Fort Worth 2015-Lake, Guelly Lead the Way in Fort Worth




James Phifer

By Jolee Lautaret-Jordan

Fort Worth, Texas — The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR) is huge on tradition. Celebrating its 119th year in 2015, it's easy to see why the World's Original Indoor Rodeo® is proud of its heritage.

The Stock Show began all the way back in 1896 and the rodeo was added in 1918. As its nickname suggests, it was the first rodeo to ever be held indoors, beginning originally at Northside Coliseum, the former home of the WPRA's Women's National Finals Rodeo. The FWSSR moved to its current home at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in 1944.

The FWSSR has a tradition of firsts: it was the first rodeo to be televised live in its entirety back in 1958 and was the first rodeo to have a star performer when Gene Autry appeared in 1944.

The WPRA became part of the FWSSR tradition back in 2003 and has quickly become a favorite of the barrel racers and a tremendous launching pad for up-and-coming WPRA stars thanks to its high entry limits. The rodeo allows 210 WPRA barrel racers to come take a shot at its huge committee purse of $35,000.

The FWSSR runs from January 16 to February 7. Following the 21st performance on Tuesday night, February 3, the top 70 times from the first go round will advance to the progressive round. Each of the 70 ladies will get another go round before the field is set for the finals on Saturday night, February 7. The top 12 in the average on two runs will move into the short go.

Thus far, the leader board is jammed with a pair of competitors with Canadian ties. Posting identical times of 16.67 are Alexa Lake of Richmond, Texas and former Canadian Champion Deb Guelly (former married name Renger). Interestingly, both cowgirls run to the left barrel first as well.

Lake ran in the fourth performance, held Jan. 24. She rides 10-year old Sure Down Dash, a brown gelding bred and raised in Canada by Carole Lampron, who owns the horse's sire Down Home Dash.

"He was campaigned in the futurities by Kendall Owen and Sharin Hall," says Lake, who has jumped to sixth in the WPRA World standings after placing second in Odessa earlier this month. "He was very successful his derby year and more with Allison Veale who rode and owned him."

Lake bought the gelding she calls Viper from Veale Ranches, which are based in Fort Worth, three years ago.

Running in the sixth performance on Jan. 25, Guelly has found another outstanding partner to mount her 2015 campaign. The pretty little sorrel mare is named Dealin Flashy, aka Uno. She is seven years old and was trained by Jaime Montana in Las Vegas.

"I got her in the middle of December," says Guelly, noting the mare was running a few high school rodeos last fall before coming to her. "I ran her at Odessa and Denver."

"Fort Worth was our fourth run together."

Another lefty, Tarleton State University student Shelby Herrmann sits third with her run of 16.75 seconds, set during the opening perf on Jan. 23. Herrmann rides Doc, registered TS Doc San Lena, a 13-year old gelding who just carried the Stephenville resident to a reserve title in Denver over the weekend.

Sitting fifth in the current WPRA World standings, the cowgirl who is sitting second in the Southwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) actually is in her first year of college but has enough hours to already be classified a sophomore.

"To be honest, I'm studying how to manage to rodeo and go to college at the same time," joked Herrmann about her scholastic goals. "I want to major in equine exercise [which is not offered currently at Tarleton] so I'm undecided!"

Running for a tie for fourth and fifth are Texas cowgirl Brooke Jeter and Arkansas' Laura Kennedy. Jeter competed in the third performance, Saturday matinee Jan. 24, while Kennedy ran on Monday night Jan. 26. Both ladies put up runs of 16.85 seconds.

Jeter runs Nickitty Split, aka Splitter, an eight year old gelding owned by her friend Courtney Cantrell.

"She sent him to me this summer because I needed a horse when mine got hurt," says Jeter, who is married to former Wrangler NFR bareback rider Jason Jeter. "He's special because he's the first colt Courtney raised out of As Good As Nick Gets when she bought him."

"I loved him from day one, like all of the Nick colts [I have five at my barn]," says Jeter, noting the gelding had a foot injury that forced him out of action for a year. "We have had to work super hard getting together but he's starting to come around."

Kennedy was aboard Hopes Money Boy, aka Tall Boy. The eight year old gelding was made famous for carrying crown favorite June Holeman to the semi-finals of The American last spring and posting the fastest time of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Okla., in April. Kennedy bought the gelding from Holeman, who trained him, last summer.

