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Jennifer Sharp

PHOTO BY 
Greg Westfall


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By Jolee Jordan

NFRSharp Edges the Field to Win Denver
NFR

 

Denver, Colorado—Since 1931 professional cowboys and cowgirls have been vying for championship titles at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo (NWSS). On Sunday, January 27, 2019, a new round of winners placed their names in the records books inside the historic Denver Coliseum as the NWSS wrapped up its 16 day run.

Before the short go could begin, the final performances determined which contestants would advance. In the WPRA barrel racing, 110 ladies began the competition and each took two turns around the cloverleaf pattern here. By the final Sunday, just the top twelve in the two head average remained in the running for the championship.

Texas cowgirl Jennifer Sharp set the bar early in both the first round and the average, competing in the very first set of barrel racers here in Denver back on Thursday and Friday, January 17-18. Her first round time of 15.26 aboard her mare Smooch hadn’t been touched since opening day.

Then came the last Friday night of the rodeo and a streaking grey horse named Louie. Louie carried his jockey, Taylor Langdon, around the Denver Coliseum in a blistering 15.04—one of the fastest times that has been run here in several years. It carried through the final set on Saturday to win the round and a check worth more than $3,500.

Langdon competed again on Saturday morning, throwing another pretty run of 15.33 seconds out there, placing in the second round and moving to a huge lead in the two runs average. She was more than two and half tenths ahead of Sharp going into the short go round on Sunday afternoon.

Langdon was able to hold her spot despite a stacked field on Saturday as only three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo cowgirl Amberleigh Moore was able to move out of the final set of barrel racers and into the finals.

As always in a major winter rodeo’s final round, the field was deep in talent and bunched close together in time. Apart from Langdon’s stellar performance with the big lead, only three tenths separated second ranked Sharp from twelfth ranked Brooke Jeter. Only one former Denver champion made the cut, Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, who was also the only WPRA World Champ in the field. Along with Pozzi Tonozzi, four other former Wrangler NFR cowgirls competed: Shali Lord, Lisa Lockhart, Moore and Tiany Schuster.

The positions are drawn in the short go round and Schuster drew top of the ground. Unfortunately, the WPRA’s regular season earnings record holder took a barrel penalty rounding the third can.

It was back-to-back lefties with Moore and Paige running second. The pair was smooth and solid as always, stopping the clock at 15.55 seconds to take the early lead.

Former Ram National Circuit Finals champ Emily Miller took her shot but a tipped first barrel put her out of the money.

Amy Jo Reisdorfer and her gelding Blue Duck had already picked up some cash here in Denver, winning the unsanctioned Colorado vs. the World event before the rodeo began. She added to that with a smooth run in the finals for 15.55 seconds. By just one one-hundredth of a second, she took the lead from Moore.

Brooke Jeter came next, running her good horse Nickdiggity. She stayed solid in the average with a 15.64 second effort.

Then came the WPRA’s multi-million dollar pair, the always amazing Lisa Lockhart and Louie. After finishing inside the top ten here in 2018, Lockhart galloped to the lead with a blistering run of 15.39 seconds.

Lockhart was pushed hard by the reigning Mountain States Circuit champ, Shali Lord. She and the tough stallion known as Can Man were able to post a run of 15.48 seconds, slotting into second in the average.

Pozzi Tonozzi has won here multiple times aboard her big palomino gelding Duke. The comeback team ran in the finals again in 2019, this time putting up a 15.74 second run.

The heart of the championship battle began at draw number nine with Sharp. Already the 11th ranked cowgirl in the WPRA World standings, Sharp and Smooch have been rock solid in their first two trips inside Denver Coliseum, running times of 15.26 and 15.37. On Sunday, they equaled their best time, posting another 15.26 to roll into the average lead.

Three cowgirls remained to challenge the lead, beginning with the 2018 Reserve Rookie of the Year Leia Pluemer. The reigning Ram Turquoise Circuit Finals Rodeo champion handled a stumble around the backside of the third can to run a 15.66.

The only cowgirl to beat Sharp two weeks ago at the Sandhills Stock Show in Odessa was Michelle Alley. Alley and her horse Saucy were second to last to compete on Sunday in Denver but they weren’t quick enough to best Sharp this time. Their 15.89 second run left them ninth in the average.

Running last, Langdon and her Louie needed to be 15.51 to move ahead of Sharp for the win. Though the run was smooth and pretty, it was just a tick too long at 15.57 seconds.

