While the famous "kiss cam" at the Ft. Worth Stock Show momentarily focused spectator's eyes away from the WPRA barrel racing competition, Jennifer Kent, Grand Cane, La., slipped in and ran the fastest time of the rodeo. In all due respect to the camera operator, there was no reason to think such a time was to be expected from the second runner in Friday afternoon's 2:30 matinee on Feb. 8 (27th perf). She had clocked a 16.77 on her first run during the 19th performance Monday matinee on Feb. 4. But the 16.36 flashing on the score board had them scrambling to change the leader board.
With a total on two, Kent now shares the second and third spots in the average with Kay Blandford. Kent leads the Semi Finals while Natalie Foutch, Eldora, Ia., still holds firmly onto the lead with 32.84 on two and sits second in the Semi Finals with a 16.39.
There's nothing like outrunning the biggest names in the game to make people wonder who Jennifer Kent is. She lives four and half hours from Ft. Worth and rides a speedy 9-year-old gelding, Brovos Best Talker, aka Burnie. She bought him as a yearling, trained him herself and started out last year by placing at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo. But a foot surgery the end of November laid him off until last Monday—Ft. Worth was his first rodeo back.
"Today was only the second run we've made at a rodeo," said Kent. "He normally gets better with every run you make on him and he especially dropped off a lot of time here on our second run because he was running so much harder than on his first run. I could tell when I was warming him up that he was ready. He was high and feeling good. My biggest concern was getting him by the third barrel after I knew we had a good run started. I just concentrated on not looking at the third barrel and trying to do my job and let him do his. If I does that, he won't hit a barrel."
Results from Friday, Feb. 8, matinee: Jennifer Kent, 16.36; Martha Wright, 16.67; Jean Winters 16.74; Kim Schulze 16.87; Lauren Sparks 16.90; Ashley Leifeste, 16.92; Morgan Figueroa, 17.00; Ellie Dabney, 17.08; Emily Efurd, 17.33; and Fallon Taylor, 21.55.