Taylor Jacob's WPRA card may say she's a rookie but she led the way during the Ft. Worth Finals and pulled off the average win like a seasoned pro. Running the Finals in order from the slowest on two to the fastest, Jacobs was 10th to run of the 12 finalists. She followed a tough act when six time Wrangler NFR qualifier and $1 million dollar barrel racer Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D. went to the lead in the average with a total on three of 49.53. She met the challenge head on and brought the crowd to their feet when she posted the rodeo's fastest time of 16.19. Her total on three runs tallied 49.16 to take the lead.
Jane Melby followed with a 16.36 for a total on three of 49.25. Last to run was the leader on two, Natalie Foutch. Staying solid, Foutch and her palomino clocked a 16.40 to edge ahead of Melby by one one-hundredth of a second with 49.24 on three runs.
Drawing up in the Semi Finals on Friday night and running in the Finals on Saturday night was an ideal situation for Jacob's left handed, 8-year-old buckskin gelding, Honor Thy Frenchman, aka Bo. "He gets better the more you run him," said the Texas A&M senior Communications major. "I actually ran him at the college rodeo in Athens, Texas this afternoon. Just knowing that he thrives on making runs, I decided to run him there because I need the points in order to qualify for the College National Finals. I've been to the College Finals three times in either the breakaway or goat tying but never in the barrel race. Since I'm a senior, I would like to qualify in the barrel race this year. We won the long go and of course I had to turn out the Short Go tonight in order to come back to Ft. Worth for the Finals."
Jacob, from Carmine, Texas, finds it hard to believe that it was just a year ago that she purchased Bo, a former futurity colt trained and ridden by Marne Loosenort, from Angela Michaels. "She let me run him twice and I was convinced he was the right horse for me. I liked his breeding too, because his sire is Frenchmans Guy and on the bottom side there is Jet Of Honor."
Ranked fourth in the Rookie standings prior to Ft. Worth with the $2,027 she had won last fall when the 2013 point year began, Jacob now speeds quickly to the top of the Rookie leaders with her winnings from Ft. Worth of $14,796 added in.
After clocking a 16.69 in the first go that didn't draw her a check, Jacob proceeded to dominate Ft. Worth, topping the Semi Finals with the fastest time of the rodeo of 16.28 for $4,565. To leave no doubt of their ability, she and Bo clocked the fastest time of the rodeo in the Finals with a 16.19 for $3,382. It was the first place average check of $6,848 that put her over the top with total Ft. Worth winnings of $14,796.
"His run tonight was simply amazing," recounted Jacob. "He flew to the first barrel, turned it tight and I had to lift my leg up at the second barrel, just like I did last night, to keep from hitting it and his third barrel was great. I think I'm still in shock. I've never won anything like this in my life. Last night I couldn't help but think about all the NFR girls that I was running against and was just happy to be there. I never expected anything like this."
Jacob believes Bo climbing to the top of his game couldn't come at a better time. "I've given a lot of thought to what I want to do after college graduation. It would be the perfect time for me to take off rodeoing if Bo is still working and winning for me. We will just have to wait and see."
If she does use her Ft. Worth winnings as a springboard to the Wrangler NFR as last year's champion, Nikki Steffes did, Jacob won't be the first in her family to do so. Her cousins Tammy Fischer and Jackie Jatzlau both have NFR qualifications on their resume.
Times in the Finals were as follows: Taylor Jacob, 16.19 ($3,382); Kendra Dickson, 16.30 ($2,536.50); Sherry Cervi, 16.32 ($1,691); Jane Melby, 16.36 ($845.50); Natalie Foutch 16.40; Lisa Lockhart, 16.48; Sharin Hall, 17.09; Kelly Yates, 21.44; Jennifer Kent, 21.66; Kay Blandford, 21.76, Carlee Pierce 23.31 and Sarah Kieckhefer NT.
2013 Fort Worth Money Winners
1. Taylor Jacob $14,796.25
2. Natalie Foutch $12,392.61
3. Jane Melby $11,390.09
4. Kendra Dickson $7,971.85
5. Lisa Lockhart $7,065.97
6. Jennifer Kent $4,891.82
7. Sherry Cervi $4,299.97
8. Sarah Kieckhefer $3,913.46
9/10 Brenda Mays $2,826.39
9/10 Kay Blandford $2,826.39
11. Kelly Yates $2,608.98
12. Sharin Hall $2,174.14
13/14 Angie Meadors $1,739.31
13/14 Karen Little $1,739.31
15. Sue Smith $1,087.07
16. Emily Efurd $869.66
17. Cindy Smith $652.24
18/19/20 Carlee Pierce $362.36
18/19/20 Holly Cauthen $362.36
18/19/20 Trula Churchill $362.36
21. Sheena Robbins $217.41