By Ann Bleiker
Waco, Texas — The rain couldn’t dampen the spirits at the 2015 WPRA World Finals in Waco, Texas, on Friday, Oct. 23. With two arenas (barrel racing and roping) providing action all day there was plenty to see and do.
Megan Swint raced her way to the top of the leaderboard in the WPRA Card holder race with a 15.05 second run on Bar Bee Stealing Sue. 2014 WPRA Junior World Champion, Jackie Ganter, currently in a tight battle for 2015 WPRA Rookie of the Year kick started her 2016 season with a second place finish in Rd. 1 of the card holder race aboard Blazin Baby J. Ganter of Abilene, Texas, pocketed $2,083 for her run and is in a great position for her second run on Saturday. 2006 WPRA World Champion and recent average champion at the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo is looking to capture the title in Waco aboard Sadiesfamouslastwords. She finished third in the first round in a time of 15.11 seconds.
Korin Matthijetz captured the first round win in the permit only section with a time of 15.18 seconds worth $871. Her next closest competitor was Kaily Richardson with a 15.37. Permit holders will have their second round on Saturday night following the special Saturday night performance.
The Saturday night performance will include the bonus rounds for the roping events (breakaway, tie-down and team roping) along with the second round of Juniors and the very popular slot race. All the action Saturday night will be streamed live on both the Horse Sports Network and the Wrangler Network.
In the roping pen, Lari Dee Guy continues to add to the record books having secured another title in the team roping heading division. After two rounds she sits third in the average with Annette Stahl, who will likely add her second title to her resume when the curtain closes on Saturday. The duo tied for second in the first round in a time of 7.5 seconds, they finished sixth in the second round with a 10.7 and have an 18.2 in the average. Ashley Richardson and Kyla McCain lead the average with a two run time of 15.0 seconds.
JJ Hampton holds the lead in the average in the breakaway roping after two rounds with a time of 4.6 seconds. Although she is too far out of winning a world title, she is hoping to collect an average buckle with two rounds left to go. Erin Johnson and Suzanne Williams are in a tight race for the world title. Johnson came in with the lead with $12,752, while Williams had $11,839. Williams placed sixth in the first round with a 2.7 worth $199 and is currently tied for sixth in the average with a 5.8 on two. Third and fourth rounds will be contested on Saturday.
While it took Kari Nixon 20-years to win her first WPRA World title it appears it will only take her four years to capture her second. Nixon of Weatherford, Okla., came in with $3,092 and has placed second in both rounds with times of 13.1 and 14.1, respectively. She has added $697 to her standings, while Donene Taylor has yet to make a trip to the pay window. Nixon is second in the average with a 27.2 on two head. Kelsie Chace leads the way in the average with a 26.4.
Jaycie Cundall aboard Lil Lightning Bolt were the fastest in the Junior Division race on Friday with a time of 15.39 seconds. Merrill Mundy entered the Finals with the lead and she added another $282 to her season total , while Karsyn Daniels added $594 after finishing third in the round in a time of 15.46 seconds. Mundy holds a $2,828 lead over Daniels for the 2015 title.
Be sure to catch all the barrel racing action on the Horse Sports Network starting at 7:50 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 24.
Courtesy of WPRA