By Ann Bleiker
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Jimmie Smith, the 2018 WPRA Rookie of the Year, is competing in her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and now she can add her first round win at the NFR to her resume.
Smith and Lena On the Rocks set the bar high as the first barrel racer out on Friday night, December 4. The duo stopped the clock in 17.04 seconds. The only other duo in the field to come close to her time was two-time and reigning WPRA World Champion Hailey Kinsel and Sister, who stopped the clock in 17.09 seconds at the bottom of the ground. Kinsel won the first round in a time of 17.18 seconds.
“It felt amazing to get my first NFR round win tonight,” stated Smith, of McDade, Texas. “It is a pretty awesome feeling and something that hasn’t completely sunk in yet. That was the fastest time I have ever run on a standard pattern and what a great place to do it.
“Last night didn’t go quite as planned but things worked out great tonight.”
Smith entered her first Wrangler NFR ranked fourth in the world but picked up 26,230.77 points tonight to move to third in the world with $101,253.
Kinsel leads the average with a total time of 34.27 seconds on two runs and remains No. 1 in the world with $135,422.
Smith was sporting a camouflage shirt tonight in honor of military night. Smith along with the other Top 15 are not only competing for a gold buckle but also for the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award presented by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Smith previously won this award in February of 2020 at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. The award winner will receive $5,000 and Smith is riding for a special family in need for Christmas from Williamson County Cowboy Church. Fans can help decide the winner by voting after each round at www.wpra.com.
Third round action gets underway, Saturday, December 4 at 6:45 p.m. CT LIVE on the Cowboy Channel.