By Ann Bleiker
It was a great night for a couple “turny” horses that run to the left barrel first and their riders, who both have enjoyed victory laps prior to Round 6 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The spectacular teams of Sarah Rose McDonald on Fame Fling N Bling “Bling” and Taylor Jacob on Honor Thy Frenchman “Bo” ran a pair of 13.91 second runs to split the Round 6 win.
First time Wrangler NFR qualifier McDonald explained it like this, “I’ve watched Taylor’s videos and we’re just trying to squeak past the barrels, but it’s fun to ride a horse like that.” Although she’s not sure running to the left is an advantage, she did say about Bling and Bo, “Both horses are very “turny” and run a lot alike and try hard. That’s what makes the biggest difference.”
When describing their runs, Jacob said, “My horse has a lot of heart is all I can say. He fell pretty bad on the first and there’s a lot of times at a lot of rodeos I would have not hustled as hard, but here with so much money up, you got to go for it. And I’m glad I kept on.”
McDonald summed her run up by saying, “My horse ran in there pretty hard and got the right angle at the first. It felt like we were kind of tripping going into the barrels, but she just kept hustling and it felt like she tried to make it up coming out.”
The demands of running at the Wrangler NFR are obvious, so McDonald and Jacob make sure they do everything they can to keep their equine partners feeling their best. Jacob said, “A shout out to Jess Harper cause she’s working on both our horses. It is a marathon. Ten rounds and we’re at round six and the horses are starting to feel it so you got to do whatever it takes to keep them happy and healthy.” She went on to talk about all the different therapies and special treatment Bo gets and then said, “He gets the treatment, and he should – he’s why I’m here so I don’t mind doing it at all.”
This happens to be the same round that Taylor Jacob and Bo set the arena record in 2013 with a 13.37 run. “It was funny because I was talking to Jackie [Ganter] and Vickie [Carter] back there, and they said that they had to go down and get their buckles. I said, ‘Oh oh, this is rookie night. This is the night I set the arena record so no pressure for y’all to [set a new record]’,” Jacob said with a laugh while remembering her phenomenal rookie showing at the Wrangler NFR. In addition to setting the arena record in 2013, Jacob won four rounds.
The 2015 WPRA Rookie of the Year will be decided at the conclusion of the Wrangler NFR, since both Vickie Carter and Jackie Ganter qualified for the Super Bowl of Rodeo their rookie year – a huge accomplishment.
Also picking up a nice check tonight was Lisa Lockhart with a 13.92 for a third place finish. She continues to lead the WPRA World Standings and the average. And Lockhart is second for most money won so far at the Wrangler NFR with over $95,000. Callie duPerier ran a 14.00 to earn fourth. Michele McLeod finished fifth with a 14.12 while Fallon Taylor slipped into sixth with a 14.17 run.
Courtesy of WPRA