Wenda Johnson

Johnson and Steal Money Stole the Money in the Barrel Racing in Rd. 4

By Ann Bleiker

Photo by KENNETH SPRINGER

12/5/2021-LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Wenda Johnson competing in her second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo but first in Las Vegas stole the money tonight aboard a 5 year old horse, Steal Money that she calls Mo.

Johnson and Mo stopped the clock in 13.46 seconds, the fastest run inside the Thomas and Mack at the 2021 edition. Mo is owned by Tres Mesa Horses the same owners of her other great standout horse Mac that she rode during the first two rounds. Tonight was Johnson’s first NFR round win.

“It is great to be here on this big stage and ultimately it is really just another run,” said a very humble Johnson. “Riding a young horse each run is a development run and it was definitely a development run for him. He has not been competing long. He didn’t get ran as a 4-year old. His first futurity runs were when he was coming a 5 year old and he doesn’t even really have much rodeo experience. I took him in June and ran him at a few this summer.

“I am just trying to build his confidence. He has never been in a big setting like this so I am trying to be very concise and careful on how I handle him, how he reacts to it, each step he makes and really try to help him stay focused and calm. This way he can go out and make a dominating run. He has a lot to give and a lot to offer and my goal is to keep him healthy and happy so we can go out, have some fun and make some great runs.”

He definitely had a dominating run on Sunday night with the next closest competitor being round one co-champion Amanda Welsh, who stopped the clock in 13.61 seconds. Johnson knows that the preparation is key to any success in this business.

Amanda Welsh

WPRA photo by Kenneth Springer

“I knew Mo was going to do really well here but I had not put him in this type of situation before,” noted Johnson of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. “I wanted to evaluate more behind the scenes before running Mo so I could prepare him the best I could. I am glad I did as there are things he is not a fan of like the flags and having all those 20 flags come out before we run I had to get him prepared. I worked with him and introduced him to something new.

“Tonight he handled it much better. I think we are making progress as that is my goal with him. I just want to help my horses as much as I can so they can enjoy their job to the fullest.”

She is very high on this horse and thinks it might get even faster.

“Mo is very talented, very special and he has so many great qualities,” said Johnson. “I have no doubt he can make these fast runs all day long.”

Stevi Hillman finished out of the money in the fourth round in 13.75 but still leads the average with a four run time of 55.14 seconds.

Kinsel finished sixth tonight with a run of 13.70 seconds and remains No. 1 in the world standings.

Fifth round action gets underway, Monday, December 6 at 5:45 p.m. PT LIVE on the Cowboy Channel.

Don’t forget to vote for the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Cowgirl each night at https://wpra.com/index.php/nfr-2021-jerry-ann-taylor-awards-auto-schedule

Wrangler National Final Breakaway Roping gets underway tomorrow at the Orleans Arena. Watch Live and Free on Wrangler Network.

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