By Jolee Jordan
Fort Worth, Texas — Barrel racers with past success inside the Will Rogers Coliseum, home of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo since the 1940s, dominated over the weekend, including a trio of past Champions here.
During a sold out Saturday night, the reigning champion here, Sarah Rose McDonald and her mare Bling rocked the pattern, running a performance-best 16.71 seconds. The lightning quick roan won every round here last year and sits fifth so far in the opening go round.
Shelly Anzick and Scooten ta Fame claimed the title here two years ago and earned a good payday last year as well. The team is looking to make it three-in-a-row in 2016; on a wild Saturday afternoon, she posted the best time of the performance a 16.69 second effort that landed her fourth in the round thus far.
It was an eventful performance of rodeo as the barrel race was interrupted shortly after Anzicks run when one of the bulls jumped out of the bucking chutes and ran up the alleyway, scattering barrel racers as he slipped inside the holding pen at the top of the alley. The barrel race resumed several minutes later after the bull had been corralled and the ladies allowed to regroup.
On Sunday afternoon it was 2013 FWSSR champ Taylor Jacob with the hot hand. Jacob and Bo, Honor Thy Frenchman, stopped the clock in 16.82 seconds to ensure that she will run again this week as the progressive round begins.
The FWSSR began January 22 and runs through February 6. A total of 210 WPRA barrel racers will make one long round here before the field is cut down to the fastest 70. Those 70 will compete in the progressive round which begins on Wednesday, February 3. Following the progressive round, the top 10 on two runs will compete for the championship here during the short go on Saturday night, February 6.
In other action, a pair of Ram Columbia River Circuit Finals (RCRCFR) winners took top honors to bookend the busy weekend. Kathy Grimes won in Yakima in 2014 and ran first out in the Saturday morning performance in Fort Worth. She put up the best time of the perf at 16.86 seconds. Grimes is riding KG Blazin Nine Oh, a six year old daughter of PESI stallion Blazin Jetolena.
On Sunday night it was 2015 RCRCFR Champ Callahan Crossley with the best run. Riding Brownie Bi Bogie, the horse that also carried her to the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo title, Crossley ran a 16.80.
There are four performances left in the opening go round here. Among the scheduled competitors are four-time WPRA World Champion Sherry Cervi and two-time and reigning Reserve World Champ Lisa Lockhart, Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) qualifiers Layna Kight, Danyelle Campbell, and Tammy Fischer as well as a pair of Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR) champs, Gretchen Benbenek and Carmel Wright.
Current Go Leaders
1. Michele McLeod, Streakinflingindisco, 16.58 seconds
2. Kellie Collier, Streakin Easy April, 16.60
3. Kelly Tovar, BB French Fooledya, 16.60
4. Shelly Anzick, Scooten ta Fame, 16.69
5. Sarah Rose McDonald, Fame Fling N Bling, 16.71
6. Tiany Schuster, JSYK Im Famous, 16.75
7. Clay Sewalt, KR Silver Spur, 16.75
8. Ashlie Withrow, BA Brothers Profit, 16.76
9. Ivy Conrado, CFour Tibbie Stinson, 16.77
10. Shelley Morgan, Will Merada, 16.79
Courtesy of WPRA