirls who have not already earned a spot on Sunday one more shot at it. The field includes plenty of talent including 2018 Rookie of the Year Jimmie Smith, Brittney Barnett and Amber Moore (who only missed the automatic berth by losing out on the tie breaker), and two-time World Champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi.
Also in the field are Wrangler NFR cowgirls Sarah Rose Waguespack, Carman Pozzobon and Taci Bettis as well as leading Canadian racers Kylie Whiteside, Diane Skocdopole. Shelby Spielman just missed the cut. The reigning Canadian champ Callahan Crossley Tryan will compete on Saturday alongside the 2018 WPRA Tour Champ Kaylee Gallino.
Only the two fastest runs from Saturday will move on to Sunday’s final rounds.
Showdown Sunday is a two-run sprint to the championship—all ten ladies will run first in the Semi-Final round with the four fastest moving into the Showdown Round. Those four will race again, sudden death for the title and the huge $100,000 check, half of which counts to WPRA World standings.
The eight cowgirls already in the final round are all ranked inside the top 15 of the WPRA World standings so only the potential Wild Card competitors could come from a position down lower in the standings to make a big push for the Wrangler NFR. The rest are just jockeying for their already good spots inside the standings.
Lockhart has the best record in Calgary of the finalists in the field. She is making her eighth straight appearance on Showdown Sunday and has earned just shy of a quarter million dollars in Calgary in that time frame, an average of just over $28,000 per year. She’s been in the Showdown Round every year but one since winning it all in 2015. She has ridden three different horses during that span: Chisum, Louie and Rosa.
Kinsel is the only other former Calgary Champion in the field for Sunday. She won three go rounds in pool competition in 2018, finished second in the other round and in the Semi-Finals before clinching the title in the Showdown. With four straight firsts so far in 2019, Kinsel and Sister have only been outrun twice in ten career runs in Calgary.
Routier is one of three 2018 Showdown contestants to have a shot to be in the final round again this season. She was third in 2018, winning a big check to clinch her first Wrangler NFR berth last season where she went on to be the Reserve World Champion.
Both Nellie Miller and Emily Miller were in the Showdown Round here in 2017, finishing second and fourth, respectively. Conrado was in the Semi-Final round last year while Telford and Sharp are both making their first appearances in Calgary.
Results (In Progress)
- Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.99, $5,500
- Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 17.14, $4,500
- Shelby Spielman, Fame N Red Hot, 17.18, $3,500
- Callahan Crossley Tryan, Ranger (grade), 17.21, $2,500
- Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 17.27, $1,500
- Kinsel, 16.93, $5,500
- Sharp, 16.96, $4,500
- Emily Miller, Namgis D 33, 17.33, $3,500
- Moore, 17.41, $2,500
- Lisa Lockhart, An Okie with Cash, 17.43, $1,500
- Kinsel, 17.04, $5,500
- Miller, 17.41, $4,500
- Spielman, 17.44, $3,500
- Kaylee Gallino, JC Truly Bob, 17.51, $2,500
- Lockhart, 17.60, $1,500
- Kinsel, 17.03, $5,500
- Lockhart, Rosas Cantina CC, 17.21, $4,500
- Moore, 17.28, $3,500
- Sharp, 17.42, $2,500
- Miller, Namgis D 35, 17.45, $750
- Taci Bettis, 17.45, $750
Total Money Won
*Hailey Kinsel, $22,000
*Jennifer Sharp, $11,500
*Emily Miller, $8,750
*Lisa Lockhart, $7,500
Amber Moore, $7,500
Shelby Spielman, $7,000
Callahan Crossley Tryan, $2,500
Kaylee Gallino, $2,500
Taci Bettis, $750
*Advance to Showdown Sunday
Calgary, Alberta—The Calgary Stampede is an integral piece of the community of Calgary and it’s no surprise given that both entities histories are so intertwined —the town of Calgary was formed just two years prior to the first Calgary Exhibition in 1884.
