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Hailey Kinsel

PHOTO BY 
James Phifer


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By Jolee Jordan

NFRKinsel Building Her Dynasty with Fort Worth Title
NFR

Fort Worth, Texas—The tale in Cowtown on Saturday night, February 9 was one of two dynasties—one ending and the other just beginning.

The 29th and final performance of the 2019 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR) was the last professional rodeo performance to ever be held in the iconic Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. First opened in 1936, Will Rogers became the home of the FWSSR, after some major civic wrangling, in 1944 and has hosted every performance since that time.

Fans and cowboys alike bid farewell to the arena and its famous red diamond fronted bucking chutes as the FWSSR handed out more than three quarters of a million dollars in prize money during the 2019 rodeo . . . helping the FWSSR more than earn its tagline, “This Thing is Legendary!”

In the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) barrel racing, the 2019 Fort Worth champion could very well be in the early stages of building her own dynasty in the sport.

2018 WPRA World Champion Hailey Kinsel burst onto the national stage just about two years ago. From winning the first Gold Medal at the Salt Lake City Cowboy Games and Rodeo in 2017, to setting a new arena record and earnings record at her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo that same year before storming through the 2018 season en route to her first WPRA World Championship, Kinsel and her phenomenal mare Sister look to be the dominant factor in the sport for some time to come.

Another brick was laid in that foundation for Kinsel during the 2019 FWSSR.

Progressive Round Finishes Out

In Fort Worth, 210 WPRA barrel racers began the journey, each hoping to be the final cowgirl standing on the final night to claim the historic win. After one go round, 70 cowgirls advanced to the progressive round, held during the final seven perfs prior to the short round.

Kinsel kicked off her Fort Worth run with a time of 16.68 seconds, good enough for 21st in the opening round. She returned to Will Rogers on Friday afternoon during the 26th performance. Tightening up her first corner Kinsel shaved three tenths off her first time for a 16.33 second run.

The run put the cowgirl to the top of the second round leaderboard, helping her jump all the way to third in the average. Her two run total of 33.01 trailed only Sydni Blanchard and Jennifer Sharp.

Blanchard had won the first round with a 16.22, the fastest time of the rodeo. Along with Kinsel and Sharp, she ran in the Friday matinee, posting a run of 16.51 seconds. Sharp and her mare Smooch continued to impress. After winning third in the first round, her time of 16.36 was just three one-hundredths behind Kinsel to put her second in the second round.

Michelle Alley topped the Friday night perf to advance to the short round. Riding Saucy, Alley was 16.53 seconds.

On Saturday afternoon, former Fort Worth champ Ivy Conrado punched her ticket to the short round with a run of 16.61 seconds. It was the second best of the performance behind Nevada cowgirl Mindy Goemmer, who ran a 16.58 on her mare Fancy. Conrado’s two run total of 33.19 landed her in a share of eighth.

The Final Championship Saturday for Will Rogers

With the field set for the Championship Round at last, cowgirls had just a few hours to prepare between the matinee and the finals on Saturday night. Blanchard’s lead over Sharp was just eleven one-hundredths of a second with Kinsel lurking about two tenths behind her. Only fourteen one-hundredths separate fourth ranked Taylor Langdon to the bottom hole of 12th into the finals, Alex Lang, who held the spot by just two one-hundredths over the 13th ranked cowgirl.

Because the committee hand rakes after every cowgirl, the finals is ran slowest to fastest, allowing the drama to build towards the championship as each lady to take her turn down the famous long alleyway has a better shot than the cowgirl before her to clinch the title.

As the 12th place qualifier, Lang was first to take her shot on Saturday night as the barrel race got underway. Lang’s turn around the Coliseum netted a time of 16.89 seconds.

2007 Fort Worth Champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi came next. Riding on her birthday, the two-time World Champion had already won a second place check in San Antonio earlier in the day before heading north, switching horses and running in Fort Worth. She took the early lead with a time of 16.57 seconds aboard Mona.

Alley came up the alley next and stole the lead from the champ with a run of 16.56 seconds but was soon undone herself by the very next cowgirl, Conrado. With her beautiful mare JLo’s braids flying, Conrado stopped the clock at 16.51 seconds, giving the number two ranked cowgirl in the WPRA World standings the lead.

Again, the crowd erupted as the leaderboard changed, staying palomino but moving over to 2018 WPRA Rookie of the Year Jimmie Smith on the very next run. On her mare Lena, Smith ran out to 16.45 seconds.

 

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NFR
Stevi Hillman Wins the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award
Photo by Kenneth Springer
NFR

 

After the hot start, times cooled down in the middle of the pack. WPRA regular season earnings record holder Tiany Schuster looked shiny in her navy sparkles—keeping her in the running for the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award—but had a little misfire into the first barrel on her gelding Show Mance, landing her time at 16.90 seconds.

Prairie Circuit Finals champ Dona Kay Rule is already inside the top 20 of the standings in the early going of the 2019 season but she was unable to capitalize inside Will Rogers on Saturday night. A miscommunication put her and horse Valor on the wrong side of the second barrel, dropping them from contention though the duo looked sharp as they vied for the Best Dressed Award as well.

