Hailey Kinsel Claims College National Finals Rodeo Championship

It’s been a horse race inside the Casper Events Center during the College National Finals Rodeo, and it all came down to tonight’s short-round where world champions were crowned.

Article and Photos By Kailey Sullins 

She gained worldwide notoriety early this year at RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo when she took home $433,333 when she claimed the title. Now, Hailey Kinsel just added another prestigious win to her resume this time in the collegiate field. Kinsel rode her standout Palomino mare DM Sissy Hayday to the short-round time of 14.06, which ultimately earned her the College National Finals Rodeo Barrel Racing championship. 

“I’m overwhelmed and so proud of my horse,” Kinsel said. “I came into the short-round fourth with a lot of really tough girls and didn’t expect to win it, but I’m super proud of my horse we just went and did our best.”

Kinsel has had a great showing throughout the week turning in solid times, which only increased in speed with each run. In round one Kinsel and the 6-year-old mare who is by PC Frenchman Hayday and out of Royal Sissy Irish turned in a time of 14.85, followed by a round No. 2 time of 14.50. The Cotulla, Texas, team then turned in another fast time of 14.48 in round three to put her in the fourth place position in the world standings going into the short-round.

KinselHailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday. Photo by Kailey Sullins

The Texas A&M University student held nothing back in the finals round as the second lady to make her bid at a world championship she turned in a 14.06, with some tough competitors to follow her and the possibility to short her of her world title. 

As fate would have it, none of the other 10 remaining contestants pushed her out of her first place seat and with an aggregate time of 57.89 on four runs, Kinsel was crowned the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association College National Finals Rodeo Barrel Racing champion. 

“[DM Sissy Hayday] was super solid all week. We drew up at the bottom of the ground the first couple of runs and she struggled a little bit, but she tried so hard and stayed clean for for me and that’s what mattered here (in the short-round). Then, I drew up perfect in the short-round and it did make a big difference.”

Leia Pluemer riding Famous French Bug took home the reserve championship in the barrel racing with an aggregate time of 57.92 on four runs. Third place was Kailee Webb with a 57.95 on four. 

In the Women’s All-Around race it was Loni Lester from Sam Houston State University who took home the crown. Not only did Lester have the fastest time in the barrel racing, a 13.98, she also took home the CNFR Breakaway Roping championship. In the breakaway she turned in an impressive aggregate time of 10.9 seconds on four runs. 

lesterLoni Lester claimed the breakaway title as well as the Women's All-Around championship. Photo by Kailey Sullins

The College National Finals Rodeo is the premier event in intercollegiate rodeo. It is where the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association crowns individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping, and goat tying. National team championships are also awarded to both men’s and women’s teams. Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year. Contestants compete all year in one of the NIRA’s 11 regions for a chance to rope or ride at the CNFR. The top three students in each event, and top two men’s and women’s teams from the NIRA’s 11 regions will qualify for the CNFR.


Kailey Sullins is managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tags: College National Finals Rodeo, CNFR, Hailey Kinsel