Sharp held on to the win with 45.89 seconds on three runs, just five one-hundredths over Langdon. The two Texas cowgirls distanced the rest of the field by a couple of tenths. Lockhart was third and Lord fourth.

“Six French Smooches wins Denver!” Sharp posted to social media following the big win worth nearly $12,000. “Thank you everyone for the calls and messages! Thank you Terri Lamp for everything! Smooch is champion!”

Lamp owns Smooch, who has now helped Sharp to more than $21,000 in earnings on the season. When new standings are posted on Monday, Sharp will likely be the new number one.

Langdon picked up more than $10,000 while in the Mile High City while Lockhart earned $6,300 and Lord more than $5,800.

For more information on the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.nationalwestern.com.

Final Results (Unofficial)

1st Go

  1. Taylor Langdon, Dashin Louie, 15.04, $3,541
  2. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 15.26, $3,035
  3. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 15.30, $2,361
  4. Shelly Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 15.30, $2,361
  5. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Yeah Hes Firen, 15.36, $1,686
  6. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 15.39, $1,180
  7. Amy Jo Reisdorfer, Streakin Jet Remedy, 15.39, $1,180
  8. Shali Lord, Freckles ta Fame, 15.40, $675
  9. Sadye Simpson, 15.41, $506
  10. Kelley Carrington, Slice of PeachFame, 15.43, $337

2nd Go

  1. Emily Miller, Namgis D 33, 15.23, $3,541
  2. Michelle Alley, Seis Caress, 15.29, $3,035
  3. Leia Pluemmer, Famous French Bug, 15.32, $2,529
  4. Langdon, 15.33, $2,192
  5. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 15.34, $1,686
  6. Chris Gibson, Jess Dashin Together, 15.35, $1,349
  7. Sharp, 15.37, $1,012
  8. Lisa Lockhart, An Okie with Cash, 15.38, $590
  9. Lord, 15.38, $590
  10. Brooke Jeter, Nickdiggity, 15.39, $337

Average (On Two)

  1. Langdon, 30.37
  2. Sharp, 30.63
  3. Miller, 30.76
  4. Alley, 30.77
  5. Lord, 30.78
  6. Reisdorfer, 30.81
  7. Lockhart, 30.82
  8. Pluemmer, 30.82
  9. Moore, 30.82
  10. Schuster, 30.92
  11. Pozzi Tonozzi, 30.92
  12. Kathy Grimes, KG Justiceweexpected, 30.99*
  13. Jeter, 30.99*

Jeter advances to short round on tie breaker.

Short Go

  1. Sharp, 15.26, $2,623
  2. Lockhart, 15.39, $1,967
  3. Lord, 15.48, $1,312
  4. Reisdorfer & Moore, 15.55, $328 each

Average (On Three)

  1. Sharp, 45.89, $5,312
  2. Langdon, 45.94, $4,553
  3. Lockhart, 46.21, $3,794
  4. Lord, 46.26, $3,288
  5. Reisdorfer, 46.36, $2,529
  6. Moore, 46.37, $2,024
  7. Pluemmer, 46.48, $1,518
  8. Jeter, 46.63, $1,012
  9. Pozzi Tonozzi, 46.66, $632
  10. Alley, 46.66, $632

Total Money Won

Jennifer Sharp, $11,982

Taylor Langdon, $10,286

Lisa Lockhart, $6,351

Shali Lord, $5,865

Leia Pluemmer, $4,047

Amberleigh Moore, $4,038

Amy Jo Reisdorfer, $4,037

Michelle Alley, $3,667

Emily Miller, $3,541

Hailey Kinsel, $2,361

Shelly Morgan, $2,361

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $2,318

Brooke Jeter, $1,349

Chris Gibson, $1,349

Tiany Schuster, $1,180

Sadye Simpson, $506

Kelley Carrington, $337

 

 

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NFR
Shali Lord
Photo by Greg Westfall
NFR



NFRCompetition Tightens in Denver
NFR

 

Denver, Colorado—Winter announced its presence in Colorado during the final week of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, dumping snow, closing highways and causing delays at Denver International Airport all while creating headaches for cowboys and cowgirls traveling to and from the Denver rodeo.

Two cowgirls who didn’t have to brave the adverse weather conditions for too far were Shali Lord and Amy Jo Reisdorfer and the cowgirls made the most of their competitive opportunity.