Following Pozzi Tonozzi’s tracks from San Antonio, Hillman ran next aboard the palomino called Sherlock. Decked out with sparkling red blotches all over her outfit, Hillman also got a little off-track through the course, ending up very wide at the third corner. Despite not winning the Fort Worth championship, Hillman had plenty of reasons to smile after being awarded the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award and the corresponding $5,000 cash bonus. Along with the money she won for winning the unsanctioned Rodeo X competition right before the rodeo began, Hillman pocketed $15,000 in bonus money in Will Rogers in 2019.

Aubrey, Texas cowgirl Taylor Langdon got the barrel race rolling back the right way as the next runner, stopping the clock at 16.84 seconds on Louie. The 6th ranked cowgirl moved to fifth in the average with three ladies to run.

Then came Kinsel. The Cotulla, Texas cowgirl was the Reserve Champ here a year ago, missing out on the title by just one one-hundredth of a second to Amber Moore. As Sister swallowed up the first can, Kinsel was in the hunt. Two more quick—and very tight—corners followed suit and the blue leaderboard had a new name at the top. Kinsel’s 16.36 took the round lead and put her more than two tenths ahead of Smith in the three-run average.

As tough as the champ looked, no one has been hotter since January 1 than Montgomery, Texas lady Jennifer Sharp. Riding Terri Lamp’s mare Smooch, Sharp has blasted to the standings lead with more than $22,000 in earnings along with a championship at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, the first major rodeo of the winter.

Sharp was second to last to compete and made a great effort to catch the reigning World Champs. Her time of 16.58 seconds landed just outside the money in the round but allowed her to sit second behind Kinsel by just five one hundredths of a second.

The stage was set for the final lady . . . would Kinsel be bridesmaid again in 2019 as she was a year ago? Would Blanchard pick up her first FWSSR win?

Unfortunately, the answer came in the wrong dramatic fashion as Blanchard and Heartbreaker slipped badly on the approach to the first barrel. The mare’s belly hit the ground and as she recovered her footing, she knocked the first barrel over, eliminating Blanchard’s championship hopes. Though she finished outside the average money, her first round run was still the fastest of the event and was undoubtedly one of the prettiest and fastest ever laid down here in Will Rogers.

Kinsel added another notch on her growing resume with the title.

“Such an honor to win it the last year in this building, this building means so much to everybody in rodeo, especially us barrel racers,” Kinsel told former WPRA Vice President Pam Minick when interviewed immediately following the win. “We love it, we love Fort Worth as a whole, its just great to us, so thank you guys.”

“There’s no question when a barrel race is this good, it has a lot to do with the arena and these fans,” she added.

Kinsel added $16,771 to her career earnings and picked up the vintage Fort Worth champion’s buckle along with a bottle of Tx Whiskey and $5,000, the bonus given to all the winners here.

Three cowgirls—Kinsel, Sharp and Smith—banked five digits in earnings while in Cowtown, thanks to the huge entries and even bigger committee added purse of $40,000.

Sharp will maintain her lead in the standings for the moment having already banked more than $36,000 in 2019. Conrado stays on her heels in second with more than $28,000 won. Kinsel and Langdon will jump up in the standings as both ladies have now earned more than $20,000 in the new season.

Following the barrel race, there was an emotional tribute to Will Rogers before the bull riding closed out the rodeo. As the video filled with memories played, the interior of the dome and the rafters, which have always been filled with red, white and blue banners, were lit up as the crowd waved the lit flashlights on their cellphones. It was a bittersweet moment for fans, workers, crew and cowboys, many of whom have spent years enjoying rodeo in Will Rogers.

The 2020 FWSSR will be held across campus in the all-new Dickies Arena on January 17 - February 8.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.fwssr.com.

Results

2nd Go

  1. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.33, $5,175
  2. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 16.36, $4,436
  3. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 16.37, 3,696
  4. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 16.43, $3,204
  5. Jimmie Smith, Lena on the Rocks, 16.48, $2,218
  6. Stevi Hillman, Guys R A Mystery, 16.48, $2,218
  7. Teri Bangart, RCA Three Bugs Honor, 16.49, $1,479
  8. Sydni Blanchard, Famous Heartbreaker, 16.51, $986
  9. Michelle Alley, Seis Caress, 16.53, $739
  10. Andrea Busby, Dial It Fast, 16.54, $493

Average on Two Runs

  1. Blanchard, 32.73
  2. Sharp, 32.84
  3. Kinsel, 33.01
  4. Taylor Langdon, Dashin Louie, 33.09
  5. Hillman, 33.10
  6. Rule, 33.13
  7. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 33.14
  8. Smith, 33.19
  9. Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift of Fame, 33.19
  10. Alley, 33.20
  11. Pozzi Tonozzi, 33.22
  12. Alex Lang, Angels on the Moon, 33.25

Short Go

  1. Kinsel, 16.36, $3,833
  2. Smith, 16.45, $2,875
  3. Conrado, 16.51, $1,917
  4. Alley, 16.56, $958

Average on Three Runs

  1. Kinsel, 49.37, $7,762
  2. Sharp, 49.42, $6,654
  3. Smith, 49.64, $5,545
  4. Conrado, 49.70, $4,805
  5. Alley, 49.76, $3,696
  6. Pozzi Tonozzi, 49.79, $2,957
  7. Langdon, 49.93, $2,218
  8. Schuster, 50.04, $1,479
  9. Lang, 50.14, $1,109
  10. Hillman, 51.46, $739

