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Alex Lang

PHOTO BY 
Ric Andersen


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By Jolee Jordan

NFRLang Moves into Contention for San Angelo Title
NFR

 

San Angelo, Texas—The second weekend of February proved to be a very busy one for rodeo cowboys and cowgirls chasing down the lucrative Stock Show run in pro rodeo. With the conclusion of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo’s 29 performance run, the beginning of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo as well as the middle weekend for the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo, rodeo athletes have plenty to juggle as they compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money and sprint around Texas.

It’s been 20 days since the journey to the San Angelo championship began for the ladies of the WPRA. Two hundred twenty-three cowgirls signed up to compete, beginning with a long round held back on January 25, 2019 in the Spur Arena, right next door to San Angelo’s Coliseum. With about half cut off for the second round, 120 ladies continued to compete during the performances as competition switched venues, moving to the now sixty year old Coliseum.

Following the opening weekend of rodeo perfs on February 1-3, Mississippi cowgirl Nicole Love led the field on the two-run average, which will determine who competes in the Championship Round on Friday night, February 15.

Love’s lightning quick 14.08 in round two held strong throughout the second weekend of rodeo in West Texas but it did get pushed during an exciting Sunday matinee.

The rodeo got back into action on Friday night, February 8, in a performance led by WPRA World Champion cowgirl Kappy Allen. Allen won the title back in 2000 on the wings of her first of two consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo average wins aboard the great gelding Risky Chris. In San Angelo, she stopped the clock at 14.34 seconds to top the night.

Also moving into the average (Allen went to a share of fifth), former Wrangler NFR cowgirl Cheyenne Wimberley posted a run of 14.44 seconds to move to a share of third at the time. Wimberley rode her horse Lex in San Angelo and has had a good winter already, sitting 10th in the WPRA World standings.

The leaderboard got quiet during two performances on Saturday with Judi Reed topping the matinee with a time of 14.53 and Lisa Thornton taking the victory lap in the evening with her run of 14.51 seconds.

Then came Sunday. Several cowgirls put their names into contention for a short round berth including Carolynn Uhler, who ran a 14.41 aboard Tobi, along with Ilyssa Glass, Jennifer Driver and Ryann Pedone. Pedone won fourth in the opening round aboard Dash Ta Jones and switched to the veteran Wrangler NFR horse Slick by Design for the performance round.

But it was the final two cowgirls to compete who made the biggest splash. Both Alex Lang and Dona Kay Rule were originally scheduled to compete on Saturday night. Since both ladies qualified to the finals in Fort Worth at the same time, they were moved to Sunday afternoon per WPRA rules and given the chance to compete from the bottom of the ground.

Both cowgirls took full advantage of the opportunity. Lang put a little scare into Love’s lead with a blistering time of 14.19 seconds, second best of the rodeo thus far. The Harper, Texas cowgirl went into the Fort Worth finals in the 12th and final spot, moving up to ninth in the end, and now has a great shot to make back-to-back short rounds as she is sitting second in the average in San Angelo.

For Rule, the Sunday run was a mini-comeback after an oops moment in the finals at Fort Worth left her with a broken pattern on her gelding Valor. The team rebounded well, posting a 14.38 on Sunday to move into eighth in the average.

“The short go at Fort Worth didn't go as planned but Valor redeemed himself at San Angelo,” posted the Prairie Circuit Finals Champ to social media. “Sometimes you get that dud run, put it behind you and get back to work!”

The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo takes another break to start the week before its big finish this week. The final two performances prior to the finals will happen on Wednesday and Thursday nights;  the bulk of the money winners from the opening go round such as first go winner Wenda Johnson along with Jill Tanner and Sidney Forrest, who finished second and third in the opening round, will compete on Thursday night.

With so many of the top times from round one still to compete—and so much at stake including a share of the huge $20,000 committee purse as well as the automatic bye into RodeoHouston given to the champion, the leaderboard is likely to experience some major shuffling before the top 12 in the average on two runs are established for advancement to the final round on Friday night, February 15.

For more information on the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.sanangelorodeo.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition.

Results (In Progress)

2nd Go

  1. Nicole Love, JL Josie Bar, 14.08
  2. Alex Lang, Angels on the Moon, 14.19
  3. Teri Bangart, RCA Three Bugs Honor, 14.29
  4. Sherry Cervi, MP Del Rey, 14.29
  5. Stevi Hillman, Luv My Fame, 14.32
  6. Halyn Lide, Jettin ta Heaven, 14.34
  7. Kappy Allen, 14.34
  8. Mindy Goemmer, Cuchara Fancy N Fast, 14.35
  9. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 14.38
  10. Lois Ferguson, 14.40

Average on Two Runs

  1. Love, 30.20
  2. Lang, 30.47
  3. Bangart, 30.59
  4. Carolyn Uhler, Lil Pep of Gold, 30.61
  5. Hillman, 30.62
  6. Cheyenne Wimberley, Streakin Images, 30.62
  7. Ryann Pedone, Dash Ta Jones (1st Go) & Slick by Design (2nd Go), 30.64
  8. Rule, 30.69
  9. Ilyssa Glass, Championofthehouse, 30.69
  10. Jennifer Driver, Famous ThreeBugs, 30.77
  11. Lide, 30.79
  12. Allen, 30.79