The first Calgary Stampede was held in 1912, drawing 80,000 spectators which was more than double the population of Calgary at the time. The Stampede was originally held in September and ran off and on until the 1920’s when it was combined with the Exhibition and the newly formed event of chuckwagon racing to create the massive event today known as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
More than a million visitors annually attend the Calgary Stampede but just 20 rodeo contestants per event each year get to experience the thrill of competing in Stampede Park, hoping to cash in on their share of the $2 million purse.
For the WPRA barrel race, those competitors are chosen from 2018 WPRA World and WPRA Tour standings, from 2018 Canadian Pro Rodeo standings and 2019 WPRA World standings with two spots saved for the reigning Calgary Stampede champ and 2019 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR) champion.
All competitors are divided into two pools of 10 cowgirls. Each pool competes in four preliminary go rounds, each round paying four monies. After the final round, the top four money earners move onto to Showdown Sunday to be held July 14. The other six cowgirls get one more shot on Wild Card Saturday with the two fastest from that round also advancing to Sunday.
The final Sunday is one of the most exciting in pro rodeo—a two-run, sudden death shoot-out, the ten ladies make one run before the field is narrowed to four. The four come back less than an hour later for the final dash to the championship. The final winner takes home $100,000.
All money won counts towards WPRA World standings, with half of the big $100K prize going to standings, meaning the Stampede can make the difference between ending the season in September or in Vegas in December at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR).
The Stampede kicked off its 2019 run on Friday, July 5 with ten hopefuls in the WPRA barrel racing, looking to etch their names in history. Among the competitors in Pool A were 2017 WPRA World Champ and current World No. 1 Nellie Miller, 2018 WPRA Reserve World Champion Jessica Routier, 2017 Canadian champion Carman Pozzobon and 2018 WPRA Rookie of the Year Jimmie Smith.
After a good rain storm, sloppy conditions faced competitors on opening day of the 2019 Stampede. Wrangler NFR cowgirl Ivy Conrado drew first to run in the mud and she and JLo threw down in their first mud run ever. Stopping the clock at 17.57 seconds, Conrado held on throughout the entire competition to earn the round win.
“It was pretty muddy out. I’ve never run my mare in the mud before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was first out and they did a really good job on the ground so I kind of just let her go. She did great,” Conrado told the Wrangler Network following the win.
“Definitely is, gives you some confidence,” she said of winning on the opening day. “It took a couple rounds for me to get a win last year. I’m super excited to be back and get another bronze.” The Stampede gives bronzes to each round winner throughout the rodeo.
Perhaps the bigger excitement for Conrado was the wild ride on the victory lap. She actually passed the flag bearer as the horse charged around the huge Stampede arena, a theme that would continue throughout the rest of Pool A.
Jessie Telford took second in the round after running second in the draw and posting a 17.72. In fact, four of the money holes went to cowgirls in the first half of the draw. The Stampede tractors at the midway point each day.
2017 WPRA World Champion Nellie Miller took third with a run of 17.85 seconds. Miller and her mare Sister ran in the bottom half of the draw.
Sarah Rose Waguespack and Jessica Routier filled out the money with times of 17.94 and 17.98, respectively.
The second round started hot with Brittney Barnett and her speedy horse Paint posting a fast time of 17.42 to lead the way. Her time at the top was short lived however as Miller and Sister blasted through the course in 17.32.
“It was great, she worked really hard. The ground dried out a little bit from yesterday so that helped us. She just felt really confident,” Miller told Ted Stovin with the Wrangler Network.
“It’s a huge crowd and we don’t get to run in front of that many people very often. It’s super exciting for us and my horse feeds off the crowd and she just loves it.”
Barnett held on for second place while Jimmie Smith bounced back from a long first round run to win third at 17.53 seconds. Routier and Conrado tied for fourth and fifth to earn their second checks.
At the halfway point of Pool A, Miller leads the way with $9,000 won while Conrado is second at $7,500. Barnett and Telford are tied up with $4,500 for the third and fourth spots.
The third go round looked a lot like the second: Miller and Sister winning back-to-back rounds. The little blue roan mare fired through the pattern, making her signature quick move behind the second to edge past Conrado and JLo, who were pretty flawless on their run as well.
The two cowgirls finished up in 17.29 and 17.30, respectively.