The field of WPRA barrel racers began with 110 ladies, divided into sets of twelve ladies who compete in back-to-back performances or slacks. At the conclusion of the two long rounds on Saturday, January 26, the top twelve in the two-run average will advance to the short go to be held on Sunday.

Reigning Mountain States Circuit champion Lord took the first big step toward another circuit title with her fast run in her first round aboard the tough stallion Can Man on Monday afternoon. Lord posted a run of 15.40 seconds.

Lord kept it consistent during her second run on Tuesday, posting a 15.38, best in the performance again during Military Appreciation Night at the rodeo. With a two-run average time of 30.78 seconds, Lord all but assured herself a position in the finals on Sunday.

The sixth set of competitors took their chance at the big Denver purse during two performances on Wednesday. Reisdorfer has already had fun in the Mile High City. Just less than two weeks ago, the Cheyenne, Wyoming cowgirl was here competing on the opening day of the Stock Show as a participant in the Colorado vs. the World rodeo. Though not sanctioned for WPRA points, the event still offered a big payout and Reisdorfer was the day’s biggest recipients amongst the barrel racers. She out-dueled Ari-Ann Flynn and walked away $10,000 richer.

The still-newlywed Reisdorfer brought her good horse Streakin Jet Remedy—aka Blue Duck—back to the Denver Coliseum on Wednesday and picked up the perf win during the matinee with her fast run of 15.39 seconds. She paired it with another tough time during the night perf, a 15.42 second run, to place herself among the leaders in the average so far. She is 30.81 seconds on a pair of runs, just behind Miller and Lord as the average begins to tighten up.

“He’s done five runs in a week and half in there so I was proud of him yesterday,” Reisdorfer said of Blue Duck. Blue Duck has been Reisdorfer’s ride through the winter the last four years and she just recently was able to purchase the 11-year-old son of PESI stallion A Streak of Fling out of Imashooin.

“Blue Duck is my 4 legged person and I’m just thankful for each and every run we get together.” The duo looks poised to make a return trip to Denver’s short round; they previously qualified to the finals two years ago but had bad luck with a tipped can.

“It’s so tight and tricky but such an adrenaline rush! They get a great crowd pretty much every perf!”

Before then, Reisdorfer will go north to the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo in Rapid City on Saturday, a spot where she and Blue Duck took second a year ago.

Racing in the same set, the runner-up to the Rookie of the Year title last season, Leia Pluemmer, also had a successful run through Denver, earning the top spot in the night perf on Wednesday aboard her mare Sister. Her time of 15.32 seconds is among the best of the second go round so far. With 30.82 seconds on two, she is now tied with Lisa Lockhart in the average.

The pace gets frantic as the rodeo draws close to an end, beginning with a very busy day on Thursday with morning and evening performances bookending a section of slack.

After Kelley Carrington posted the best time in the morning perf with a smooth 15.43 second run, the focus turned to a tough set of barrel racers in the slack including two-time World Champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi.

Pozzi Tonozzi has taken many victory laps here in Denver. She won two titles in 2010 and 2012 aboard her phenomenal gelding Duke—since then, she’s gotten married, had a baby girl and been back to the Wrangler NFR several times. In that same time, Duke suffered what was believed to be a career ending injury, entered retirement in the pasture, rehabilitated from the injury and amazingly returned to championship form in 2018.

The championship duo is back in Denver looking for another title and got off to a great start in the slack with an opening round time of 15.36 seconds to land inside the top four of the round.

Pozzi Tonozzi was back again in the evening performance, putting up a solid time of 15.56 seconds. She is now inside the top 10 of the average.

The best of the night was the run laid down by Michelle Alley. The Texas cowgirl has been hot this winter, winning the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo in Odessa, Texas already this month. She blistered through the pattern in 15.29 seconds, good enough for second in the second round. The quick time allowed Alley to move to third in the average, just fourteen one-hundredths of a second behind fellow Texan Jennifer Sharp, who has led the rodeo since the opening set.

Sharp’s time of 30.63 is thirteen one-hundredths of a second ahead of Emily Miller; less than four tenths separate the top twelve in the average.

The National Western will conclude over the weekend but first the final three sets of WPRA barrel racers will complete their long rounds of competition, hoping to be among the top twelve on two head to move on to the Finals on Sunday.

The final groups include Wrangler NFR cowgirls Jessie Telford, Jill Moody, Stevi Hillman, Cheyenne Wimberley, Ivy Conrado, Amberleigh Moore, Deb Guelly, Jessica Routier, along with WPRA World Champion Sherry Cervi, a former champion here in Denver.

