By Ann Bleiker
Victoria Williams of Kiln, Miss., smoked the field at the Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots in Rapid City, S.D., on Feb. 4.
Williams riding her mare Three Jets Olena, stopped the clock in 12.21 seconds on the very small pattern inside Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Her closest competitor was Callie DuPerier, who stopped the clock in 12.36 seconds.
"Three Jets won the Champions Challenge," Williams told her fans on Facebook. "Love, love, love my girl."
Williams is part of Team ProRodeo Gear. The ProRodeo Gear team captured another title in the tie-down roping when Monty Lewis roped and tied his calf in 7.6 seconds.
Williams, 21, competed in her rookie season in 2013, and has already qualified for two Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo (2014 and 2015). She started running barrels when she was in seventh grade. She said a good friend did equestrian jumping, and it "looked cool – but I wanted to go faster."
Living in Jacksonville, Fla., at the time, her mom, Donna Berdine, purchased a paint horse on a bit of a whim, and so then Williams wanted a horse too. She said before they knew it, they were "living in Mississippi and had 16 horses in the barn!"
Williams is off to a quick start in 2015, currently in the top 10 in the World Standings, and there is no doubt she is riding for her first qualification to the Wrangler NFR in December. Money won at the Wrangler Champions Challenges count toward the world standings.
Wrangler Champions Challenge
Rapid City, S.D.
Feb. 4, 2015
Results: 1. Victoria Williams, 12.21, $5,440; 2. Callie DuPerier, 12.36, $4,160; 3. Lisa Lockhart, 12.37, $3,040; 4. Trula Churchill, 12.39, $2,080; 5. Michele McLeod, 12.54, $1,280.