By Jolee Jordan
Denver, Colorado — As the 110th edition of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo came to a furious close over the weekend, the times in the barrel race seemed to keep pace.
On opening day, Tarleton State University cowgirl Shelby Herrmann took command of the leaderboard and she never relinquished that lead through 19th performances and 96 cowgirls who tried her.
Herrmann was the Reserve Champ in Denver a year ago but brought a new pony to Denver in 2016. Herrmann finished in a tie for the first round win with Dena Kirkpatrick and won fourth in the second go to lead the field into the short round on Sunday, January 24.
As luck would have it, Herrmann drew first to run on the final Sunday of the rodeo. Herrmann is riding Tees Cee Dees, aka TC, a 12 year old gelding she picked up last summer.
Taking the first run of the final day inside the Denver Coliseum, Herrmann stopped the clock at 15.46 seconds, setting the mark high for those who followed to try to take the title from her grasp.
Though WPRA World Champions Mary Walker and Mary Burger would best the time in the round, along with reigning Prairie Circuit Champ Kim Couch, no one could catch Herrmann in the average.
Her three-run total of 46.11 seconds was just eight one-hundredths better than Colorado cowgirl Ivy Conrado. Herrmann was the only cowgirl to place in every payoff and collected $11,387, the most of any contestant in Denver.
"It's awesome," said Herrmann. "It means even more to me because this is my second year to be in the top two in the average and on two different horses!"
Herrmann finished 22nd in the 2015 WPRA World standings and the big check in Denver will jump her way up in the standings as the new year is hitting high gear with stock show season.
"I haven't really made any plans for the rest of the year," says Herrmann.
"But this sure helps!" she laughs.
Walker won the short go with a run of 15.33 seconds to land fourth in the average. The 2014 National Western Champ earned $6,281 this season to continue her good run of luck in Denver aboard Perculatin, aka Latte.
Burger's 15.41 was second in the finals while Couch was third with a 15.43 second effort.
Though she didn't place in the final round, Conrado made the most of being close to home. The Hudson, Colo., cowgirl won $8,961 after taking the Reserve title.
Burger should extend her lead in the 2016 WPRA World standings after picking up another $4,834. She finished fifth in the average behind Herrmann, Conrado, Couch and Walker. Couch won $7,051.
For more information on the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.nationalwestern.com.
1/2. Shelby Herrmann, Tees Cee Dees, 15.30, $3,177
1/2. Dena Kirkpatrick, Kates Always First, 15.30, $3,177
3. Sabrina Ketchum, Easz Six, 15.33, $2,444
4. Jackie Jatzlau, Martha Six Shooter, 15.34, $2,118
5. Ivy Conrado, CFour Tibbie Stinson, 15.35, $1,629
6. Ari-Anna Flynn, Sunny Two Socks, 15.43, $1,303
7. Cassidy Kruse, JKR Assured Win, 15.47, $978
8. Amber Leigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 15.48, $652
9. Mary Burger, Sadiesfamouslastwords, 15.50, $489
10. Carlee Pierce, 15.52, $326
1. Kali Parker, Tuneful, 15.27, $3,421
2. Conrado, 15.33, $2,933
3. Herrmann, 15.35, $2,444
4. Kim Couch, Easy French Alibi, 15.38, $2,118
5. Jana Griesman, Chase it with Brandy, 15.39, $1,629
6. Jatzlau, 15.42, $1,140
7. Moore, 15.42, $1,140
8. Mary Walker, Perculatin, 15.43, $570
9. Shelly Anzick, Scooten ta Fame, 15.43, $570
10. Rachel Myllymaki, 15.45, $326
1. Walker, 15.33, $2,534
2. Burger, 15.41, $1,901
3. Couch, 15.43, $1,267
4. Herrmann, 15.46, $634
1. Herrmann, 46.11, $5,132
2. Conrado, 46.19, $4,399
3. Couch, 46.38, $3,666
4. Walker, 46.44, $3,177
5. Burger, 46.52, $2,444
6. Calyssa Thomas, TRcashenbadger, 46.60, $1,955
7. Kruse, 46.68, $1,466
8. Griemsman, 46.76, $978
9. Lisa Lockhart, An Okie with Cash, 47.26, $733
10. Jatzlau, 51.40, $489