Total Earnings

Hailey Kinsel, $16,771

Jennifer Sharp, $14,786

Jimmie Smith, $10,637

Ivy Conrado, $8,447

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $6,654

Taylor Langdon, $6,654

Sydni Blanchard, $6,161

Michelle Alley, $5,394

Tiany Schuster, $3,943

Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, $3,204

Stevi Hillman, $2,957

Ilyssa Glass, Championofthehouse, $1,725

Teri Bangart, RCA Three Bugs Honor, $1,479

Alex Lang, $1,109

Sherry Cervi, MP Olive Your Money, $986

Sidney Forrest, So Epic, $616

Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, $616

Andrea Busby, $493

 

 

NFRLangdon Lands atop Leaderboard
in Fort Worth Heading into the Final Weekend
NFR

Fort Worth, Texas—The legendary Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum will see just four more performances of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR) as the 2019 edition of the event is speeding to a conclusion. After the champions of the 123rd annual FWSSR are crowned on Saturday night, February 9, the next time this rodeo opens, it will happen in the all new Dickies Arena in January 2020.

The final four days of rodeo here mean the start of the second go round for the ladies in the WPRA barrel racing. What began with 210 competitors is cut to just 70 for the second go which kicks off on Wednesday afternoon. With two performances a day, the action comes quickly and the leaderboard usually stays in flux right up until the Saturday matinee. Following that performance, the top 12 in the average advance to the Championship Round, held just a few hours later on Saturday night.

Wednesday is Cook Children’s Day at the Stock Show, honoring the great work done by the local not-for-profit pediatric hospital which is nationally recognized and one of the largest freestanding pediatric medical centers in the U.S. A large portion of the proceeds from ticket sales on Wednesday are donated to Cook’s and survivors and their families are recognized during each performance.

The first perf of the second go for the ladies was the Wednesday matinee and the round got off to an incredibly hot start. Two-time World Champ and former Fort Worth winner Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi took the early round lead with a blazing fast time of 16.37 seconds. Pozzi Tonozzi posted the second fastest time of the rodeo thus far with her mare Mona.

 

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NFR
Stevi Hillman
Photo by James Phifer
NFR

 

A pair of palominos stormed to second in the round as Jimmie Smith and Stevi Hilman made runs of 16.48 seconds each. Smith was riding her mare Lena, another lefty like Pozzi Tonozzi’s Mona, while Hillman was riding Toni Dixon’s Sherlock.

Hillman was just out of the first round money with her time of 16.62 seconds and took the lead in the two-run average at 33.10 seconds. Smith was just nine one-hundredths of a second behind her.

“Second round at Fort Worth! Thank you Sherlock for another solid ride; what a unicorn he's been!” said Hillman on social media. “Splitting second in the go round and leading the average with lots of great horses to go, so proud of him. Toni Dixon he's a very good boy.”

On Wednesday night, the quick times continued to rain down. Washington cowgirl Teri Bangart rode her tough gelding Peak to the performance victory at 16.49 seconds. Tiany Schuster was second with a time of 16.61 seconds.

Schuster earned a check in the opening round already and slotted into second behind Hillman with 33.14 seconds on two runs.

 

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NFR
Dona Kay Rule
Photo by Kenneth Springer
NFR

 

The two perfs on Thursday shuffled the standings up a bit, beginning on Thursday afternoon with the reigning Prairie Circuit Champion Dona Kay Rule. Rule and her wicked fast gelding High Valor blasted around the pattern inside Will Rogers, stopping the clock at 16.43 seconds to sit second in the go.

The fast time moved Rule to third in the average as Taylor Langdon took over the top spot. Langdon was behind Rule in the perf with a time of 16.66 seconds but on two runs, her time of 33.09 was one one-hundredth of a second better than Hillman. Rule is right on their heels at 33.13 seconds.

“Proud of Louie! Another clean run in Fort Worth!” Langdon posted to Facebook. “With being last on the ground he tried his heart out! So far leading the average with lots of tough horses left to run! Fingers crossed we come back Saturday :)) go little gray rocket go!”

As Thursday closed out with the 25th of 29 ProRodeo performances, the top of the leaderboard stood still. Andrea Busby and her horse Dial It took the victory in the performance with a fast time of 16.54 seconds. She is sixth in the go round and ninth in the average as the progressive round is now halfway done.

The leaderboard for the finals is super tight at the top; only a tenth separates the top five thus far.  The final hole for advancement to the short go is held by second-ranked 2019 Rookie Kylar Terlip and Wrangler NFR cowgirl Tillar Murray who are tied at 33.50.

Thirty cowgirls remain including first go winner Sydni Blanchard and five more of the fastest ten from round one including reigning Fort Worth champ Amber Moore and four-time WPRA World Champ Sherry Cervi.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.fwssr.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition as well as the WPRA Facebook page for nightly updates on results.

