By Amy Wilson
After consistently placing fourth or fifth in the first four rounds, Amberleigh Moore and CP Dark Moon “Paige” caught a gear to win Round 5 of the WPRA Barrel Racing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“On the first barrel she’s been slipping every night, and tonight I gunned her in there knowing I was getting top of the ground being further up (7th position),” said Moore of her 13.62 run on Paige. “Tonight she didn’t slip, so as soon as I felt her snap that first barrel, I knew it was my advantage to take it. So I asked her for everything she had tonight.”
Moore purchased the Darkelly mare as a 3 year old from Cody Hyde. She competed on her during her futurity and derby years. Paige is now 7 years old, and continues to be a phenomenal equine partner for Moore. “She has never let me down, and she continues to get stronger and faster everyday.”
Moore has won $71,769 at the Wrangler NFR so far. She is leading the average, and has moved up to fourth in the WPRA Barrel Racing World Standings.
“That is extremely exciting, but my motto all year has been, ‘Living the dream one run at a time,’” Moore said. “It is simply overwhelming. I hadn’t planned on this at all. I didn’t start the season with the NFR as a goal.”
Moore’s intentions where to win enough money to qualify for the big rodeos next year.
“I didn’t make it to the Top 15 until the very last rodeo. So this is just a dream come true.”
Round 5 was Pink Night to help raise awareness for breast cancer – something Moore has seen impact her family. “My husband’s aunt passed away a year and a half ago of breast cancer. I told my husband tonight that we were taking Aunt Kathy for a ride. And we sure did.”
Moore was also wearing a special shirt, “The shirt I’m wearing has taken me through circuit finals – I wore it the last go and won it, I won money in Puyallup that sent me down to Texas for two weeks, and this shirt hasn’t ever let me down since day one.”
Reaching the half-way point at the Wrangler NFR, there are now three barrel racer’s who are clean on all five. They include: Moore, Lisa Lockhart, and Pamela Capper. In Round 5 results, right behind Michele McLeod’s 13.76 run for a second place finish, was Capper’s run of 13.80 seconds. Mary Burger and Mo claimed 4th with 13.84. Stevi Hillman earned her first check of her first Wrangler NFR by clocking the 5th fastest time of 13.88. Carley Richardson also earned her first check of this year’s Wrangler NFR with a run of 13.89 seconds.
Courtesy of WPRA