By Laura Lambert
While March Madness is associated with college basketball, rodeo has its own final four this month as well - the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (RNCFR). Four full days of rodeo are complete in Kissimmee, Fla. Twenty-four ladies made two runs, eight ladies made three runs, and four ladies made four runs. Those four runs determined the new 2015 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo Champion.
With a two run average determining the eight ladies who moved on to the semi-finals, the qualifiers were Pamela Capper, Lisa Lockhart, Carmel Wright, Sarah Griffin, Lindsay Kruse, Kassidy Dennison, Sarah Rose McDonald, and Nancy Hunter. All started on a clean slate in the semifinals and after the completion of the semi-final round, the four fastest times were Pamela Capper with a 16.30; Carmel Wright and Sarah Rose McDonald tied for second and third with a 16.47; and Kassidy Dennison rounded out the final four with a 16.63.
The stage was set and the ladies and their horses certainly put on a good show. From the winner to the fourth place finisher the time spread was a mere .07 seconds. That is literally faster than you can blink your eye.
Carmel Wright was in the right place at the right time and did all the right things! Over the course of the week she turned in times of 16.54 in round 1, 16.82 in round 2, 16.47 in the semi-finals, and her fastest time of the week at 16.42 in the finals. Those hundredths of a second she shaved off made all the difference for the win as the RNCFR champion is determined by fastest time in the Final Four. McDonald was hot on her heels turning in a time of 16.45 closely followed by Capper at 16.47 and Dennison with a 16.49.
Wright just took care of business in the first few rounds and picked up $1,311 for a fifth place win in the first round and $937 for sixth in the average. When it mattered most, Wright upped her game and took home the win. With a $20,0000 credit voucher from Ram towards the purchase of a new vehicle, it is likely to see Wright sporting around the rodeos in a new Ram dually this year. You also might spot her roaming the ranch in her new Polaris Ranger or riding her great horse, Sweet Heart Special (a 12 year old chestnut mare by My Special Bear out of Im Testy Too), in her new saddle.
While Wright is the event champion, out of the Montana Circuit, taking home a lot of prizes and $14,424 in earnings, McDonald was the high money winner with a total take home of $22,667 for the week.
Texas won the team title with $108,557, just edging out the Wilderness Circuit ($104,779), with Montana third ($92,665). It was the second win in three years for Texas and the Lone Star State now has a record 12 titles in the event's 29-year history.
For more information and an event schedule visit www.rncfr.com.