by Johna Cravens
for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo
FORT WORTH, Texas (January 25, 2015) — Alexa Lake of Richmond, Texas, was the final cowgirl in the barrel racing Saturday night at the World’s Original Indoor Rodeo® in Fort Worth. Despite being the tenth cowgirl to compete when the footing was deeper and churned from flying hooves, Lake made a smooth run in the fastest time of the rodeo thus far, a 16.87.
Earlier this week Lake won more than $11,000 for second place in a round of barrel racing at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. If her time at Fort Worth holds, she will be among the early season leaders for the 2015 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) world championship.
Troy Vaira of Richey, Mont., gave the crowd a scare in the bareback bronc riding. Vaira rode Rafter G’s Black Widow for 72 points. At the end of the ride, the mare nearly lived up to her deadly nickname as she bucked Vaira off to the right. The left-handed rider hung in the rigging for several jumps as pickup man Jeremy Willis of Elkhart, Texas, got a rope around the horse’s neck. After several agonizing seconds, Willis was able to get the horse under control and Vaira’s hand popped out of the rigging.
The Montana cowboy escaped serious injury, although his arm and shoulder took a beating.
Earlier Saturday the first round of the steer wrestling concluded with National Finals Rodeo cowboy Ty Erickson of Helena, Mont., and Canadian champion Matt Mousseau of Hensall, Ontario, Canada, tied for first with times of 3.9 seconds. They each won $5,346 for their efforts.
The World’s Original Indoor Rodeo® continues Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Fort Worth’s historic Will Rogers Coliseum.