Photo by Kenneth Springer
It is only fitting that Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta, and her great horse Sugar Moon Express (“Martha”) made their long-awaited move to the top of the leader board on Canadian Night at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which wraps up its 10-day run in Las Vegas, Nev. on Dec. 15.
Sears, the only qualifier representing Canada at this year’s Wrangler NFR, posted an impressive 13.69-second run in the eighth go-round running 15th on the ground. Leading up to tonight, Sears had placed third in three go rounds, but tipped barrels in three more. After the run, she talked about how she’s weathered the desert storm and about what changes she made to break through with a win in tonight’s round.
“You tip barrels. Sometimes things don’t go your way, and you’ve just got to work it out,” says Sears. “You tip barrels all year, and you get here and you think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m tipping barrels, what’s going on?’ But it’s nothing new. It’s just one of those deals, if you’re not turning them tight enough to tip one, you’re not going to win anything anyways, so it’s a chance you’ve got to take. Sometimes you get lucky and get around them, and sometimes you don’t.”
In 2011, the 12-year-old sorrel mare by Dr Nick Bar out of Babys Blue Jeans by Six Fols carried Sears to her second world title and claimed the Wrangler NFR average with 10 cleans runs. Regaining her flawless form tonight was simply a matter of making minor modifications, according to Sears.
“I was having a little trouble getting around the barrels. We had to change a few things up; the ground’s a little bit different this year. It’s good, but it’s got a little more give to it. I was having trouble leaving the barrels. We changed a few things with her back shoes the last two go rounds, and it made a difference. She got her confidence back and she felt like Martha, and I’m looking forward to the next two go rounds,” explained the defending Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion.
The pair won from the bottom of the ground tonight, two runs after Carlee Pierce and Rare Dillion (“Dillion”) clocked a 13.76, which held for second place. Kelli Tolbert and RF Firefly (“Cleo”) were a 13.83 to finish third. Lisa Lockhart and An Oakie With Cash (“Louie”) finished fourth with a 13.86 to bank go round earnings that put her over the $1 million mark in career barrel racing earnings. Trula Churchill’s 13.91 on A Streak Of Rita (“Worm”) barely edged out Brittany Pozzi’s 13.92 on Sixth Vision (“Stitch”) for fifth place. Kaley Bass on Wonders Cowboy Dan (“Cowboy”) and Brenda Mays on Judge Buy Cash (“Jethro”) are the only cowgirls with eight clean runs, holding down first and second in the average rankings, respectively. Should she keep her lead in the aggregate, Bass stands to bank $46,820.91 for the win.
Current WPRA World standings leader, Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, finished out of the money tonight but put another clean run on the board to hold down third in the aggregate. Walker leads second-place Pozzi by a margin of $28,182.14.
Barrel Racing Results – 8th Go Round:
1. Lindsay Sears 13.69 $18,257.21
2. Carlee Pierce 13.76 $14,429.09
3. Kelli Tolbert 13.83 $10,895.43
4. Lisa Lockhart 13.86 $7,656.25
5. Trula Churchill 13.91 $4,711.54
6. Brittany Pozzi 13.92 $2,944.71
Wrangler NFR Barrel Racing Average Standings:
(Through 8th Go Round)
1. Kaley Bass, Kissimmee, Fla., 111.75/8 (no change*)
2. Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 113.43/8 (no change)
3. Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 115.61/8 (no change)
4. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 116.54/8 (no change)
5. Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 118.72 (no change)
6. Trula Churchill, Valentine, Neb., 121.76/8 (no change)
7. Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta 125.99/8 (+2)
8. Christina Richman, Glendora, Cali., 127.12/8 (+2)
9. Benette Barrington-Little, Ardmore, Okla., 127.22/8 (-2)
10. Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 129.94/8 (-2)
11. Kelli Tolbert, Hooper, Utah, 130.80/8 (no change)
12. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 132.08/8 (+1)
13. Lee Ann Rust, Stephenville, Texas, 136.84/8 (-1)
14. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 146.45/8 (no change)
15. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 97.84/8 (no change)
*Indicates shift in average placing from previous round.
WPRA World Championship Standings:
(Through 8th Go Round)
1. Mary Walker (G) Ennis, Texas $222,406.36
2. Brittany Pozzi Victoria, Texas $194,224.22
3. Carlee Pierce Stephenville, Texas $186,064.62
4. Lindsay Sears Nanton, Alberta $185,644.56
5. Sherry Cervi Marana, Arizona $130,263.05
6. Kaley Bass Kissimmee, Florida $124,562.97
7. Lisa Lockhart Oelrichs, South Dakota $117,613.55
8. Kelli Tolbert Hooper, Utah $109,324.15
9. Benette Barrington-Little Ardmore, Oklahoma $92,638.43
10. Nikki Steffes Vale, South Dakota $89,666.27
11. Brenda Mays Terrebonne, Oregon $84,743.68
12. Trula Churchill Valentine, Nebraska $84,629.46
13. Lee Ann Rust Stephenville, Texas $78,519.30
14. Christina Richman Glendora, California $60,872.07