Kennedy's performance on Monday was the first to have more than one sub-seventeen second run posted. Although with Kennedy, Britta O'Keefe (16.94) and Fonda Galbreath (16.96)—both Badlands Circuit cowgirls, accomplished the feat.

In the Sunday matinee on Jan. 25, Montana Circuit Champion Carmel Wright ran the best of the group, stopping the clock at 16.96 seconds. Wright runs Sweet Heart Special, aka Tweety, a 12-year old mare.

"She was a race track reject we bought as a four year old. She has a speed index of 45!" says Wright.

Wright trained the mare, saying she became more solid and seasoned in 2014. In fact, the pair won the Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo a few weeks back.

"This is our first venture south for the winter rodeos," says Wright.

During the morning performance on Jan. 24, Angie Meadors scampered to the perf win. Riding the nine year old A Streak of Fling mare Blue Moon Fling, Meadors clocked in at 17.01 seconds, good enough for ninth thus far.

On January 27, the Stock Show Goes Pink, encouraging all spectators and participants to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. Half of all tickets sales were donated to the local Susan G. Komen chapter.

Winning the night in the barrel racing was Floridian Megan Swint. Swint is already ranked inside the top 10 of the WPRA World standings and ran 16.80 seconds, five one hundredths better than WPRA World Champion Brittany Pozzi.

Swint rides Bar Bee Stealing Sue, aka Sissy, an 11-year old mare.

"She was broke by Jesse Lamn," says Swint, who's earned $8,724 this season. "I bought her as a three year old from a horse sale in Florida and trained her on the barrels."

The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo continues with nightly performances through Thursday, January 29 before returning to two perfs a day, and three on Saturday, for the duration of its run.

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

photoDeb Guelly
PHOTO BY: Kenneth Springer

Current Standings

Fort Worth, Texas
Barrel Racing – Go Round 1 thru 8 performances
Event Standings as of 1/27/2015 at 9:26 PM CT
List courtesy Ft. Worth rodeo secretary

1. Alexa Lake 16.67
Deb Guelly 16.67
3. Shelby Herrmann 16.75
4. Megan Swint 16.80
5. Brooke Jeter 16.85
Laura Kennedy 16.85
Brittany Pozzi 16.85
8. Britta O'Keeffe 16.94
9. Carmel Wright 16.96
Fonda Galbreath 16.96
11. Lisa Lockhart 17.00
Liz Herrin 17.00
Morgan Breaux 17.00
14. Katelyn McLeod 17.01
Angie Meadors 17.01
16. Natalie Foutch 17.02
17. Callahan Crossley 17.04
18. Kaylee Gallino 17.06
19. Dawn Lewis 17.08
20. Tasha Walsh 17.09
21. Shada Brazile 17.10
22. Kelly Koeppen 17.11
Brittany Grant 17.11
Jamie Ashford 17.11
Sheena Robbins 17.11
26. Martha Wright 17.12
27. Steffanie Mather 17.14
28. Katti Pinnix 17.17
29. Gretchen Benbenek 17.18
30. Hanna Forbes 17.19
31. Benette Little 17.21
Jackie Ganter 17.21
33. Kassie Green 17.22
34. Cassie Moseley 17.23
35. Danyelle Campbell 17.24
Kriss Griffin 17.24
37. Stacey Grimes 17.25
38. Laurie Jones 17.26
39. TK Lawrence 17.27
Jenny Smith 17.27
41. Mattie Jackson 17.31
42. Christy Loflin 17.33
43. Cheyenne Wimberley 17.35
Casey Doebbler 17.35
45. Jill Beaty 17.37
46. Tibba Smith 17.40
47. Teresa Turbeville 17.43
48. Debbie Bloxom 17.44
49. Jo Scarmardo 17.46
50. Mimi Cundieff 17.47
51. Trina Murray 17.50
52. Tassie Munroe 17.51
53. Jackie Whitcher 17.56
54. Tara Lee Woodall 17.61
55. Lisa Miller 17.76
56. Amanda Davenport 17.79
57. Rachel Stoller 17.80
58. Glenda McMullan 17.84
59. Taylor Reneau 17.89
60. Edi Williams 17.92
61. Deb Frasier 17.93
62. Jessi Eagleberger 18.07
63. Lauren Underwood 18.18
64. Pam Deaver 18.29
65. Tyra Kane 18.30
66. Kimmi Byler 18.34
67. Jennifer Driver 18.35
68. Nicki Zimmerman 18.79
69. Jana Riley 18.80
70. Ginger Greene 19.58