Kassie Mowry

Road To NFR

Mowry Defends Her Title in San Antonio

By Kristen M. White

Photo by Hailey Rae

A victory in San Antonio is on the bucket list for a lot of barrel racers and can go a long way to securing a spot in the Wrangler NFR at the end of the year. So, to win it back- to-back, and in a very unexpected fashion, was all the sweeter this year for Kassie Mowry.

Kassie Mowry

Photo by Hailey Rae

Mowry, of Dublin, Texas, switched horses midway through the rodeo and didn’t have huge expectations. So, when she walked away from a lightning-fast final round with a time of 13.68 seconds – and the victory – she was shocked and thrilled.

Kassie Mowry

Photo by Kay Miller

“The first girl out of the gate in the finals was a 13.8 and that was insanely fast for that arena, and it was just 13 after 13,” Mowry said. “There weren’t many hit barrels either that I heard, and I was just sort of laughing to myself. I was last out and it honestly just kind of took the pressure off of me. I had no expectations and just let it happen.”
            She recalled exiting the arena after her run and being raced off her horse onto the truck for the victory lap – she didn’t even know her time until the rodeo was over because the crowd was so loud and electric, and everything happened so quickly.
            “I’ve watched the video of that last run so many times, and it was really fun, kind of an ideal run,” Mowry said. “The whole round was so much fun.”
            Part of why Mowry was astonished with the accomplishment is because she was riding her horse Force the Goodbye “Jarvis” for the semi- and final rounds, after having run CP He Will Be Epic “Will” in the early rounds.
            She said the day before going back to San Antonio for the semi-finals, she was riding Will at home, and he spooked, and his muscles cramped. She knew she couldn’t continue to ride him at San Antonio, so she turned to 6-year-old Jarvis.
            “He hadn’t done a run in a month. I’d been trying to get my colts caught up and there’s construction at my place and so I had barely even ridden Jarvis in a month, but he’s always a good choice. I thought, ‘I know this horse can clock, but is he ready?’” She recalled. “So, I went out and figured I’d make the best of it. I had realistic expectations – I knew he could do great things, but he’s also still sort of green, and we weren’t prepared.”
            In their first run together at San Antonio, Jarvis showed he was ready, whether or not Mowry had been expecting it. He clocked a 14.18 to finish second in the semi-finals 1 round, moving her to the finals where he laid down the blistering run and won the whole thing.
            “San Antonio is a really prestigious rodeo and it’s one of my all-time favorites through the years, whether I’ve done good there or not,” Mowry said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in, really, that I won it back-to-back. Just switching horses like that, I was pretty blown away with what Jarvis did. It was pretty dang cool that he pulled that off!”
            Mowry credited Will for a great start to the rodeo, noting that he is a bit scared of the arena where the horses run so close to the fences and people. They were third in the first round of their bracket and won the third round with a 13.93-second run, so both horses had performances to be proud of.
            Winning $22,500 at San Antonio gives Mowry a boost to possibly make her way back for a fifth NFR appearance (she qualified last year after going to just 28 well-chosen rodeos). But it also gives her the freedom to do her favorite thing – spend more time with her futurity horses.
            “It’s kind of a bonus for me to make the Finals and it’s a lot of fun, but my futurity horses are my passion. It’s what I love to do the most,” she said. “I love the babies and don’t have a ton of pressure running them, because you can’t have expectations with them. They help me stay sharp.
            “Keeping a couple of horses back (9-year-old Will and Jarvis) gives me something to be competitive on and I like being able to rodeo occasionally and get out of trainer mode. This is what we train for the whole time!”
            Because of her extensive futurity program, Mowry picks and chooses rodeos carefully, working to get into the big winter rodeos that are both near home and pay well so that she can stay home a lot of the year. She goes out for a few weeks during the Fourth of July run and tries to make the most out of her limited rodeo time. It’s crazy busy – but she loves getting the chance to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Note: Kassie Mowry making it count at RodeoHouston winning the first round of Super Series III on Monday, March 4.

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(719) 447-4627
(719) 447-4631 (fax)

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