goes three for three at Wrangler NFR
By Ted Harbin
The smile on Mary Walker's face
says so much. She's having the time of her life.
Who wouldn't? Walker and her great horse, Perculatin, posted
their fastest run of the week in winning the third straight
go-round at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, rounding
the cloverleaf pattern in 13.69 seconds to collect another
In all, she has earned $54,772, and there are seven nights
remaining in the championship.
"I haven't found a hard part about being here yet,"
Walker said. "It's been exciting. It's been a little
hectic, but I'm enjoying every bit of it."
She should. In an extremely fast go-round, the slowest money-earning
run was a 13.82, and there were three cowgirls who shared
that time: Sherry Cervi, Lisa Lockhart and Benette Barrington-Little.
Reigning world champ Lindsay Sears was third with a 13.76,
while Kelli Tolbert placed second with a .73.
"As I was listening to the times, I thought, 'That
ground is really good tonight, and it seems like it's really
fast," Walker said. "I moved up two more tonight
(in the order of runs), and I was really excited.
"I went in there, and Latte
just did it."
With her earnings, Walker has an $11,000 lead over NFR rookie
Jake Wright in the Ram Top Gun standings, which will go
to the contestant who has earned the most money at the NFR
"It's just been wild,"
she said. "Latte's on fire. He's feeling great. He
was fired up tonight. I knew he was, so I just had to work
him a little different warming up. He responded well, and
he did what I asked him to.
"Some people tell me he looks like he's loping. Underneath
him, he feels like a locomotive."