By Ann Bleiker
WACO, TEXAS —The 2019 WPRA World Finals came to an electric finish with Wrangler NFR qualifier Tillar Murray setting a new arena record inside the Extraco Event Center in Waco, Texas.
Murray, of Fort Worth, Texas, won the short round in the WPRA Card Holder Race on Sunday, October 27 stopping the clock in a time of 15.534 seconds. The previous record prior to today was held by Taylor Langdon with a 15.57 set earlier this month at the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo. That time was bested twice during the WPRA World Finals with two-time WPRA World Champion Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi running Ima Famous Babe stopping the clock in 15.564 seconds as the ninth runner out on Sunday. Murray came eight runners on Royal Star Commander later and turned in the record run.
“I can always tell when Commander walks down the alley if it’s going to be a nice run and today he came to win,” said Murray after the record run. “Win or lose though, I treasure every run I get to make on him.”
Alex Lang captured the average title in the cardholder race an earned a spot in the 2020 RodeoHouston. Lang finished with 47.223 on three runs on Angels On The Moon, barely edging first-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Dona Kay Rule who finished with a 47.225 on the 2019 Barrel Racing Horse of the Year High Valor. Pozzi Tonozzi was third in a total time of 47.250 and Murray took fifth with a 47.481.
Pozzo Tonozzi took the average title in the Derby division riding Ima Famous Babe with a two –run time of 31.336, followed by Kelsey Lutjen on VF Chasin Cans with a 31.440. Hilary Van Gerpen won the world title aboard PC Judge Cash N Lace the same mount she won the WPRA Futurity World Title a year ago.
Kassie Mowry aboard Famous Ladies Man took the futurity average title at the WPRA World Finals with a 31.712, while Cayla Small on Slick N Black was second in 31.993. Karen Gleason won the world title aboard Mobetta Fame. Colleen Vondra took home the Futurity 2D World Title on SCF Lakewood Fame.
In the Junior Division it was McKenzie Morgan taking home her first WPRA Junior World Championship. Morgan of Maryville, Tennessee won over $40,500 on the year and although she didn’t compete in Waco, her lead was too great for anyone to catch her. Taking home the average title in the junior division from Waco was Paige Jones on High Cotton Lane. She finished with a two run time of 31.577 to edge Alexis Lynch on Firin To Be A Hero with a 32.165.
Winning the Permit only race was Jessie Domann with a 48.422 on three runs. She easily filled her permit picking up $1,036 for the average alone.
A full list of results can be found at www.wpra.com.
WACO, TEXAS —The 2019 WPRA Roping Season officially came to an end on Saturday night, Oct. 26, at the Extraco Event Center in Waco, Texas, when world champions were crowned.
In the tightest race for No. 1 in 2019 and most lucrative race year, Kelsie Chace held on to defend her title from a year ago winning the breakaway roping world title with $51,709. This marked her third consecutive world title in the breakaway roping and seventh overall world title, which includes titles in tie-down and all-around as well. Lari Dee Guy was hot on her heels with $51,301. Canadian Makayla Boisjoli squeaked by to win the average title in Waco with a four head time of 10.7 seconds. Nicole Baggarley and Hope Thompson finished in tie for second with 10.8-second totals. Taylor Munsell took home the WPRA Rookie of the Year title finishing with $50,301 in the final 2019 world standings.
The first event finished on the day was in the tie-down roping when high school cowgirl Montanna “Gracie” Gambino captured the world title at the young age of 17. She will turn 18 on Dec. 12. She finished with $3,881 on the season besting Tanegai Zilverberg with $2,907. Gambino of Lindale, Texas, first bought her WPRA Junior Roping card in 2017 and has quickly climbed the ranks. She finished third in the average in Waco with 77.6 seconds on four head.
Jordan Fabrizio originally from Colorado now making her home in Canyon, Texas, won the average in a total time of 53.6 seconds on four head in the tie-down roping. Fabrizio barely missed winning the reserve world title falling four cents short of Zilverberg in the final world standings. Shelby Massie won the WPRA Rookie of the Year award.