Results (In Progress)

2nd Go

  1. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 16.37
  2. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 16.43
  3. Jimmie Smith, Lena on the Rocks, 16.48
  4. Stevi Hillman, Guys R A Mystery, 16.48
  5. Teri Bangart, RCA Three Bugs Honor, 16.49
  6. Andrea Busby, Dial It Fast, 16.54
  7. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 16.61
  8. Taylor Langdon, Dashin Louie, 16.66
  9. Nikki Hansen, Sky High Guy, 16.67
  10. Kylie Weast, Hell on the Red, 16.72

Average

  1. Langdon, 33.09
  2. Hillman, 33.10
  3. Rule, 33.13
  4. Schuster, 33.14
  5. Smith, 33.19
  6. Pozzi Tonozzi, 33.22
  7. Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 33.27
  8. Bangart, 33.39
  9. Busby, 33.41
  10. Weast, 33.44
  11. Tillar Murray, Dirty Dan Stinson, 33.50
  12. Kylar Terlip, Guys Voodoo Bug, 33.50

 

 

NFRCervi Closes Out First Round in Fort Worth, Advances to Second Round
NFR

Fort Worth, Texas—The first barrel racing checks of the 2019 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo were written on Tuesday night, February 5 as the long round came to a close with the 210th run of this year’s event.

The FWSSR took entries from 210 eligible card holders, giving each of them one round of competition here in Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. Following the 21st performance, the fastest 70 from the opening round earn the right to run down the famous long alley one more time. That progressive round is held during performances from Wednesday to Saturday afternoon, February 6-9. The top twelve on the two-run average will compete in the Finals on Saturday night, February 9.

The final 40 of the round took their shots during the performances on Monday and Tuesday and the talent of the field was reflected in the quick times that were posted.

Monday was Military Appreciation Day at the FWSSR with many special tributes during both performances. All active and retired military members and their families received free admission to the grounds and many were honored during the rodeos with special introductions.

In addition, Gold Star families who have participated in the Snowball Express retreat through the Gary Sinise Foundation were recognized in each performance and a veteran received the key to his new mortgage-free home during the evening perf. Also during the evening perf, a new group of enlistees into the service were sworn in and congratulated and thanked by special dignitaries which included the son of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, Jr.

After all the tributes, the ladies of the WPRA got down to the business of barrel racing.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo cowgirl Shelley Morgan took the perf win on Monday afternoon. Morgan always has a good mount beneath her and the five year old she calls Kiss carried her to a time of 16.77 seconds, just two one-hundredths of a second ahead of Wendy Suhn. Michelle Darling and Haley Wolfe also broke into the 16s.

A few hours later, the night performance was led by $2 million winner Lisa Lockhart, a veteran of 11 Wrangler NFR’s. Riding the freakishly fast Rosa, Lockhart ran 16.62 seconds, more than two tenths ahead of the rest of the field that night.

The final day of long round competition began with the Tuesday matinee perf. Great Lakes Circuit champion Lacinda Rose won the day aboard her horse, appropriately named Real Deal. Her time of 16.64 seconds will easily advance her to the next round. Four other cowgirls moved into the next round with quick times.

The final ten on Tuesday night were led by the WPRA’s only $3 million winner, Sherry Cervi. The four-time WPRA World Champion was first to run and broke out a new pony for Fort Worth. The seven-year old mare named MP Olive Your Money was raised by Cervi and her parents, Mel and Wendy Potter. She is a daughter of their legendary stallion PC Frenchmans Hayday. The run was fast at 16.59 seconds, good enough for a check in fact, but it was Oliva’s rodeo performance debut.

“I’ve been planning for several weeks that Olivia would be what I would ride at Houston and decided that I needed to take her to a few rodeos before running there so this was our first time out,” she told Kenneth Springer, who captured a great photo in the warm up pen. To get a little bit of pre-run exposure, Cervi rode Olivia in Fort Worth’s legendary grand entry.

Behind Cervi on Tuesday night was 2018 Wrangler NFR cowgirl Kylie Weast along with three others who were able to claw into the next go round.

 

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NFR
Sydni Blanchard
Photo by James Phifer
NFR

 

Sydni Blanchard’s phenomenal run of 16.22 seconds not only held on to win the round and the corresponding $5,100 paycheck, the time stayed two tenths ahead of the rest of the field. Thanks to the hard work of the grounds crew not only in their daily preparation but also in the effort to hand rake the ground after every competitor, the first go money was distributed across many different performances, from the third perf (Ilyssa Glass) to the 21st (Cervi).

Other cowgirls to earn money in the first payoff here are Taylor Langdon, Jennifer Sharp, Jill Wilson, Tiany Schuster, Glass, Ivy Conrado, Cervi, Sidney Forrest and Amber Moore. Both Conrado and Moore are past Fort Worth champions.

Taking Blanchard’s time away, the top ten times were only separated by seventeen one-hundredths of a second.

From top to bottom, the barrel race has been electric in this, the final year of rodeo inside the infamous Will Rogers arena. The cut-off for the progressive was the fastest it has been in some time with only those able to beat 16.95 seconds making the cut. That’s 69 times—again excepting Blanchard—within about half a second.

The progressive round comes fast and furious here with two performances a day from now until the show’s end on Saturday. Barrel racers were able to give preferences for the second round so the Wednesday matinee will feature former Fort Worth champ and two-time World Champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi along with Wrangler NFR cowgirl Stevi Hillman, 2018 WPRA Rookie of the Year Jimmie Smith, 2018 Columbia River Circuit champ Cheyenne Allan and seven-time Wrangler NFR competitor Tammy Fischer.

Wednesday night hometown cowgirl and Wrangler NFR competitor Tillar Murray will be first gunner on the track while WPRA regular season earnings record holder Tiany Schuster will be last. In between is a field full of top circuit talent and top 30 cowgirls.

