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Junior Division News

Loflin takes the victory lap at Cheyenne
By Julie Mankin


The top 12 to make it back at "ole Cheyenne" on Sunday, July 28, included a mix of NFR qualifiers, young hopefuls and former Cheyenne champs Kim Schulze and Brittany Pozzi.

But after it drizzled all morning on Sunday, the arena was wetter than usual and it was anyone's guess which horses would respond best. The first girl to run, University of Wyoming student Chandler Markel from Scottsbluff, Neb., smoked a 17.68 on mushy mud around the first barrel. The time held up, and she won the round and $4,175.

Christy Loflin ran fifth out. Her mare, Movin, slipped coming off the back of the first barrel and Loflin rode plenty free around the second so as not to hit it (as she had done to win Nampa, Idaho, a week earlier). Loflin was clean for a 17.80. When Paige Conrado's hard-running horse didn't get the first barrel cranked tight, Sydni Blanchard's stepped wide around third, and Kelli Tolbert hit the second barrel, the only gal remaining with a chance to beat Loflin was the final runner, Michele McLeod.

McLeod was only two-tenths behind Loflin coming in, so a 17.57 would win the rodeo. Slick overshot the first barrel like most horses did in the mud, but still clocked a 17.72. It wasn't quite enough, and Loflin came back after finishing second in 2012 at Cheyenne to win it all this time.

"I've seen that horse [Slick] run clear to the fence and clock, so I was holding my breath," Loflin said. "Movin doesn't do well in the mud, but I was lucky enough to see a couple people go before me."

When all was said and done, she'd won the rodeo by just .14 seconds and was cashing a paycheck worth $16,776. The win moved her from 22nd in the world standings into the top 15. Loflin's mare had torn a deep digital flexor tendon in a hind leg back in November. She'd only earned $400 in May when she picked up Movin after six months of rehabilitation, so the comeback is special indeed.

It was especially sweet to Byron Walker, who has been entering Loflin strategically and was holding a victory-lap horse for Loflin before the barrel race was even over. Soon enough, Loflin hopped on Jake (one of Mary Walker's colts) to take her victory lap in the 200x700 foot arena.

"Every run I get to make on this mare is special," she said. "You never know if they'll make a full comeback after an injury like that."

Cheyenne hosted 107 barrel racers this year and prize money in the barrel race was $116,850.

Final Round: 1, Chandler Markel, Scottsbluff, Neb., 17.68, $4,175. 2, Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, 17.72, $3,131. 3, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 17.75, $2,087. 4, Kim Schulze, Larkspur, Colo., 17.77, $1,043.
Total on three: 1, Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 52.50, $8,454. 2, Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 52.64, $7,247. 3, Chandler Markel, Scottsbluff, Neb., 53.31, $6,039. 4, Kim Schulze, Larkspur, Colo., 53.43, $5,233. 5, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 53.48, $4,026. 6, Paige Conrado, Hudson, Colo., 53.50, $3,220. 7, Sydni Blanchard, Albuquerque, N.M., 53.54, $2,415. 8, Whitney Baker, Stephenville, Texas, 53.62, $1,610. 9, Christina Richman, Glendora, Calif., 53.72, $1,207. 10, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 53.88, $805.

Loflin kisses arena record with 17.07 at the Daddy
7/25/13 There are three performances remaining before the prestigious short round at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and it's doubtful a single soul will move Christy Loflin in the go-round.

On Tuesday afternoon, running first out on the ground, Loflin held up her tiny mare Movin to a high gallop all the way to the first barrel and still crossed the finish line in 17.07 seconds. The fastest time ever recorded at the Daddy of 'em All was a 17.03 turned in by Kristie Peterson back in 1996.

"Kristie is one of my heroes, and to come close to what she did is just amazing," Loflin said tearfully after the run. "I am so grateful for every run I make on this mare after her surgery and being without her. This horse made all my dreams come true."

Sheza Blazin Move tore a deep flexor tendon last fall just before the NFR, and was finally ready for action again in May after surgery and six months of PRP, salt water therapy and swimming. Loflin had only won $400 in late May when she picked up the wonder horse, and was doubtful she should even make an attempt at the NFR. Byron Walker, who does her entering, said she should go for it.

Overshadowed by Loflins' smoking run was former Cheyenne champ Kim Schulze, who clocked a 17.56 on Tuesday and moved to second in the round and average. But she was moved on Wednesday when Michele McLeod turned in a smoking 17.38 - the second fastest time of the rodeo. McLeod is two-tenths behind Loflin in the average, but almost seven-tenths out in front of third-place Kim Schulze.

Also Wednesday, Lisa Lockhart and Brenda Mays turned in a pair of solid 17.7-second runs to land themselves in fourth and fifth in the average. Of the 36 horses remaining, plenty of contenders are up. Thursday's action will see runs by the likes of Kelli Tolbert, Sue Smith and Calgary champ Jean Winters, while the roster for Friday's perf includes first-round winner Sydni Blanchard, Christina Richman, and Brittany Pozzi.

