By Jolee Jordan
Fort Worth, Texas — Over two hundred WPRA barrel racers have come to the 120th Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo to compete since the show kicked off on January 22. Following the Tuesday night perf on February 2, the first checks for 2016 were written to first go winners and the top 70 cowgirls from that opening round are making plans for a second run inside the historic Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
As always it was a tight race with just over a half a second separating round winner Michele McLeod from the 70th position, last to move on to the progressive round. McLeod rode her young phenom Streakinflingindisco to the round win and a $5,145 payday. Kellie Collier, who ran in the opening performance almost two weeks ago, split second in the go with Kelly Tovar. The cowgirls won $4,043 each.
All 210 cowgirls entered were vying for a spot in the progressive round, designated to the 70 fastest times from the first go round. Those 70 positions were filled out during the final four performances on Monday and Tuesday.
During a quick Monday matinee, three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) cowgirl Danyelle Campbell came to the top of the heap. Riding Repete Fame, Campbell ran a smoking 16.63, good enough for fourth in the round.
Perhaps there was home arena advantage on Monday night as local cowgirl Tillar Murray took top honors for the night. Riding her new stick Royal Star Commander, Murray was able to stop the clock in 16.73 seconds. She landed seventh in the go round.
On Groundhog Day, during the matinee, Badlands Circuit cowgirl Ashley Day rose to the top. Her 17.05 was the best of the perf and enough to punch her ticket to the progressive round. Day rides Queen of Bullets, better known around the barn as Easy Button.
In the final performance of the long go on Tuesday night, Nicole Laurence just beat out four-time WPRA World Champ Sherry Cervi for the best time of the night. The Texas cowgirl posted a 16.81 second run to easily advance to the next round.
The FWSSR began January 22 and runs through February 6. The progressive round will be held during matinee and evening performances Wednesday through Friday and will end in the Saturday matinee.
The top ten on two runs will advance to the short go on Saturday night, February 6 and battle not only for the championship here but also for the huge $5,000 prize that goes to the winner of the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award. So don’t forget to “Bring Your Bling.”
First Round Winners
1. Michele McLeod, Streakinflingindisco, 16.58 seconds, $5,145
2. Kellie Collier, Streakin Easy April, 16.60, $4,043
3. Kelly Tovar, BB French Fooledya, 16.60, $4,043
4. Danyelle Campbell, Repete Fame, 16.62, $3,185
5. Shelly Anzick, Scooten ta Fame, 16.69, $2,450
6. Sarah Rose McDonald, Fame Fling N Bling, 16.71, $1,960
7. Tillar Murray, Royal Star Commander, 16.73, $1,470
8. Tiany Schuster, JSYK Im Famous, 16.75, $858
9. Clay Sewalt, KR Silver Spur, 16.75, $858
10. Ashlie Withrow, BA Brothers Profit, 16.76, $490
Courtesy of WPRA