For more information on the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.nationalwestern.com. Please stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition of the National Western.

Current Results (Unofficial)

1st Go

  1. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 15.26
  2. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 15.30
  3. Shelly Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 15.30
  4. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Yeah Hes Firen, 15.36
  5. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 15.39
  6. Amy Jo Reisdorfer, Streakin Jet Remedy, 15.39
  7. Shali Lord, Freckles ta Fame, 15.40
  8. Sadye Simpson, 15.41
  9. Kelley Carrington, 15.43
  10. Lisa Lockhart, An Oakie with Cash, 15.44

2nd Go

  1. Emily Miller, Namgis D 33, 15.23
  2. Michelle Alley, Seis Caress, 15.29
  3. Leia Pluemmer, Famous French Bug, 15.32
  4. Chris Gibson, Jess Dashin Together, 15.35
  5. Sharp, 15.37
  6. Lockhart, 15.38
  7. Lord, 15.38
  8. Brooke Jeter, Nickdiggity, 15.39
  9. Sissy Winn, Flashy Red Flame, 15.41
  10. Suzanne Brooks, Fortune N Fame, 15.42

Average

  1. Sharp, 30.63
  2. Miller, 30.76
  3. Alley, 30.77
  4. Lord, 30.78
  5. Reisdorfer, 30.81
  6. Lockhart, 30.82
  7. Pluemmer, 30.82
  8. Schuster, 30.92
  9. Pozzi Tonozzi, 30.92
  10. Kathy Grimes, KG Justiceweexpected, 30.99
  11. Jeter, 30.99
  12. Gibson, 31.00

 

 

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NFR
Jennifer Sharp
Photo by Greg Westfall
NFR



NFRSharp Holds Early Lead in Denver
NFR

 

Denver, Colorado—Professional rodeo doesn’t have much of an off-season—the two weeks following the end of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in mid-December through the holidays is about as much of a break as you’ll find during the year. And once the calendar rolls over into the new year, the pace begins to pick up quickly as stock show season hits in full force.

The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver was established in 1906 after a few attempts to organize something in the late 1800’s. Like most stock shows, the NWSS was established to promote agricultural endeavors and provide scholarships for students interested in the field. The first event was held at the Denver Stockyards on the South Platte River. The next two years were held under tents before first moving to the National Amphitheater (1909) and later the Denver Coliseum (1952) built just for the event.

From humble beginnings, the NWSS has grown into a major event hosting more than 700,000 fans in 2018 while providing an economic impact of $115 million per year to the Denver community. Ten major livestock associations hold their national shows in conjunction with the NWSS.

The pro rodeo was added to the line-up in 1931 during the Stock Show’s 25th anniversary and is now a major stop for pro rodeo athletes seeking their piece of the nearly quarter of a million dollar purse. Its position on the calendar in January often makes it the major jumping off point for Wrangler NFR and World Championship seasons.

The National Western actually kicked off nearly a week ago on January 12, beginning with its tournament style Colorado vs. the World rodeo, which is not sanctioned by the WPRA for championship points. The event features the three rough stock events along with steer wrestling and barrel racing.

That event is followed by the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Denver Chute-Out Velocity Tour event, held January 14-16. The entire rodeo family was shocked and saddened by the passing of bull rider Mason Lowe, who suffered a fatal injury after bucking off his bull during Tuesday night’s competition. The WPRA and all its members offer their most sincere condolences to the family of Lowe as well as to the broader western community who is reeling from this loss.

In the WPRA barrel racing, 110 ladies will compete during the course of the 2019 National Western which began on Thursday, January 17. Each cowgirl will get two preliminary rounds held in back-to-back performances or slacks. At the conclusion of the long rounds on Saturday, January 26, the top twelve in the two-head average will advance to the short go to be held on Sunday.

On opening night Thursday, it was red hot Texas cowgirl Jennifer Sharp who galloped to the early lead. Sharp is ranked 11th in the early going WPRA standings after winning third at the Ram Texas Circuit Finals two weeks ago and then second at the Sandhills Stock Show in Odessa.

Riding the eight year old palomino mare she calls Smooch, Sharp took the first round lead with a blistering fast 15.26 second run. The time would have been the third fastest a year ago so Sharp is looking good to earn some money in the round.

She paired that run with a 15.37 on Friday afternoon to take the lead in the average.

“Headed home from Denver with so much excitement!” she posted to social media. “It’s far from over but we made two exceptional runs! Hopefully we will be back in a week for the short go!”

