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Photos by Kenneth Springer

At this time last year, Mary Walker hobbled to her seat in the Thomas & Mack Center on a crutch. She was rehabbing from a string of major injuries sustained when Perculatin fell on her at a Crosby, Texas barrel race in June 2011. She was putting one foot in front of the other, learning to live without her son, Reagon, whose life was tragically taken in an automobile accident in April of the same year.

Photo by Kenneth Springer

Despite a slower than normal start to the 10-day stretch that is the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Lisa Lockhart and An Oakie With Cash (“Louie”) are running stronger than ever. Tonight’s 13.66-second go-round win is worth $18,257.21 and a trip across the stage at the go-round buckle presentations held nightly at South Point Casino and Hotel – icing on the cake of last night’s million-dollar milestone.

Following her second consecutive go round win on Friday, Dec. 7 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which takes place Dec. 6-15 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., Mary Walker met up with GAC barrel racing commentator and 11-time WPRA World champion, Charmayne James, to talk a little strategy. Barrel Horse News was behind the scenes and we share the special exchange between two gracious champions here.