On Thursday afternoon, Kellie Collier—another Wrangler NFR cowgirl—will compete alongside top trainer and clinician Dena Kirkpatrick, Prairie Circuit champ Dona Kay Rule and Taylor Langdon, who won second in the opening round and Glass, who finished sixth.

Thursday night’s line-up includes another former Fort Worth champ and Wrangler NFR cowgirl Nikki Hansen along with Lockhart, Weast, Cassidy Kruse and Jill Wilson, who was fourth in the first round.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.fwssr.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition. A complete second draw can be found on the WPRA Facebook page.

Results (In Progress)

1st Go

1. Sydni Blanchard, Famous Heartbreaker, 16.22, $5,175

2. Taylor Langdon, Dashin Louie, 16.43, $4,436

3. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 16.48, $3,696

4. Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 16.49, $3,204

5. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 16.53, $2,464

6. Ilyssa Glass, Championofthehouse, 16.58, $1,725

7. Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift of Fame, 16.58, $1,725

8. Sherry Cervi, MP Olive Your Money, 16.59, $986

9. Sidney Forrest, So Epic, 16.60, $616

10. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 16.60, $616

11. Stephanie Fryar, The Red Maserati, 16.62

12. Stevi Hillman, Guys R A Mystery, 16.62

13. Sadye Simpson, God Given Fame, 16.62

14. Lisa Lockhart, Rosas Cantina CC, 16.62

15. Taci Bettis, Bogie is a Smash, 16.63

16. Dena Kirkpatrick, Kates Always First, 16.64

17. Lacinda Rose, RR Meradas Real Deal, 16.64

18. Kylar Terlip, Guys Voodoo Bug, 16.65

19. Emily Miller, Namgis D33 , 16.65

20. Michelle Alley, Seis Caress, 16.67

21. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.68

22. Alex Lang, Angels on the Moon, 16.69

23. Jennifer Driver, Famous ThreeBugs, 16.70

24. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 16.70

25. Jimmie Smith, Lena on the Rocks, 16.71

26. Kylie Weast, Hell on the Red, 16.72

27. Lesley Casper, Streakin ta Blues, 16.74

28. Christine Laughlin, Jess Undeniable, 16.74

29. Tillar Murray, Dirty Dan Stinson, 16.74

30. Kellie Collier, Koolspeed Ta Kash, 16.76

31. Katelyn Scott, Shiney Gold Bid, 16.76

32. Tammy Fischer, LK Sheza Hayday, 16.77

33. Shelley Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 16.77

34. Carolyn Uhler, Lil Pep of Gold, 16.78

35. Carlee Otero, RC Dashin ta Game, 16.79

36. Wendy Suhn, HLH Streakin A Fling, 16.79

37. Sherri Barnes, Famous Little Jet, 16.81

38. Kathy Petska, Dinero Made Me Famous, 16.82

39. Nicole Love, JL Josie Bar, 16.83

40. Suzanne Brooks, Fortune N Fame, 16.83

41. Michelle Darling, Morning Traffic, 16.83

42. Leia Pluemmer, Famous French Bug, 16.84

43. Cheyenne Allan, RS Mollys Honor, 16.84

44. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 16.85

45. Brittney Barnett, Frenchmans Pick, 16.86

46. Ari-Anna Flynn, PC Uncle SI, 16.86

47. Nikki Hansen, Sky High Guy, 16.86

48. Andrea Busby, Dial It Fast, 16.87

49. Jessi Fish, Guys Night in Vegas, 16.87

50. Shea-Lynn Leach, Louis Bug, 16.87

51. Danyelle Williams, Sonny (NR), 16.89

52. Lisa Thornton, 16.89

53. Ryann Pedone, Slick by Design, 16.89

54. Teri Bangart, RCA Three Bugs Honor, 16.90

55. Halyn Lide, Jettin ta Heaven, 16.91

56. DeAnna Critton, DCWR Frosty Girl, 16.91

57. Tami Semas, Caliente, 16.91

58. Jacque Woolman, Yella Izabella, 16.91

59. Haley Wolfe, Mia Fabulous Fame, 16.91

60. Shelby Janssen, Famous Amous, 16.91

61. Toni Dixon, Guys R A Mystery, 16.92

62. Rainy Pratt, 16.92

63. Cassidy Kruse, Guys Six Pack, 16.92

64. Mindy Goemmer, Cuchara Fancy N Fast, 16.93

65. Ericka Nelson, Goodfrenchmanfriday, 16.93

66. KL Spratt, KK Cash Colours, 16.93

67. Heidi Tillard, Roxy, 16.93

68. Leslie Schur, KG Cashin In On Beau, 16.94

69. Carmel Wright, Fortunes Last Xtreme, 16.94

70. Gayle Jones, 16.95

 

 

NFRBlanchard Blasts to Top of Leaderboard in Fort Worth
NFR

Fort Worth, Texas—The theme for the 123rd annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR) is ‘Old School Cool,’ a tip of the hat to the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo which is hosting its final rodeo inside the historic Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.

But nothing is more cool than how lucrative the FWSSR is for cowboys and cowgirls. The rodeo will pay out three quarters of a million dollars in 2019. The committee added purse is $40,000 with 210 WPRA barrel racers entered. Each lady gets one run during the first 21 performances before the field will be narrowed to the best 70 from that opening round. Those 70 will make another run before the short round is set, comprised of the top 12 in the two-run average.

Following the first ten performances, the lead was held by National Western Stock Show and Rodeo champion Jennifer Sharp. The middle weekend of the Stock Show brought a flurry of competition, however, with seven performances in three days.