She added thanks to Terri Lamp, Smooch’s owner, for the “sweet ride.”

On Friday night, 2018 WPRA World Champion Hailey Kinsel tied for the best run of the night with fellow Texan and Wrangler NFR qualifier Shelly Morgan. Both ladies stopped the clock in 15.30 seconds. Kinsel was aboard her World Champion mare Sister while Morgan relied on the youngster Kiss, just five years old.

Ram National Circuit Finals (RNCFR) champ Emily Miller rose to the top of the heap on Saturday morning. Aboard her grey gelding Chongo, Miller took over the second go lead with a smoking run of 15.23 seconds. Her combined time of 30.76 slotted into second behind Sharp.

Meanwhile, Kinsel posted the fastest run of the rodeo at 15.02 seconds but brought the first barrel down on the departure, leaving her with a penalty of five seconds, which eliminated her from a return for the short round.

Saturday was busy for the National Western rodeo crew with three performances. The third set of barrel racers to compete took two runs in one day, competing in the matinee and evening performances. The best runs in the matinee were turned in by Oklahoman Ivy Hurst and Washington cowgirl Teri Bangart. Each lady turned in a run of 15.63 seconds.

Chris Gibson didn’t have far to travel to the National Western to compete on Saturday. The cowgirl hails from Windsor, Colorado, just about an hour north of the Mile High City. She gave the home state fans a lot to cheer for with her perf-best run of 15.35 seconds. Gibson is currently second in the round and fifth in the average. Gibson relied upon her mare Jess, a former race horse that Gibson trained and campaigned in futurity competition for young horses before moving into rodeo competition.

On Sunday afternoon, Texas cowgirl Sadye Simpson made a big splash during the matinee with a pretty run that stopped the clock at 15.41 seconds. WPRAs $2 million cowgirl Lisa Lockhart rode Louie to second, right on her heels at 15.44.

Returning in the evening perf, Lockhart and Louie proved as consistent as ever, putting a 15.38 on the board to move into third in the average so far. The duo looks solid to return to the Denver Championship Round exactly one week from now.

The National Western continues on Monday with Wrangler NFR cowgirls Kelly Yates, Shali Lord and Carley (Richardson) Cervi among a group that also features top Mountain States cowgirls CJ Vondette and KL Spratt. Andrea Busby, a former Mountain States Circuit Finals champion, will also compete on Monday.

The cowgirls scheduled to compete during the week include Wrangler NFR qualifiers Kathy Grimes, Nikki Hansen, Shelly Anzick, Carman Pozzobon, Sydni Blanchard, Tracy Nowlin, Terri Kaye Kirkland and Sabrina Ketcham. Former National Western Champions—and WPRA World Champions—Mary Walker and Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi will also be back in the Mile High City.

For more information on the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.nationalwestern.com; those interested in making a donation to Mason Lowe’s family can also do so through the NWSS’s website. Please stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition of the National Western.

Current Results (Unofficial)

1st Go

  1. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 15.26
  2. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 15.30
  3. Shelly Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 15.30
  4. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 15.39
  5. Sadye Simpson, 15.41
  6. Lisa Lockhart, An Okie with Cash, 15.44
  7. Emily Miller, Namgis D 33, 15.53
  8. Jana Bean, UR One Famous Rebel, 15.54
  9. Tamara Reinhardt, Yessir Imaareddie, 15.60
  10. Jill Wilson, 15.62

2nd Go

  1. Miller, 15.23
  2. Chris Gibson, Jess Dashin Together, 15.35
  3. Sharp, 15.37
  4. Lockhart, 15.38
  5. Suzanne Brooks, Fortune N Fame, 15.42
  6. Molly Childers, 15.49
  7. Teri Bangart, RCA Three Bugs Honor, 15.51
  8. Sarah McCormick, Down Town Streakin, 15.52
  9. Schuster, 15.53
  10. Haley Wolfe, Iron Eyes Rio, 15.60

Average

  1. Sharp, 30.63
  2. Miller, 30.76
  3. Lockhart, 30.82
  4. Schuster, 30.92
  5. Gibson, 31.00
  6. Morgan, 31.03
  7. Bangart, 31.14
  8. McCormick, 31.17
  9. Ivy Hurst, BW LilSistaDontcha, 31.25
  10. Tamara Reinhardt, 31.30
  11. Wilson, 31.31
  12. Ari-Anna Flynn, 31.37

 

 

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