Whitney DeSalvo of Springfield, Arkansas had already secured her third consecutive team roping heeling world title before she roped one head in Waco. DeSalvo finished the year with $26,261 on the year with the reserve world champion Annette Stahl finishing with $11,357. DeSalvo teamed with Hope Thompson in Waco to finish sixth in the average in a total time of 131.8 seconds on four head.
Jackie Crawford and Jessica Remsburg took home the average title for the second straight year with a time of 29.3 seconds. Finishing second was Beverly Robbins and Rylie Smith with a 38.1 seconds. That finish helped Robbins win her first world title with $27,698 over reserve world champion Crawford with $22,484. Kyla Stamps was crowned the WPRA Rookie of the Year on the heading side while Danielle Lowman won it on the heeling side.
Crawford defended her title in the all-around and added her 19th world title in 2019 finishing the year with $7,173, just ahead of good friend Chace that finished with $6,087.
This year the Wrangler Network added $15,000 in bonus money and developed the Wrangler Network Tour for breakaway and barrel racing. The breakaway roping money was handed out in Waco with Sarah Morrissey of Ephrata, Washington, taking the top spot and an added $5,000 to her bank account. The bonus money was paid out to the top five resulting in Hope Thompson, Amanda Hodges, Macy Fuller and Rylee Potter also receiving checks.
Full results can be found at www.wpra.com.
2019 WPRA World Champion Ropers:
All- Around: Jackie Crawford
Breakaway Roping: Kelsie Chace
Team Roping Header: Beverly Robbins
Team Roping Heeler: Whitney DeSalvo
Tie-Down Roping: Montanna “Gracie” Gambino
WACO, TEXAS —Despite the cooler than normal temperatures in south Texas the ladies of the WPRA brought the heat to the Extraco Event Center in Waco, Texas, to kickoff the 2019 WPRA World Finals.
Friday marked the first round of competition in the card holder race with money counting toward the 2020 WPRA World Standings and top two in the average will earn a spot in RodeoHouston in March. Two-time world champion and 13-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi set the pace early with a 15.772-second run aboard ImaFamous Babe as the ninth runner out. It wasn’t until 19 runs later with Alex Lang and Angels On The Moon knocking the champ off the top spot with a 15.755-second run.
Lang’s time held for longer than Pozzi Tonozzi’s did but would eventually be bested by Wenda Johnson aboard Dreams First Flash stopping the clock in 15.720. However the day belonged to Cindy Woods who made the trip from Molalla, Oregon, to take the first round win with a time of 15.664 aboard Reckless Jones. With the win she pocketed $2,319 and is in the driver’s seat for round two which will play out on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.
Margaret Poloncic, who is used to the cold weather – hailing from Gillette, Wyo., would come the closest to Woods on the afternoon finishing second with a time of 15.672 on Aint Seen Me Yet. She collected $1,987 and will be looking to add another solid time to that in the second round to advance to the Final round on Sunday morning. The finals will feature the top 30 in the average.
All barrel racing action can be seen on the Horse Sports Network or log-on to www.wpra.com and click on barrel live streaming.
While the barrel racers were bringing the heat in the Coliseum at Extraco Event Center, the ropers were throwing down in the Show Pavilion competing in two rounds today.
It is a tie at the top of the leaderboard in the breakaway roping with Jordan Fabrizio and Nicole Baggarley turning in two runs totaling 5.2 seconds. Following them in a log jam at third is Kayelen Helton, Hope Thompson and Erin Johnson with 5.3 seconds on two head. This year’s event features 84 breakaway ropers, the most that have been featured at the WPRA World Finals in Waco.
Fabrizio is also leading the average in the tie-down roping with a total time of 28.2 seconds on two head. Jackie Crawford and Jessica Remsburg lead in the average in the team roping with a two head time of 15.1 seconds.
The third and fourth round in the roping will be contested on Saturday morning and a world champion in each of the roping events will be crowned. Roping action will be live streamed on the Wrangler Network starting at 8 a.m. CT on Oct. 26.
Full results can be found at www.wpra.com.