OKLAHOMA CITY — April 30, 2023 — It’s Short Go Sunday in Oklahoma City at the 2023 Better Barrel Races World Finals, and after a week of action, a futurity champion has been crowned and 1,998 entries in the two 2023 BBR World Finals qualifying races have made their bids to be one of 60 in each division to make it to Sunday’s final round.

When the dust settled on the BBR’s 20th anniversary event, Texas A&M University student Victoria Procter rode away with the Open 1D championship check for $12,355 thanks to a 15.184 on her mare NNN Sixums Firewater. For full results, click here.

2023 BBR World Finals Champion Victoria Procter and NNN Sixums Firewater

The loud Sunday finals crowd inside the Jim Norick Arena in the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Coliseum knew Victoria Procter was making a winning run after NNN Sixums Firewater rolled down the alley and peeled the paint off the first barrel, making one of the best first turns seen that day with not an inch to spare, a foot out of place nor a millisecond of wasted motion. Procter hustled the little yellow mare through the rest of the pattern and crossed the timer’s eye to a 15.184, a time that held through the remaining 29 riders to win the 2023 BBR World Finals for $12,355.

“She took off way before I wanted her to, and I remember hearing the gate man [Carl Hardin] say, ‘Go on, go make your run,’ so I knew I was doing it. I whipped her to the first and then just sat down. Her first barrel usually determines a good run,” Procter said. “She kept running, smoked her second, and then I was just trying to get around the third and come home fast enough.”

Procter is a junior and rodeo team athlete at Texas A&M University, and she also recently bought her Women’s Professional Rodeo Association card to kick off her Rookie season of pro rodeo. The self-professed rodeo girl wondered if “Bunny” could hold her own against the ultra-fast 1D divisional horses, especially since the run was the pair’s sixth of the week after juggling BBR runs in Oklahoma City with the Resistol Rookie Roundup rodeo four hours south in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We got in this morning at 4 a.m. for the third time this week. She does better when she’s tired, so I stuck her in the trailer all week and rolled from there. She’s a rodeo horse, so usually when we come [to the divisional races], these girls will spank us left and right,” said Procter, who came into the final round with a qualifying time of 15.538. “I would have been happy with a 2D check. I was not expecting her to lay down a run like that. We’re both tired. I just wanted a clean run and some money to help me rodeo this summer, so when I saw the time, I was crying. She came out not even out of breath — I really have no words for her.”

Victoria Procter turns the second barrel at 2023 BBR World Finals
Victoria Procter rode her 2014 mare NNN Sixums Firewater (Deep Sixum x Miss Doubtfire Flit x Fire Water Flit) bred by Jeanette Nelson and trained by Ryann Pedone, to a 15.184 to win the 2023 BBR World Finals for $12,355. Photo by Traci Davenport Photography

With some money in the bank and a good horse on the trailer, Procter is excited to embark on her first summer run of pro rodeos and compete at her second College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. She lives with Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Tammy Fischer in Ledbetter, Texas, and says Fischer’s mentorship is a big reason why she’s been able to find success at a high level in the arena. Fischer was also instrumental in pairing Procter with her special mare, a 2014 model by Deep Sixum and out of Miss Doubtfire Flit by Fire Water Flit, bred by Jeanette Nelson.

“Her name is Bunny, and I got her after my horse named ‘Rabbit’ died, completely coincidentally. I didn’t want to do it anymore, and Tammy didn’t let me quit, which is why I’m here right now,” Procter said through emotion. ” She didn’t let me rush into buying anything. She let me ride her good horse for about six months until we found Bunny. Ryann Pedone trained her and futuritied her, and then Tammy’s trained me since I was 12. All the credit goes to them and God.”

Simply put, Procter says the BBR World Finals is Bunny’s win, not hers.

“If you had asked my 12-year-old self, I never would have thought I’d be where I am right now. It means a lot to me for her, because she deserves it. All I want is to make her look good. She’s not a big horse and she’s not the fastest, but her heart makes up for it,” Procter said. “With this money, I can go rodeo, and she deserves to be at the rodeos. I want to get her where she’s happiest. I know God made her for me. I don’t think there’s any other horse out there that fits me way she does.”

Vitalize Futurity Champion DaCota Monk and TNR Wannaseemycancan (Barn 8)

DaCota Monk captured his second career BBR World Finals Futurity title, topping the 2023 futurity aboard the Billy and Suzonne Franks-owned and Victory Farms-bred 2019 mare TNR Wannaseemycancan (Eddie Stinson x Chase This Ivory x Ivory James). Monk’s first BBR World Finals Futurity title came in 2020 aboard the late great mare Famous Lemon Drop.

