Johnson Back on Top of Leaderboard in Round 7
By Ann Bleiker
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Wenda Johnson of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, made her second victory lap tonight at the Thomas and Mack on Military night during the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge.
Photo by Kenneth Springer
Johnson aboard Stealing Money “Mo” won the first round (13.57 seconds) and returned tonight with a time of 13.60 seconds to take the round victory. More importantly she moved to the top of the leaderboard in the average after a costly downed barrel for Lisa Lockhart. Johnson, the nurse practitioner, leads the way with 96.55 seconds on seven runs, followed by Shelley Morgan in 96.65 seconds.
“He has been feeling great the last couple of nights,” stated Johnson about Mo. “My run last night, he was still just a little tentative going into the first and was a little concerned about skating around it. I knew he would get me that spot a little bit better tonight and he did into one. That set me up for the rest of the run.
“His confidence level is tremendously better this year. Last year the (sponsor) flags were a really big deal for him and was quite scared of them. This year he doesn’t even care one bit. I think our groundwork we did last year helped his confidence this year.”
Johnson moved up the standings’ leaderboard to No. 3 with $206,677, while reigning world champion Jordon Briggs took back the No. 1 spot with $232,082. Despite a downed barrel last night Briggs sits sixth in the average. Hailey Kinsel is second in the world with $225,225.
Photo by Kenneth Springer
Leslie Smalygo was the first clean run on the track tonight coming out as the third gunner and set the bar at 13.64 seconds, to only be bested by Johnson. Sissy Winn, making her first NFR appearance like Smalgyo, rounded out the top three on the night. Both ladies have been in contention all week for the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award.
Fans can vote on the Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed award nightly for who they think looked the sharpest. The award is presented by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Voting is at www.wpra.com
Eighth round action gets underway, Thursday, December 8 at 5:45 p.m. PT LIVE on the Cowboy Channel.
Rd 7 results: https://www.wpra.com/nfr-2022-results-wednesday-december-7-2022/
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