The weekend got off to an electric start when former WPRA Rookie of the Year Sydni Blanchard came down the famous long alley inside Will Rogers. Riding her sorrel bolt of lightning Heart, Blanchard blew the doors off the field with a time of 16.22 seconds, the fastest of the rodeo so far. In fact, it’s the fastest time run here since the finals in 2013.

“Famous Heartbreaker did it again! She is on fire taking the lead as well as me for a ride at the Fort Worth Rodeo. This #FearlessMare is so special to me,” Blanchard wrote on social media.

Thanks to the efforts of the FWSSR committee—which provides a hand rake following every cowgirl for 29 performances—times continued to be tough as the Friday evening perf kicked off. Seven cowgirls broke into the 16’s though a couple suffered barrel penalties. Michelle Alley had the top run of the night with her 16.67 second run on Saucy.

A raucous crowd enjoyed the rodeo on Saturday morning during the 10 A.M. show. Sidney Forrest topped the performance with her run of 16.60 seconds. Her gelding Sterling was smooth through the pattern to post a run that’s inside the top fifteen in the round thus far.

“Prince Sterling was a Champ today at Fort Worth! He is My Blessing!” Forrest said on social media.

Reigning Fort Worth champion Amberleigh Moore posted the best run in the middle performance on Saturday afternoon, equaling the time put up by Forrest. She and the super mare Paige were 16.60 seconds, just three one-hundredths of a second better than 2017 Rookie of the Year Taci Bettis.

“Paige ran a 16.60 in the afternoon performance at Ft Worth, TX to be sitting in the top ten,” Moore noted on her Facebook page. “We both love running here, however this year I feel a little nostalgic about it, being that it is the last year the rodeo is being ran at the Will Rogers Coliseum.”

An amazing day of barrel racing concluded in the Saturday night performance with Taylor Langdon taking the top honors. Riding her streaking grey horse Louie, and fresh off a reserve championship in Denver, Langdon was able to cut off the clock at 16.43 seconds, the second best of the rodeo through the first 150 runs.

Again, a proud barrel racer took to Facebook following the run. “Louie is on a roll! I’m so freakin proud of that little gray rocket! He smoked a run last night in Fort Worth running a 16.43 to move into 2nd place in the round!”

About 10 days ago, just prior to the start of the FWSSR, three-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Stevi Hillman competed in the FWSSR’s Rodeo X, the Stock Show’s team shoot out competition. She won the event for $10,000 riding Toni Dixon’s Sherlock. On Sunday afternoon, Hillman returned to Will Rogers aboard the same mount and took the performance win with a run of 16.62 seconds.

“Guys R A Mystery truly loves Ft Worth!” Hillman posted on social media. “Sherlock, you are a rockstar. And yes the barrel gods were with me today,” she joked, acknowledging the very precarious brush with the third barrel. “I am so incredibly thankful. This horse has ran a 16.7, 16.5, 16.9 and a 16.6 here, and is getting both me and Toni Dixon back to the 2nd round. What a horse.... thank you Toni for sharing your boy.”

A few hours later, Sadye Simpson made her return to the FWSSR. The last time she competed here was in the finals a year ago where she won the Jerry Ann Taylor award given for the best dressed cowgirl, an award worth $5,000. Though she’s back with a different mount in 2019, she’s got a shot to repeat after posting the best run on Sunday night, a 16.62 second effort that was just three one-hundredths of a second better than Emily Miller.

“I love this horse with my entire heart!” said Simpson on Facebook. “Thanks Gigi for another fun ride.”

The long round here at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo will conclude on Tuesday night but not before a stacked field of ladies take their shot at the next round. The final four perfs feature Wrangler NFR cowgirls Shali Lord, Shelly Morgan, Lisa Lockhart, Jackie Ganter, Danyelle Campbell, Angie Meadors, Kylie Weast and Carman Pozzobon.

The WPRA’s winningest cowgirl, Sherry Cervi will also compete on the final day of the long round as will WPRA World Champion and former Fort Worth winner Fallon Taylor. Three other Fort Worth champions will be among the final forty: Sarah Rose (McDonald) Waguespack, Shelly Anzick and Nikki Hansen.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.fwssr.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition.

Results (In Progress)

1st Go

  1. Sydni Blanchard, Famous Heartbreaker, 16.22
  2. Taylor Langdon, Dashin Louie, 16.43
  3. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 16.48
  4. Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 16.49
  5. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 16.53
  6. Ilyssa Glass, Championofthehouse, 16.58
  7. Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift of Fame, 16.58
  8. Sidney Forrest, So Epic, 16.60
  9. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 16.60
  10. Stephanie Fryar, The Red Maserati, 16.62
  11. Stevi Hillman, Guys R A Mystery, 16.62
  12. Sadye Simpson, God Given Fame, 16.62

 

 

NFRSchuster Moves into Contention For Title in Fort Worth
NFR

 

Fort Worth, Texas—The pace at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR) slows a bit after a busy first week of slacks, Xtreme Bull Riding and six performances across the opening three days of the PRCA/WPRA rodeo. After just one performance a day from Monday, January 28 to Thursday, January 31, the leisurely schedule will soon be replaced with a frantic one as the rodeo ends its second week and runs into the third.