“She reminds me more of the yellow mare (Famous Lemon Drop) — just freaks of nature,” Monk said. “I can feel her front feet and her shoulders when she takes off in the straight lines, when she flings her front feet forward, I can feel that in the saddle. She doesn’t just push with her back feet, she pulls with her front feet.”

DaCota Monk turns second barrel at 2023 BBR World Finals Futurity
DaCota Monk rode 2019 mare TNR Wannaseemycancan (Eddie Stinson x Chase This Ivory x Ivory James), owned by Bill and Suzonne Franks, to the 2023 BBR World Finals Futurity title with an average of 31.797 for $3,902. The pair won the first go with a 15.819, worth $2,927, and came back in the second go with another strong 15.978 to place second for $2,439. Photo by Traci Davenport Photography

The pair won the first go with a 15.819, worth $2,927, and came back in the second go with another strong 15.978 to place second for $2,439 behind Ashley Schafer’s 15.951 on Fames Dashing Jet (Dash Ta Fame x Guys Dashing Jet x Frenchmans Guy). Their championship average of 31.797 banked $3,902.

“I didn’t get to exhibition her; this was her first run cold-turkey in a new pen,” said Monk, who’s been juggling his time this week between the BBR World Finals in Oklahoma City and the Ruby Buckle in nearby Guthrie, Oklahoma. “I’ve been gauging my first barrel with her. She’s so scary fast, so I try to cruise her to the first, because if I push too much she gets flat and pushes on me going to it, but if I relax and let her pick her speed, she’ll hold her line. That’s been tricky. Now that she’s more seasoned, she’s gaining more speed to the first and holding her line. I show her the barrel at the right spot, and she’ll sit and smoke it. After the first, I have to remember to get aggressive, because if I don’t, she turns really hard, so I ride her all the way into the hole past my leg and stay out of her way.”

The mare is another successful product of dam Chase This Ivory, an EquiStat producer of more than $308,000 in offspring earnings. “Cancan” is a full sister to American Rodeo qualifier and EquiStat earner of more than $138,000 VF Chasin Cans, as well as a maternal half-sister to Born Ivory James, by Born Ta Be Famous, an earner of more than $88,000.

Visit OKC Qualifying Race 1 Champion London Gorham and Cashin Chicks (Coliseum)

London Gorham turns the second barrel in OKC at 2023 BBR World Finals
London Gorham ran a 15.101 in the Coliseum aboard Cashin Chicks (Time For A God x Star Dancer Victress x Panther Mountain) to win the Visit OKC Qualifying Race 1 at the 2023 BBR World Finals for $6,662. Photo by Traci Davenport Photography

London Gorham set the pace early inside the Jim Norick Arena in the Coliseum, smoking a 15.101 on Cashin Chicks, a 2012 stallion by Time For A God and out of Star Dancer Victress by Panther Mountain, to win the Visit OKC Qualifying Race 1 for $6,662. Gorham is no stranger to success in OKC — she won the BBR World Finals in 2018 as a youth rider with another blazing time of 15.080 aboard Fortunes Flame.

She heads into the finals on Sunday as high-callback in the final draw position of the 2023 BBR World Finals with hopes of earning another BBR world championship title.

SmartPak Qualifying Race 2 Champion Katelyn Scott and Letta Trouble Doit (Barn 6)

In Barn 6 for 2023 BBR World Finals Qualifying Race 2, Katelyn Scott and ApHC gelding Letta Trouble Doit (Troubled Memories x SX Letta Honey Doit x Letta Hand Do It) bested the field April 29 on the last day of qualifying round competition. The Odessa, Texas, barrel racer rode the 2012 model Appaloosa-registered gelding to a 15.352 for $6,355, narrowly edging Kylee Scribner’s second-place 15.354 on Firewater Cartel.

2023 BBR World Finals Invitational Shootout Champions (Coliseum)

1D: Jamey Hunt, Gripe Gut (APHA), 15.335, $3,000

2D: Jacie Etbauer-Allred, Wayta Whistle Frosty, 15.374, $3,500

3D: Dawn Elmore, Docs Famous Txranger, 15.771, $3,650

4D: Beth Ann Hicks, Cash For Candy Crush, 16.206, $3,400

5D: Traci Macauley, Cowboy Gold Sugar, 16.195, $3,100

Author

Blanche Schaefer is an avid barrel racer and managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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