“It’s always very close and just a couple hundredths of a second can cost you a lot,” Miller said. “So any little mistake adds up. Barrel racing is always really close like that. It’s just a tough, competitive sport.”
Barnett continued her hot streak after a costly barrel in round one. Her time of 17.45 on Day Three was good enough for third. Telford and Waguespack were back in the money again, tying for fourth with runs of 17.52 seconds.
With $14,500 and $12,000 won respectively, Miller and Conrado are a lock for Showdown Sunday. The fight for the other two advancing positions is between Barnett at $8,000, Telford at $6,500, Waguespack at $4,500 and Smith and Routier with $3,500 each.
Needing a big win to make it to Showdown Sunday for the second consecutive year, Routier came out firing as the first runner of round four. Riding her speedy yellow mare Missy, Routier laid down the fastest run of the rodeo to that point at 17.05 seconds.
Turned out to be a preview of things to come: Miller rolled in at 17.27, Smith was fast at 17.21 and Barnett stopped the clock in 17.29 before the draw rolled back to Conrado. Running from the eighth position on the ground, Conrado and JLo were smooth as silk, running out to an even faster 17.01. The time was just two one-hundredths off the arena record held by Tiany Schuster.
Telford was the second to last to run and squeaked into the money at 17.28 seconds, winning the fifth and final money hole in the final round of Pool A.
Conrado and Miller hogged up much of the cash for the group with Conrado finishing at $17,500 and Miller at $17,000.
The battle was for the final two spots into Sunday’s final rounds and the reigning Reserve Calgary Champ Routier came up with the clutch performance. After winning second in the go, she moved into a three-way tie for the third spot with $8,000 won. Barnett and Telford joined her with $8,000 won after Telford’s fifth place check on Monday.
Interestingly, the first tie breaker goes to the contestant with the most money won in any single go round. Since all three ladies had earned a second place check in a round, the second tie breaker was needed to decide who went to the Wild Card and who went to the Showdown.
The second tie breaker went to the fastest time in any round. Routier made the cut with her super fast 17.05 in round four, the second best of the rodeo. The final round also made the difference between Barnett and Telford as each posted her best run of the rodeo on Monday; it was by the slimmest of margins, just one one-hundredth of a second that the advancement went to Telford.
Pool B begins its first of four go rounds on Tuesday afternoon. Hailey Kinsel headlines the group as the reigning WPRA World Champion as well as the reigning champion in Calgary. She is joined by Lisa Lockhart, also a former winner here.
Reigning Canadian Champion Callahan Crossley is in Pool B along with Wrangler NFR cowgirls Taci Bettis, Amberleigh Moore, and two-time WPRA World Champion Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi. Kaylee Gallino and Emily Miller are in thanks to the WPRA Tour and Shelby Spielman represents the top ladies from the Canadian standings in 2018. Jennifer Sharp is the final competitor, racing in a spot earned by being among the WPRA World standings leaders for 2019.
Results (In Progress)
- Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift of Fame, 17.57, $5,500
- Jessie Telford, Famous Cool Whip, 17.72, $4,500
- Nellie Miller, Rafter W Minnie Reba, 17.85, $3,500
- Sarah Rose Waguespack, Straight Toasted, 17.94, $2,500
- Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 17.98, $1,500
- Miller, 17.32, $5,500
- Brittney Barnett, Chicks Keen PocoPoo, 17.42, $4,500
- 3immie Smith, Lena on the Rocks, 17.53, $3,500
- Routier/Conrado, 17.60, $2,000 each
- Miller, 17.29, $5,500
- Conrado, 17.30, $4,500
- Barnett, 17.45, $3,500
- Telford/Waguespack, 17.52, $2,000 each
- Conrado, 17.01, $5,500
- Routier, 17.05, $4,500
- Smith, 17.21, $3,500
- Miller, 17.27, $2,500
- Telford, 17.28, $1,500
Total Money Won
*Ivy Conrado, $17,500
*Nellie Miller, $17,000
*Jessica Routier, $8,000
*Jessie Telford, $8,000
Brittney Barnett, $8,000
Jimmie Smith, $7,000
Sarah Rose Waguespack, $4,500
*Advances to Showdown Sunday