By Neal Reid
Barrel Racing’s Newest Millionaire Rides ‘Moody’ Mount
to Round 6 Victory
LAS VEGAS – Amberleigh Moore had one moody mare on her hands on Tuesday night.
The four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Salem, Ore., thought she might have a firestorm to deal with in the form of her 10-year-old mount, Paige, and she was right. The feisty female took Moore on a blistering 13.55-second trip through the Thomas & Mack Center’s cloverleaf pattern in Round 6, the fastest run of the $10 million rodeo, to give the talented tandem their second go-round buckle of this year’s Finals.
The result was a relief for Moore, who had to result to bribery to calm her high-powered equine before her run.
“Tonight, she was in a mood,” said Moore, who also won Round 3 aboard Paige. “She was in a girl mood and had some attitude, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. She came in and just cranked one out.
“She was cranky, and we were giving her treats and bribing her before we ran. That’s how moody she was, and she’s never in a mood like that.”
They stopped the clock .14 of a second faster than runner-up Ivy Conrado-Saebens, who closed the gap in the average race with leader Emily Miller to just four-hundredths of a second (83.01-83.05). Miller, who won the first and fourth rounds, finished out of the money with a 14.42-second run to lose her spot atop the WPRA World Standings.
That now belongs to reigning World Champion Hailey Kinsel, who finished third in the round on Tuesday night in 13.70 seconds to push her season earnings to $210,482. Moore is second in the world standings with $207,982, but is 11th in the average after turfing two barrels in the opening round.
That unfortunate first round will force Moore to go for the round wins in the final four performances.
“After tipping two barrels the first night, it’s just one run at a time,” she said. “It’s just go in, go after the day money, see what we can get done and let the cards fall where they are in Round 10.”
Moore’s Round 6 triumph put her atop the RAM Top Gun Award standings with an impressive $114,923, more than $6,000 clear of tie-down roper Shane Hanchey. Moore enjoyed a career money milestone thanks to her runner-up finish in Round 5 when she became just the eighth barrel racer in WPRA history to hit the $1 million mark.
“It feels pretty good,” said Moore, who accomplished the feat in just five years. “To do it here at the NFR is what my goal was, and we got it done last night. Now, we’ll just keep on rolling, keep getting it done and see where we go from here.
“Except for about $10,000 or $15,000, it’s all been on Paige, and it’s just amazing. It has been a blur, and it’s only been on two horses and the second one (Ducky) only came on the scene this year.”
Earlier in the Wrangler NFR, Moore had talked about possibly running Ducky, her 9-year-old bay gelding, in Las Vegas if she and Paige hit the seven-figure mark, but she’s reconsidered that thought.
“This is Paige’s arena, and Paige is on fire,” Moore said. “We’re not stepping off her until Round 10 is over.”
Considering Paige’s registered name – CP Dark Moon – and the fact that a full moon is scheduled to ascend the night sky on Thursday, Moore could be in for quite a ride later this week.
“Oh great,” Moore said sarcastically of the full-moon forecast.
Her fellow barrel racers could be saying the same if Tuesday night is any indication.