 

 

NFRLove Looking for Barrel Racing Title in San Angelo
NFR

 

San Angelo, Texas—The San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo kicked off over the weekend with the 64th edition of its rodeo. San Angelo is one of several huge payoffs for rodeo competitors on the winter stock show run which begins in Odessa right after New Year’s and essentially ends with RodeoAustin in March. A successful run through the stock shows can land a competitor at the season ending Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The first of eleven performances was held on Friday, February 1, more than a week after the original field of more than 200 barrel racers was cut down to 120 following the long round held inside the neighboring Spur Arena in the slack.

San Angelo allows all WPRA cardholders to enter for their shot at the $20,000 in added committee purse. Once the progressive round is established, the second round is held inside the considerably smaller Coliseum during the performances with competitors running slowest to fastest based on first round times, except for trades between contestants. The top 12 in the two-run average will move on to the Finals to be held Friday, February 15.

 

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NFR
Stevi Hillman
Photo by Ric Andersen
NFR

 

As the rodeo performances kicked off, three-time Wrangler NFR cowgirl Stevi Hillman took the early lead on Friday. Riding her mare Layla, Hillman stopped the clock in 14.32 seconds.

“Thank you Layla for the ride!” Hillman posted to Facebook following the run. “Leading it with lots to go, but regardless, I am super proud of my red dragon tonight. Was 12th out tonight, kudos to the ground crew! Thank you for hand raking after each girl, so appreciated.”

 

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NFR
Teri Bangart
Photo by Ric Andersen
NFR

 

Two performances filled the docket on Saturday afternoon and Columbia River Circuit cowgirl Teri Bangart took the lead away from Hillman with her run of 14.29 seconds. Bangart finished inside the top 20 of the WPRA World standings a year ago and is hoping to get to her first Wrangler NFR this season. Her good horse Peak put her on top of the average here with a two-run total of 30.59 seconds.

On Saturday night it was the WPRA’s all time money leader Sherry Cervi who took the victory lap. Cervi is a four-time WPRA World Champ and winner of more than $3 million in her career. The Arizona cowgirl is rodeoing for a 20th Wrangler NFR appearance in 2019 which would break the tie she currently holds with Charmayne James for the most trips to rodeo’s championship event.

Cervi tied up the leaderboard in the second go round with Bangart riding her home grown gelding Del Rey.

Everything changed on Sunday afternoon, however, as Nicole Love blew the doors off with her run. Riding Josie, she stopped the clock in a blistering time of 14.08 seconds. Love was one spot out of the money in the first round with her time of 16.12 seconds but when paired with her awesome second round, she moved to the top of the leaderboard in the two-run average with a time of 30.20 seconds.

“It was exciting,” she said simply. Going into the second week of the rodeo, Love’s lead is three tenths ahead of Bangart.

The rodeo takes a break from performances during the week while PRCA slack takes over the Coliseum. When perfs resume on Friday, the field of barrel racers will include WPRA regular season earnings record holder Tiany Schuster, WPRA World Champions Kappy Allen and Fallon Taylor, Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo champ Jennifer Barrett and former Wrangler NFR qualifier and current top five cowgirl Cheyenne Wimberley.

Over the weekend, the field includes WPRA World Champions Kay Blandford and Lindsay Sears. Wrangler NFR cowgirls Cindy Smith and Jana Bean join Prairie Circuit Finals champ Dona Kay Rule. Ryann Pedone, who won fourth in the opening round, will compete as will Kenna Squires, who also won a check in the opening go round in slack.

For more information on the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.sanangelorodeo.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition.

1st Go

  1. Wenda Johnson, Dreams First Flash, 15.91, $4,295
  2. Jill Tanner, Credit ta Fame, 15.97, $3,681
  3. Sidney Forrest, Promises To French, 15.99, $3,068
  4. Ryann Pedone, Dash ta Jones, 16.00, $2,659
  5. Jackie Jatzlau, Good To Be The King, 16.04, $2,045
  6. Angela Ganter, SmokN Lane, 16.05, $1,636
  7. Kelly Bruner, French Zone, 16.07, $1,227
  8. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Yeah Hes Firen, 16.08, $818
  9. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.09, $614
  10. Nisa Berry, VF Look Im Back, 16.10, $82
  11. Sara Withers, Shoeless Joe Biankus, 16.10, $82
  12. Brittney Barnett, Frenchmans Pick, 16.10, $82
  13. Kenna Squires, NB Ladybird, 16.10, $82
  14. Jimmie Smith, Lena on the Rocks, 16.10, $82

