Moore Back in Winner Circle at NFR
By Amy Wilson
Records continue to be broken at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Amberleigh Moore, who holds the NFR earnings record, wins Round 2 in 13.54 seconds on CP Dark Moon “Paige” which is now the fastest run in Round 2 at the Wrangler NFR.
What makes the run even more impressive is that Moore was coming off a disappointing run in Round 1, when she and Paige tipped the third barrel going into it and it consequently caught Paige on the stifle. “I’m not going to deny that she was a little bit sore last night. I have a lot of good help here that worked on her all night for me and worked on her this morning.” As expected, Moore put Paige’s wellbeing ahead of anything else. To be sure Paige was 100 percent, Moore rode her before the performance and said, “she felt wonderful.”
When it was time for Moore and Paige to enter what was referred to last year as “Paige’s Playpen”, Moore said, “I took a deep breath before I came up the alleyway because last night took a little bit of wind out of my sail especially when I saw the picture. I was very lucky that she stayed underneath me and took care of me. So I’m very happy for tonight.”
Even with pressure, Moore always seems to keep a positive outlook. “Life is too short to dwell on the past. It’s always the future and there’s always another run, and I’m just blessed we get to do this.”
Moore also made an equipment change for Round 2. “I had a new saddle. I’ve had it for about two months and a couple times I felt a little bit uncomfortable in it, and last night was the final, ‘go back to the saddle you’ve rode in for the past year’. I think it helped – at least I felt more confident in it.”
As Moore described her record-setting run, she praised her 8 year old mare who showcased that she’s a true champion, “Tonight Paige readjusted how she ran and adapted to the ground and got it done.”
Two-time WPRA World Champion Barrel Racer, Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi made a pretty run of 13.62 to place second. Hailey Kinsel and her palomino mare, Sister, were 13.65 to earn third place and move to first in the average. Nellie Miller and her roan mare, Sister, set the pace for the night with a 13.74 which ended up fourth. Sydni Blanchard clocked 13.80 seconds for fifth place, and Kellie Collier was 13.83 to claim sixth place.