Saturday afternoon, 70-year-old June Holeman will run, as well as the recently hot Sarah Kieckhefer, Nikki Steffes, Paige Conrado and defending Cheyenne champ Mary Walker.

. CHEYENNE, Wyo. ---The following are current leaders after the fifth performance of the 117th Annual Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
Women's Barrel Race: (second round) 1, Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 17.07 seconds. 2, Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 17.38. 3, Kim Schulze, Larkspur, Colo., 17.56. 4, Ann Peterson, Avondale, Colo., 17.64. 5, Lizzy Ehr, Abilene, Texas, 17.69. 6, Jaime Barrow, Lake Wales, Fla., 17.70. (overall - on two) 1, Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 34.70 seconds. 2, Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 34.92. 3, Kim Schulze, Larkspur, Colo., 35.66. 4, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 35.73. 5, Brenda Mays, Terrebonne, Ore., 35.76. 6, Lizzy Ehr, Abilene, Texas, 35.85.

Blanchard wins first round, Peterson takes early lead in the average at Cheyenne
7/22/13 A quarter of the Daddy of 'em All is in the books and the first 24 girls have already made their second runs in Cheyenne. The committee responded generously to requests to ditch limits and have more than one long round, so this year everybody made their first run in slack last week and the top 96 ladies are coming back in each of eight performances that began Saturday.

Nineteen-second runs came back in the progressive round, including a 19.04 turned in by Shelly Anzick in slack. Considering that the winning time from round one was Sydni Blanchard's 17.45, it was mind-boggling to watch what Anzick did on her big bay horse coming back in the first performance. Running to the left barrel first, she gave herself just a tiny bit too much room going into first and tipped it coming out - to run a 17.35 plus an agonizing five-second penalty. The next fastest time was 18 seconds.

Things heated up Sunday in the second performance as the ground dried some, with Ann Peterson of Colorado clocking a 17.64 to take the early lead in the second round. Combined with her 18.29 from slack, she's winning the average through Sunday.

Plenty of great horses are coming back Monday and Tuesday, including Cindy Smith and Kim Schulze fresh off a good week at Calgary and the recently hot Christy Loflin, who was fifth in the first round. Then on Wednesday, fans will watch the likes of Lisa Lockhart, Kenna Squires, Michele McLeod (third in round one), Brenda Mays and the always-tough-at-Cheyenne Kelly Yates.

Missing next Sunday will be Cheyenne favorite Lindsay Sears, who hit a barrel with an 18.21 on her first run. But later in the week the defending champ of the Daddy - Mary Walker - will try to improve on an 18.46 (she ran a 17.29 last year in the first round). The hottest cowgirl on the trail, Sherry Cervi, will need to make up for an 18.67.

Meanwhile, more front-runners to come next weekend are Blanchard, Nikki Steffes, and more - including a fun appearance by 70-year-old June Holeman, who finished 11th in the first round with a 17.85.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. ---The following are current leaders after the second performance of the 117th Annual Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, Sunday, July 21, 2013.

Women's Barrel Race:
First round: 1, Sydni Blanchard, Albuquerque, N.M., 17.45 seconds, $5,637. 2, Nikki Steffes, Vale, S.D., 17.51, $4,831. 3, Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 17.54, $4,026. 4, Paige Conrado, Hudson, Colo., 17.61, $3,489. 5, Christy Loflin, Franktown, Colo., 17.63, $2,684. 6, Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 17.73. $2,147. 7, Sarah Kieckhefer, Prescott, Ariz., 17.78, $1,610. 8, Victoria Williams, Kiln, Alberta, 17.79, $1,074. 9, Chandler Markel, Scottsbluff, Neb., 17.83, $805. 10, Marisa Simpson, Eagar, Ariz., 17.84, $537.
Second round: 1, Ann Peterson, Avondale, Colo., 17.64. 2, Sharon Harrell, Wickenburg, Ariz., 17.98. 3, Elaine Hollings, Pavillion, Wyo., 18.02. 4, Sadee Wheeldon, Jackson, Wyo., 18.17. 5, Taylor Reneau, Surry, Texas, 18.27. 6, Kandace Blanchard, 18.28.
Average: 1, Ann Peterson, Avondale, Colo., 35.93 seconds on two runs. 2, Sharon Harrell, Wickenburg, Ariz., 36.78. 3, Sadee Wheeldon, Jackson, Wyo., 37.07. 4/5 (tie), Elaine Hollings, Pavillion, Wyo., and Kandace Blanchard, Albuquerque, N.M., 37.08 seconds each. 6, Christie Hebert, Pavillion, Wyo., 37.09.

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