By JimiBeth Myers

NFRBehind the Scenes
Get Up Close & Personal with the WNFR Barrel Racers While You’re in Vegas

One of the wonderful things about the sport of professional rodeo is how accessible its stars are to the fans.  If you are in Las Vegas you are bound to run into National Finals Rodeo contestants.  Its one of the perks of being in town during the rodeo.

If you want to get up close and personal with WNFR Qualifiers, you can take advantage of the many autograph signing opportunities.



Kylie Weast of Comanche, OK signs a poster and a hat for the first fan in line at the Golden Nugget autograph session.


Jessie Telford, who is a mother to two daughters (12 and 13 years old), said, “It’s amazing to how many rodeo fans there are in Las Vegas.”  The barrel racer that came into the WNFR in 14th place feels these autograph sessions are “fun and enjoyable, and I love the kids that come.”

Stevie Hillman, returning to Las Vegas in the 5th spot, beamed saying “it touches my heart that my horses have a fan base, which is the great part of being here for the third time.”



Stevie Hillman signs an autograph for a happy little fan.


When Kelly Bruner won Calgary she signed hundreds of autographs because the fans were “lined up big time”.  She laments, “as much fun as meeting the fans is at the autograph sessions, I’d like to have more time to visit and try to pique the interest of little girls to run barrels.”



The line of barrel racing fans wraps around the casino floor at the Golden Nugget for the only change to get all 15 barrel racers’ autographs in one session (left); a full autograph sheet signed by all Top 15 Barrel Racers




Reigning World Champion Barrel Racer Nellie Miller signs fan’s autographs before Round 2


The only autograph session where all Top 15 Barrel Racers sign at one time takes place on the first Friday at the Golden Nugget.  Hundreds of fans show up.  Laney Mitchell from Picayune, Mississippi arrived at 8:30 am to be first in line for the 12-2pm session.  “I am loving being in Las Vegas and getting autographs and spending money at Cowboy Christmas on horse gear.”  She barrel races, goat ties and ropes, and Miss Laney has set her sights on qualifying for the Junior NFR next year.  This year Laney was very happy to meet her favorite barrel racer, Hailey Kinsel.



Barrel Racer Laney Mitchell meeting her favorite Barrel Racer, Hailey Kinsel, at the Autograph Session at the Golden Nugget


If you’re lucky enough to be in Las Vegas, stop by and meet the Barrel Racers at the WPRA Booth Cowboy Christmas at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Booth 218 right near the entrance.

Sat 12/8

10am  Tammy Fischer

11am Kylie Weast

12pm Tracy Nowlan

1pm Carman Pozzobon

2pm Ivy Conrado


Sun 12/9

10am Tammy Fischer

11am Carman Pozzobon

12pm Amber Moore


Mon 12/10

1pm Jessica Routier

2pm  Kylie Weast


Tue 12/11

10am  Taci Bettis

11am Hailey Kinsel

1pm Jessica Routier / Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi


Wed 12/12

10am  Amber Moore

11am Kelly Bruner

12pm Kelly Bruner

1pm Nellie Miller

2pm Lisa Lockhart


Thu 12/13

10am  Nellie Miller

1pm Lisa Lockhart


Fri 12/14

10am  Taci Bettis

11am Tracy Nowlan

12pm Jessie Telford

1pm Hailey Kinsel


Sat 12/15

11am Ivy Conrado

12pm Stevi Hillman

1pm Stevi Hillman/Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi

2pm Jessie Telford