Photo by Kenneth Springer
The deck continues to shuffle in Las Vegas at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, as the fifth go round saw two first time qualifiers rise higher than the Stratosphere.
Kissimmee, Fla., cowgirl Kaley Bass capitalized on her top-of-the-ground draw, setting an untouchable pace of 13.68 seconds on Wonders Cowboy Dan to win $18,257 and move to second in the average behind Sherry Cervi. Eight runs later, Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., challenged Bass’s run with a 13.69.
Bass credits a nine year partnership with the 12-year-old platinum gelding as the foundation of their success.
“I just have a lot of confidence on him; I have no worries running him 10 rounds. I didn’t try to override or do anything different than I’ve done all year. After the first round, I kind of got the jitters out, and tonight it felt perfect. He made another clean, consistent run, and every round he keeps getting faster. He put his feet in the right spot tonight and I couldn’t ask for any more out of him.”
Wonders Cowboy Dan was bred by Se’Belle Dymmek, who raised the gelding’s sire, Wonders Pal, and his dam, Ole Blondy Belle. Bass has his full sister, Girl Pal Wonder, waiting in the wings should Cowboy Dan need a night off from the bright lights of the Thomas and Mack.
As the chips continue to fall, half of the Wrangler NFR is in the books. Benette Barrington-Little, Ardmore, Okla., fell from first to eighth in the aggregate when the costly third barrel hit the ground. Three-time WPRA World Champion and round four winner Sherry Cervi continues to stay the course, placing third in tonight’s round aboard MP Meter My Hay (“Stingray”) with a 13.76, and taking over as the average leader. Mary Walker’s time of 13.89 on her Horse of the Year, Perculatin (“Latte”) edged out Brittany Pozzi’s time of 14.01 on Yeah Hes Firen (“Duke”) for fourth place, narrowing the two-time WPRA World Champion’s World standings lead to $1,559.45. Lisa Lockhart ran a 14.05 on An Oakie With Cash (“Louie”) to round out the top six.
The Wrangler NFR wraps up its 10-day run on Dec. 15 when a PRCA and WPRA World Champions will be crowned.
Barrel Racing Results – 5th Go Round:
1. Kaley Bass 13.68 $18,257.21
2. Trula Churchill 13.69 $14,429.09
3. Sherry Cervi 13.76 $10,895.43
4. Mary Walker 13.89 $7,656.25
5. Brittany Pozzi 14.01 $4,711.54
6. Lisa Lockhart 14.05 $2,944.71
Wrangler NFR Barrel Racing Average Standings:
(Through 5th Go Round)
1. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 69.70 (+1)
2. Kaley Bass, Kissimmee, Fla.,69.96 (+1)
3. Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 70.73 (+1)
4. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 70.86 (+1)
5. Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 74.03 (+1)
6. Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta 74.68 (+2)
7. Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., 74.79 (+4)
8. Benette Barrington-Little, Ardmore, Okla., 74.99
9. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 75.05 (+1)
10. Kelli Tolbert, Hooper, Utah, 79.32 (-3)
11. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 80.11 (+2)
12. Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 81.94 (same)
13. Christina Richman, Glendora, Cali., 83.52 (+1)
14. Lee Ann Rust, Stephenville, Texas, 84.81(-5)
15. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 105.37 (same)
WPRA World Championship Standings:
(Through 5th Go Round)
1. Brittany Pozzi Victoria, Texas $191,279.51
2. Mary Walker (G) Ennis, Texas $189,720.06
3. Lindsay Sears Nanton, Alberta $167,387.35
4. Carlee Pierce Stephenville, Texas $138,949.23
5. Sherry Cervi Marana, Arizona $130,263.05
6. Kaley Bass Kissimmee, Florida $109,250.47
7. Kelli Tolbert Hooper, Utah $95,484.01
8. Nikki Steffes Vale, South Dakota $89,666.27
9. Lisa Lockhart Oelrichs, South Dakota $88,166.44
10. Benette Barrington-Little Ardmore, Oklahoma $87,926.89
11. Brenda Mays Terrebonne, Oregon $81,798.97
12. Lee Ann Rust Stephenville, Texas $78,519.30
13. Trula Churchill Valentine, Nebraska $75,206.38
14. Christina Richman Glendora, California $60,872.07
15. Christy Loflin Franktown, Colorado $59,563.10