One thing that didn’t get much of a break during the week was the leaderboard for the WPRA barrel race here inside Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. With a huge $40,000 added committee purse, and 210 entries, the ladies certainly have brought their A games. Each cowgirl entered here will compete one time in the first 21 performances. Following that perf, Tuesday, February 5, the field will be narrowed based on the fastest times from the opening round and just 70 will be invited back to take another spin in the progressive round.

Once that round concludes on February 9 during the matinee performance, the top 12 on two runs will advance to the finals and compete for the championship during the February 9 evening perf.

Thirty cowgirls took their shot at the next round during the week. Historically, any sub-17 second runs in the first round here have been good enough to move a competitor into the progressive round.

The Stock Show went pink for breast cancer on Tuesday night but the runs inside Will Rogers were red hot. It began with Wrangler National Finalist Kelly Bruner who would have tied for second with her run of 16.49 seconds but for a downed second barrel.

Fellow Wrangler NFR cowgirl Tiany Schuster smoked the field aboard Show Mance for 16.53 seconds, good enough for third. Alex Lang and Nicole Love both broke into the top twenty with sub-seventeen second runs.

Wednesday night started off right with Christine Laughlin galloping into the next round with a smooth run of 16.74 seconds aboard her mare Jesse. Although two gals came close to surpassing her—Leia Pluemer’s 16.84 and Tammy Fischer’s 16.77—it wasn’t until the final run of the night that her time was beaten.

 

photo

NFR
Ivy Conrado
Photo by James Phifer
NFR

 

Former FWSSR Champion Ivy Conrado was flawless through the pattern aboard JLo to stop the clock at 16.58 seconds, good enough for a tie of fourth right now. Conrado is seeking to become just the second WPRA cowgirl to earn more than one title here at the Stock Show and would be the first to do so aboard different horses. Her title in 2016 came aboard the AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year CF Tibbie Stinson.

The final day of one-a-day performances was Thursday and it’s a special night. Texas Christian University (TCU)—which is just miles down the road from Will Rogers—is honored on Thursday with TCU Day at the Stock Show. Along with discounts for students and alumni, the rodeo features performances by the TCU band and an appearance by SuperFrog, TCU’s mascot. The TCU Frog Choir Ensemble presents the National Anthem for every performance.

The perf winner on Thursday was the reigning WPRA World Champ Hailey Kinsel. Riding the reigning AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year Sister, Kinsel ran out to a 16.68 second run that was two one-hundredths better than 2018 Prairie Circuit Champ Dona Kay Rule. Kinsel was second here a year ago and will be back for the progressive round.

The middle weekend of the FWSSR will be busy with seven performances in three days. Among the scheduled competitors are Wrangler NFR qualifiers Sydni Blanchard, Kellie Collier, Jackie Jatzlau, Kathy Grimes, Cassidy Kruse, Taci Bettis, Stevi Hillman, Jana Bean, Jolee Lautaret-Jordan and hometown cowgirl Tillar Murray. Two WPRA World Champions will also be in Cowtown over the weekend, Mary Walker and Kappy Allen as well as the reigning Fort Worth Champion Amberleigh Moore.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.fwssr.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition.

Results (In Progress)

1st Go

  1. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 16.48
  2. Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 16.49
  3. Tiany Schuster, Show Mance, 16.53
  4. Ilyssa Glass, Championofthehouse, 16.58
  5. Ivy Conrado, KN Fabs Gift of Fame, 16.58
  6. Stephanie Fryar, The Red Maserati, 16.62
  7. Dena Kirkpatrick, Kates Always First, 16.64
  8. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.68
  9. Alex Lang, Angels on the Moon, 16.69
  10. Jennifer Driver, Famous ThreeBugs, 16.70
  11. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 16.70
  12. Lesley Casper, Streakin ta Blues, 16.74
  13. Christine Laughlin, Jess Undeniable, 16.74
  14. Tammy Fischer, LK Sheza Hayday, 16.77
  15. Carolyn Uhler, Lil Pep of Gold, 16.78
  16. Carlee Otero, RC Dashin ta Game, 16.79
  17. Sherri Barnes, Famous Little Jet, 16.81
  18. Nicole Love, JL Josie Bar, 16.83
  19. Leia Pluemer, Famous French Bug, 16.84
  20. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 16.85

 

 

NFRSharp Shoots to Lead in Fort Worth & WPRA World Standings
NFR

 

Fort Worth, Texas—For 75 years cowboys and cowgirls have ridden on the famed dirt of Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, chasing championships at the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show—also known as the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR).

Though the event is 123 years old in 2019, the rodeo here began in 1918 when everything was still held at the Fort Worth Stockyards. The Cowtown Coliseum hosted that first rodeo, giving FWSSR the rights to the name, “The World’s Original Indoor Rodeo.” The whole event moved to Will Rogers Memorial Center in 1944 and the rodeo has been held here ever since.


That will all change in 2020 when the rodeo moves across campus to the brand new Dickies Arena.

“We’re just as proud of the Coliseum today as I know they were in 1944 when we moved here from Northside [Cowtown Coliseum],” Stock Show president and general manager Brad Barnes said in an article written by Brett Hoffman in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “Probably more great rodeo memories have come from this building than any other in the sport. Each time the arena gates open and the grand entry starts, I’m reminded of the many men and women that rode into the Will Rogers Coliseum before me and set the Stock Show on this wonderful course of success.”

