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12/17/14 Odessa, TX 1/2-10 rodeo, slack changed to Jan 5 8:00am following SW & TD.
12/17/14 Acampo, CA 12/21 barrel races, cancelled.
12/12/14 Houston, TX 3/3-21 rodeo, approved.

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WPRA WNFR Saddle Rotation Program
The WPRA deeply appreciates our donors in the Saddle Rotation program. This program provides a saddle to each WNFR Qualifier, as well as provides a saddle recognizing the Fastest Time, Rookie of the Year and the Reserve World Champion. Watch below and click for more information.

2014 WPRA World Finals, Waco, TX Information

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
& WPRA World Finals

Pro Elite Sire Incentive (PESI) Program

Futurity/Derby Program

Junior Division News

WPRA members perform well in Buckeye
by Jolee Lautaret
Sharin Hall riding Cartels Fame. Photo by PixelWorx.

Buckeye, Arizona-The Northwest has the Big Four rodeo series-Lewiston, Idaho, Kennewick and Walla Walla, Wash., and Pendleton, Ore., but for barrel racers, there is now the Big Three. That's the name producers and barrel racers have given to the three weekends of barrel racing at the South Buckeye Equestrian Center (SBEC) in Buckeye, Ariz., during the first three weeks of January.

Just like the Big Four, competitors are chasing big prize money and beautiful awards throughout the duration of the Big Three. In 2013 events kicked off with the Classic Equine Futurity, Derby and 5D held January 3-6.

The 14th Annual Greg Olson Memorial Futurity, Derby and 4D, held January 10-13, 2013, follows. Both are produced by the Barrel Racers National 4D (BRN4D) and feature $10,000 added futurities, $1,500 added derbies and $11,000 added open divisional races. The PacWest wraps things up with the 3Drum Classic, January 17-20, which features Pro Elite Sire Incentive (PESI) bonus money.

Because all three events are WPRA co-approved for divisional circuit points as well as futurity, derby and junior points, a large contingent of WPRA members from across the country descend on the small community of Buckeye, just west of Phoenix, to compete.

Many racers venture south for the typically warm temperatures of the Valley of the Sun but in 2013 Mother Nature had other plans with sub-freezing temperatures during the evening. The cold outside did nothing to cool the hot times being posted on Buckeye's notoriously fast WPRA standard pattern.

Dominating the Greg Olson Futurity was former Wrangler NFR qualifier Jackie (Dube) Jatzlau and Good to Be the King. The "Wild Child" of barrel racing, Jatzlau is now a mom and runs J2 Barrel Horses with her husband, Lane.

A four year old gelding, Good to Be the King is an embryo out of Jatzlau's tough palomino mare, Imanonstop Princess, and by Jud Little's stallion Bugemforcash, a son of the great Cash not Credit, a PESI enrolled stallion. In his first competitive outing, Good to Be the King won over $37,000 at the Barrel Futurities of America (BFA) World Championships in Oklahoma City back in December. Jatzlau gave the gelding some time off until coming to Arizona for the Greg Olson and 3Drum Classic.

Saying he rides just like his mother, Jatzlau and Good to Be the King dominated the two hundred plus entry futurity, winning both rounds en route to the title. She clocked in at 16.833 in round one and 16.929 in round two to win $11,790. She added $20,000 for winning the slot race as her 16.833 held up as the fast time of the futurity.

Thanks to the carry-over option for futurity horses, Jatzlau won the Open 5D on Saturday as well for an additional $1,565, bringing her total haul aboard the four year old superstar to $33,355.

Meanwhile, perennial WPRA futurity/derby star Sharin Hall collected another win with her derby horse, Cartels Fame. Cartels Fame is by PESI stallion, the legendary Dash ta Fame, and out of a Corona Cartel mare. WNFR qualifier Angie Meadors trained the gelding for owners Crystal Thompson and her daughter, Christian Chaney. Hall has been riding the five year old since September.

Running last in the draw of 47 horses, Gambler stopped the clock at 17.045 for the win. Hall earned $1,526 in the derby and added another $543 in the open 4D, eventually finishing sixth in the open average.
"I am very honored to win the Greg Olson Derby," said Hall. "I am blessed to ride such a nice horse."

Taking home the biggest win in the open was Tucson cowgirl Cheryl Murray. Riding a daughter of PESI stallion, and WNFR qualifier, Blazin Jetolena, Murray and Blazin Ruby Rocket earned about $4,500 en route to winning the 1D average.

"I was ecstatic," gushed Murray, noting that this was her first "big 1D win ever." "It was a neat deal for me; there were people there from all over. I held my own with them so I am really happy."

Murray and the seven-year old Ruby started the weekend with a second place finish in the derby with their time of 17.150 for $1,174.

Once the weekend rolled around, Murray and Ruby were the picture of consistency, taking third both days after facing down over 400 runners on Saturday and nearly as many on Sunday.

"She loves Buckeye," said Murray, who is known to post sub-seventeen times often at the SBEC's covered arena. "I probably should do a better job of tracking her career earnings there."

On Saturday, Murray was one of three barrel racers to earn that elusive 16 second run, clocking in at 16.992 for $1,174.19. During the Sunday race, she posted a 17.153 to earn $933.93.

"It's tiring," she laughed, saying she and her husband, Dan, work during the week in between the races and then head out early to Buckeye. Dan is a small animal veterinarian with his own practice. "It starts to wear on you. I ran early Sunday and the suspense, waiting all day to see if we would win the average. There was one runner at about 370 who could move us."

"We went to lunch and came back and waited. It starts to be a long day," she laughs.

Murray added another $630 to her bank account for winning the Future Fortunes side pot on Saturday.

The cowgirl will run in the open slot race at Buckeye during the PacWest event and for the PESI money in both the derby and open at the 3Drum Classic. She also plans to rodeo a little more this season.

"We went a little last year. We placed in a round at Prescott but we have some work to do," said Murray, noting that Ruby is still rodeo green. "It's my goal for this year to get her more seasoned. I have faith she will figure it out."

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