Photos by Kenneth Springer

December 9, 2019 — Las Vegas — A hit barrel in Round Four only gave Dona Kay Rule and High Valor the focus and grit they needed to enter Round Five and throw down the fastest time so far of the barrel racing at the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, a 13.56 for their second round-win of the Finals.

“I needed to be super duper focused tonight. I was very disappointed in a couple things I chose to do last night, and tonight I corrected those things and he keyed on me,” Rule said. “We got our first barrel down and it set up a pretty good run for the rest of it, and being first on the ground helped a lot.”

Running top of the ground certainly provided a fast track for the Minco, Oklahoma, duo. However, Rule says the ground hasn’t been a problem for her American Quarter Horse Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Horse of the Year ‘Valor,’ a 10-year-old gelding trained by Rule and bred and started on the pattern by Lana Merrick-Bailey of Canadian River Quarter Horses.

“Valor’s not having trouble with the ground. Just a little stumble on the very first night, but that’s to be expected—you’re going fast, and things happen,” Rule said. “I haven’t had ground trouble. It’ll be interesting tomorrow when I run last; we’ll see how that goes.”

Rule is relying on a short-term memory as she enters the alley at the Thomas and Mack Center arena each night.

“I go on the ‘Lion King’ thing with Rafiki, when he cracks Simba on the head and says, ‘It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.’ Best thing you can have in this business is a bad memory,” Rule said.

Rule stays at No. 6 in the world standings after the win. Emily Miller and Namgis D 33 made another clean trip through the cloverleaf to hold onto their No. 1 spot in both the world and the average. Amberleigh Moore moves to No. 3 in the world after a second-place paycheck.

Round Five Results

  1. Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 13.56, $26,230.77
  2. Amberleigh Moore, CP Dark Moon, 13.63, $20,730.77
  3. Ivy Conrado Saebens, KN Fabs Gift Of Fame, 13.77, $15,653.85
  4. Hailey Kinsel Lockwood, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.86, $11,000
  5. Jennifer Sharp, KR Famous Tequilla, 13.88, $6,769.23
  6. Lacinda Rose, RR Meradas Real Deal, 13.92, $4,230.77
  7. 7/8. Cheyenne Wimberley, VQ Sucker Punch, 13.95
  8. 7/8. Emily Miller, Namgis D 33, 13.95
  9. Shali Lord, Freckles Ta Fame, 13.96
  10. Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 13.97
  11. Nellie Miller, Rafter W Minnie Reba, 14.07
  12. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Babe On The Chase, 14.10
  13. Stevi Hillman, One Perfect Ruby, 18.78*
  14. Lisa Lockhart, Prime Diamond, 18.92*
  15. Ericka Nelson, Goodfrenchanfriday, 18.99*

Aggregate Standings on Five Runs

  1. Emily Miller, 68.59
  2. Ivy Conrado Saebens, 69.36
  3. Jessica Routier, 69.45
  4. Nellie Miller, 69.89
  5. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 70.01
  6. Shali Lord, 70.03
  7. Jennifer Sharp, 70.06
  8. Lacinda Rose, 70.81
  9. Dona Kay Rule, 74.07
  10. Hailey Kinsel Lockwood, 74.09
  11. Lisa Lockhart, 74.47
  12. Amberleigh Moore, 78.59
  13. Ericka Nelson, 79.86
  14. Stevi Hillman, 84.51
  15. Cheyenne Wimberley, 85.39
Emily Miller and Namgis D 33 running home at the NFR
Emily Miller and Namgis D 33 hold onto their lead in the world standings and the average with another clean run in Round Five of the Wrangler NFR. Photo by Kenneth Springer. This photo is property of BHN and Kenneth Springer and is not for use on any platform, web or print, without express written permission from the publication and the photographer.

World Standings

  1. Emily Miller, $196,990.89
  2. Hailey Kinsel Lockwood, $194,828.18
  3. Amberleigh Moore, $181,751.53
  4. Lisa Lockhart, $181,313.19
  5. Nellie Miller, $175,610.50
  6. Dona Kay Rule, $174,622.88
  7. Ivy Conrado Saebens, $140,923.09
  8. Jessica Routier, $138,735.75
  9. Stevi Hillman, $130,988.67
  10. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $122,272.63
  11. Shali Lord, $121,775.59
  12. Jennifer Sharp, $114,023.68
  13. Ericka Nelson, $110,202.47
  14. Lacinda Rose, $103,166.62
  15. Cheyenne Wimberley, $100,360.85

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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