With 2019 being the swan song for Will Rogers, champions here will rightly claim a part in the grand history of the building.

The 2019 edition of the FWSSR will not only be historic but lucrative for contestants able to grab their piece of the $40,000 committee purse per event. The WPRA barrel race accepts 210 competitors, giving each lady one round of competition. The top 70 from the long round advance to the progressive round beginning February 6th. Each of those 70 will take another run inside Will Rogers and the top 12 on the two run average will qualify to the short round on Saturday night, February 9th.

The final run in Will Rogers began January 25, 2019.

Opening night belonged to Lesley Casper. Casper came to Cowtown with her husband Wyatt—a PRCA saddle bronc rider—and new baby Cooper Blaze who is just shy of three months old. It was a great trip for the family as Lesley made the night’s best run aboard her nine year old gelding Ice at 16.74 seconds. She was the only lady to break into the 16’s.

Wyatt, meanwhile, rode a pair of broncs over the weekend, landing fourth in the average in his signature event. The whole Casper clan may be headed back to Fort Worth before the show ends.

Weekends are notoriously busy inside Will Rogers during the Stock Show with three perfs on Saturdays (except the final Saturday) and two on Sundays. The early morning hour of the 10 A.M. Saturday perf didn’t seem to bother the competition much as Dena Kirkpatrick won the perf with a smoking run of 16.64 seconds aboard her big mare Kate. Kirkpatrick has been in the money here before and looks solid to return for another run.

 

photo

NFR
Ilyssa Glass
Photo by Kenneth Springer
NFR

 

The ladies in the matinee show walked the lead up a bit more when Ilyssa Glass of Tatum, New Mexico stopped the clock at 16.58 seconds. Riding Champ, Glass was making her inaugural run inside the famous arena.

“First time for me and first performance for Champ,” she noted. “He handled it like a veteran.”

The tough day wrapped up in the evening perf with yet another leaderboard change. Snyder, Texas cowgirl Jill Wilson rode her gelding Blue Dean to the top with a smooth and pretty 16.49 second run. Wilson won money at the FWSSR in 2018 and her cousin, Kelly Maben, is the only WPRA barrel racer to win this rodeo twice. The WPRA first began sanctioning the FWSSR in 2004 and Maben claimed titles in 2006 and 2008.

The fifth perf on Sunday afternoon got off to a hot start when Sherri Barnes posted a 16.81 as the first runner of the day. When the dust settled, Carlee Otero walked away as the perf champ with her run of 16.79 seconds. The three-time Wrangler National Finalist was riding Uno, a horse she bought last year from fellow Wrangler NFR cowgirl Jane Melby. Uno is out of Melby’s great mare RC Back in Black—aka Beauty—who was named the Scoti Flit Bar Rising Star at the 2011 Wrangler NFR where she won three go rounds. Her sire is Dash ta Fame, the all-time leading sire of barrel racing winners and a member of the WPRA’s Pro Elite Sire Incentive program (PESI).

The long weekend wrapped up on Sunday night with performance six. It was another exciting barrel race with three times in the 16’s including Stephanie Fryar’s 16.62 which moved to third overall. Fryar has been to pro rodeo’s Super Bowl, the Wrangler NFR, making her lone appearance in 2008. In 2019 she is riding Mazi, a six year old mare she trained herself, and is already ranked inside the top 30 of the WPRA World standings.

 

photo

NFR
Jennifer Sharp
Photo by Kenneth Springer
NFR

 

Things slowed down on Monday in Fort Worth with just one night performance but it was just enough time to allow a couple of cowgirls to make the long drive down from Denver where the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo just concluded its long run on Sunday afternoon.

Jennifer Sharp was the champion in Denver, winning nearly $12,000 aboard her good mare Smooch. When the new WPRA World standings debuted, Sharp was on top of the list with more than $22,000 won already this season.

 

photo

NFR
Jill Wilson
Photo by James Phifer
NFR

 

She’s likely to stay there after posting the fastest time of the FWSSR on Monday night. She and Smooch were 16.48 seconds, nipping past Wilson for the lead so far.

The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo continues on Tuesday with its eighth of 29 performances. The field is stacked with Wrangler NFR cowgirls Kelly Bruner, Tiany Schuster and Kassie Mowry. 2018 WPRA Rookie of the Year Jimmie Smith will also compete on Tuesday.

As the rodeo continues the rest of the week, the field will include other Wrangler NFR cowgirls Christine Laughlin, Cheyenne Wimberley, Tammy Fischer and former Fort Worth Champ Ivy Conrado. Thursday, January 31 is TCU Night at the rodeo and the barrel race will feature the newly crowned WPRA World Champion Hailey Kinsel.

For more information on the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.fwssr.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition.

Results (In Progress)

1st Go

  1. Jennifer Sharp, Six French Smooches, 16.48
  2. Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 16.49
  3. Ilyssa Glass, Championofthehouse, 16.58
  4. Stephanie Fryar, The Red Maserati, 16.62
  5. Dena Kirkpatrick, Kates Always First, 16.64
  6. Jennifer Driver, Famous ThreeBugs, 16.70
  7. Lesley Casper, Streakin ta Blues, 16.74
  8. Carolyn Uhler, Lil Pep of Gold, 16.78
  9. Carlee Otero, RC Dashin ta Game, 16.79
  10. Sherri Barnes, Famous Little Jet, 16.81

 

 

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