By Jolee Lautaret
Denver, CO — The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo hit the mid-way point this week, bringing with it the reigning Women's Pro Rodeo Association World Champion Fallon Taylor and her superstar mare Babyflo, registered as Flos Heiress.
Barely a month has passed since the dynamic duo captured the WPRA title in dramatic fashion, taking second in the final go round--and second in the average--at the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to clinch their first world championship. Despite a nice break from the action since December, no rust appears to have settled on the golden pair.
Running in the Tuesday night performance, Jan. 20, Taylor scampered around the pattern inside the Denver Coliseum in 15.43 seconds, the best of the perf and the fifth best in the first go overall so far.
Taylor returned to action on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 21, posting a 15.61 second run to move to fourth in the average.
No one has put a dent in the huge lead held by Meghan Johnson. The New Mexico cowgirl ran during the opening day of the NWSS on Friday, Jan. 16 and continues to hold a lead in both rounds and the average.
The number one cowgirl in the WPRA currently also ran in Taylor's set and continued her early 2015 dominance; Kelly Tovar posted two runs in a total time of 31.06 seconds, just two one-hundredths off Taylor to land in fifth in the two run average.
The sixth of nine sets kicked off Wednesday night, Jan. 21 with Hope Sickler taking top honors for the night. Sickler ran a 15.43, matching Taylor's first go time to move into a split of fifth. She will return Thursday morning, Jan. 22 with a chance to punch her ticket to Sunday's short go.
The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo allowed 108 WPRA barrel racers, giving each contestant two full rounds of competition. The top 12 on two runs will return on Sunday, January 25 for the short round.
There are two performances on Thursday, Jan. 22 and two on Friday, Jan. 23. before the rodeo's preliminary rounds wrap-up with three performances on Saturday, Jan. 24. Among the competitors left are four-time WPRA World Champion Sherry Cervi and Wrangler NFR qualifiers Samantha Lyne, Sydni Blanchard, Kaley Bass, Jean Winters and home state cowgirl Christy Loflin.
For more information on the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, visit them on-line at www.nationalwestern.com and for continuing results, stay tuned to www.wpra.com.
1. Meghan Johnson, Nellie Laveaux, 15.25 seconds
2. Carlee Pierce, Streakin Easy April, 15.30
3. Shelby Janssen, Hot Playboy Chick, 15.37
4. Shelby Hermann, TS Doc San Lena, 15.39
5/6. Fallon Taylor, Flos Heiress, 15.43
5/6. Hope Sickler, 15.43
1.Johnson, 15.14 seconds
2. Lisa Lockhart, An Okie with Cash, 15.38
3/4. Hermann, 15.4
3/4. Kim Couch, Easy French Alibi, 15.40
5. Kali Jo Parker, Tuneful, 15.45
6. Taylor Jacob, Honor Thy Frenchman, 15.48
1. Johnson, 30.39 seconds on two runs
2. Hermann, 30.79
3. Lockhart, 30.93
4. Taylor, 31.04
5. Kelly Tovar, BB French Fooled Ya, 31.06
6. Couch, 31.10
7/8. Mary Walker, Perculatin, 31.20
7/8. Sammi Bessert, Terrible Tommy Twist, 31.20
9. Natalie Bland, Texas War Jet, 31.21
10. Pam Capper, Sheza Smooth Flight, 31.30
11. Callie DuPerier, Rare Dillion, 31.31
12. Ivy Hurst, Holy Exclusive Leo, 31.32