By JimiBeth Myers
Behind the Scenes
WNFR Barrel Racing Run Order Spreads the Wealth
At regular season rodeos, the order that the barrel racers run in is determined by random draw. At the National Finals Rodeo, the run order is pre-determined based on barrel racing qualifiers’ ranking in the regular season standings. The first night they run from 1st through 15th starting with Hailey Kinsel through Carman Pozzobon. Each subsequent performance they drop two spots and then run in order.
- 1st go-round - Run in order of season standings - 1 through 15
- 2nd go-round - Start with woman in 3rd position through 15th; pick up 1st through 2nd
- 3rd go-round - Start with woman in 5th position through 15th; pick up 1st through 4th
- 4th go-round - Start with woman in 7th position through 15th; pick up 1st through 6th
- 5th go-round - Start with woman in 9th position through 15th; pick up 1st through 8th
- 6th go-round - Start with woman in 11th position through 15th; pick up 1st through 10th
- 7th go-round - Start with woman in 13th position through 15th; pick up 1st through 12th
- 8th go-round - Start with woman in 15th position; pick up 1st through 14th
- 9th go-round - Start with woman in 2nd position through 15th; pick up 1st
- 10th go-round - Start with woman in 4th position through 15th; pick up 1st through 3rd
Based on standard season standings coming into the Finals
Hailey Kinsel says being the first to run may not be a coveted place to be in. “Being first out of the whole rodeo you’re really testing the ground. That’s what you’re doing. So, I’m not sure if it’s an advantage or not.”
Carman Pozzoban, who wore the Number 1 back number at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018 after winning more than any other contestant, knows what it is like to be the first to run down the alley. “It makes it equal for everyone, but I don’t like to be first out because you are really the guinea pig. I learned that at the Canadian Finals.”
Reigning World Champion Nellie Miller says, “[The run order] is pretty fair because each girl gets a turn on a different spot on the ground.”
Keeping the competition fair is essential since there is so much money up for grabs in Las Vegas.
Payoff for each of the ten full go-rounds: $84,615.38
Payoff for the average: $253,846.15
Tracy Nowlin has placed at the bottom of the ground twice in the first three rounds in Las Vegas. Coming into the WNFR ranked 12th in the World means that Tracy was the 12th barrelracer to compete in Round 1 when she won 5th place for $6,769.23 and she was 10th out when she split 4th/5th place in Round 2 with Jessie Telford walking away with $8,884.61.