2nd Go

  1. Nicole Love, JL Josie Bar, 14.08
  2. Teri Bangart, RCA Three Bugs Honor, 14.29
  3. Sherry Cervi, MP Del Rey, 14.29
  4. Stevi Hillman, Luv My Fame, 14.32
  5. Halyn Lide, Jettin Ta Heaven, 14.34
  6. Mindy Goemmer, Cuchara Fancy N Fast, 14.35
  7. Lois Ferguson, 14.40
  8. Christy Larsen, 14.44
  9. Kimberly Cockrell, 14.46
  10. Cheyenne Hattesen, 14.51

Average

  1. Love, 30.20
  2. Bangart, 30.59
  3. Hillman, 30.62
  4. Lide, 30.79
  5. Kynzie McNeill, 30.80
  6. Carman Pozzobon, 30.81
  7. Ericka Nelson, Goodfrenchmanfriday, 30.85
  8. Goemmer, 30.88
  9. Cervi, 30.89
  10. Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 30.93
  11. Cockrell, 30.98
  12. Ferguson, 31.03

 

 

NFRJohnson Fastest in First Round in San Angelo
NFR

 

San Angelo, Texas —It’s been nearly 71 years since a small group of women gathered together in the West Texas town of San Angelo determined to organize for their mutual benefit. The Girls Rodeo Association (GRA) was born from that meeting and is now known as the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) with its members competing for more than $7 million in prize money annually.

The San Angelo Stock Show began just 15 years before the ladies’ meeting, held on the Polo Field in 1932. The show was begun to promote the livestock industry in West Texas and soon grew as well, moving to the Fairgrounds in 1934 and hosting a mini-rodeo strictly for the entertainment of Stock Show attendees. All events moved to the newly completed San Angelo Coliseum in 1959.

A professional rodeo was added to the line-up in 1955 and has been held nearly every year since that time. San Angelo is now a major stop along the winter Stock Show run offering not only a lucrative payoff but also a berth into RodeoHouston for the winner in the WPRA barrel race.

San Angelo is unique for WPRA barrel racers as it is the only major winter rodeo without entry limitations. Every card carrying member is eligible to take their shot at the rodeo’s $20,000 added committee purse. All entries make one run in a long round held at the Spur Arena, a new addition to the facilities in 2002, before the field is pared down to 120 entries to move on to the performances inside the Coliseum.

Fittingly, perhaps the saltiest barrel race of the winter happens right here in the WPRA’s birthplace each year during the long round. Held this year on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, the competition featured 223 entries. The event was truly a shoot-out . . . just over eight tenths of a second separated the top to the bottom of the 120-plus cowgirls who moved on to the next round.

Wenda Johnson set the pace early on in the competition. Running 28th on the day, Johnson and her horse Flash broke the sixteen second barrier with a smoking run of 15.91 seconds. The Nurse Practitioner who now makes her home in Pawhuska, Oklahoma had to sweat out almost 200 more runners to find out she’d won the opening round.

“Flash and I originally started and competed successfully his five year old year,” states Johnson of the eight year old son of First Moon Flash out of the First Down Dash mare, First Down Dream. In fact, Flash was very successful as a futurity horse when he was first partnered with Johnson.

“At the beginning of his seven year old year, I got back on him and together we worked towards consistency.” Flash and Johnson have left a trail of wins behind them, including setting a new arena record in August at the Glen Wood Memorial in Salina, Utah.

Tres Mesa Horses out of Fort Worth owns the horse so Johnson decided to claim Texas as her circuit for 2019.

“As a team I strive to help him mentally, stay happy and continue to meet set goals.”

Johnson was one of just three barrel racers to stay in the 15’s on her run. Jill Tanner and her good horse Saturday turned in a 15.97 second run for second place on the day. Sidney Forrest and her young horse Travis were 15.99 for third.

The remaining money holes were filled out with times from 16.00 to 16.10 seconds and included Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers Jackie Jatzlau, Kelly Bruner and two WPRA World Champions: Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Hailey Kinsel, the 2018 WPRA World Champ.

The final qualifying time for the next round was 16.75 seconds. One hundred and twenty two ladies move on, including the splits.

Performances begin February 1. Competitors will return based upon their first round times with the fastest cowgirls coming in the final performance on February 14. Following the tenth performance, the top 12 on two runs will advance to San Angelo’s Championship Round on Friday night, February 15.

For more information on the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.sanangelorodeo.com. Stay tuned to www.wpra.com for continuing updates from the 2019 edition.

1st Go Round

  1. Wenda Johnson, Dreams First Flash, 15.91
  2. Jill Tanner, Credit ta Fame, 15.97
  3. Sidney Forrest, Promises To French, 15.99
  4. Ryann Pedone, Dash ta Jones, 16.00
  5. Jackie Jatzlau, Good To Be The King, 16.04
  6. Angela Ganter, SmokN Lane, 16.05
  7. Kelly Bruner, French Zone, 16.07
  8. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Yeah Hes Firen, 16.08
  9. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.09
  10. Nisa Berry, VF Look Im Back, 16.10

Sara Withers, Shoeless Joe Biankus, 16.10

Brittney Barnett, Frenchmans Pick, 16.10

Kenna Squires, NB Ladybird, 16.10

Jimmie Smith, Lena on the Rocks, 16.10

 

 

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