March 1, 2021 — Fort Worth, Texas — Janna Brown and DH Jess Stellar set the arena record on their way to winning RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals slack with a 13.387 inside Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.

At draw No. 224 out of 280 entries and No. 4 in the drag, Brown and Hodges Farms-owned DH Jess Stellar (Mighty Jess x PC Frosted Stellar x Sun Frost) brought the crowd to their feet inside Cowtown Coliseum when they turned in the arena-record time, previously held by Stevi Hillman and MCM Imasharpguy with a 13.40 from November 2017.

Brown said the run felt effortless.

“I just rode my horse. I just ran; like I ran barrels,” Brown said with a laugh. “I honestly can’t tell you what I was thinking or what I did. I honestly just got on and ran.”

The duo qualified for The American Semifinals at the Glen Rose, Texas, qualifier on January 30, 2021. Brown trained and campaigned “Jules” throughout her futurity and derby years to the tune of more than $67,000 in Equi-Stat reported earnings. Now, the 8-year-old mare has been sharing time between Brown and three-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Hailey Kinsel as a backup rodeo mount to her WPRA Horse of the Year and world champion DM Sissy Hayday.

Brown says the experience Kinsel gave Jules at pro rodeos boosted their confidence for the semifinals.

“I got her as a 3-year-old from the Hodges and started her, ran her as a futurity horse and two derby years and then Hailey Kinsel took her—right after The American last year—and she rodeoed on her as a backup horse. Jules grew up a lot and Hailey has her working good. She’s a gritty mare, she’s always wanted to be a barrel horse, it just it took her a little longer to get her to focused as a colt, but we obviously got her focused,” Brown said with a laugh.

Brown hasn’t had the mare back for long before the semifinals but felt confident in Jules’ abilities after being on the rodeo road with Kinsel.

“I think it was quite good for me to be able to get on her and just jump on and run and not worry about tuning or training,” said Brown, an earner of more than $806,700 in Equi-Stat reported lifetime earnings. “There was no overthinking. She’s way more solid, more confident and doesn’t get distracted by anything. She just goes and does her job.”

The top 30 from Monday’s slack round of Semifinals action earned their ticket to RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals performance rounds. Tuesday will also feature the Buy Back Round of barrel racing for those who didn’t qualify in the top 30. The top three fastest times from the Buy Back will also earn a bid to the performance rounds. Find the draw here.

RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals Slack Top 30

Rank, Rider, Hometown, Horse, Time, Earnings
  1. Janna Brown, Mt Pleasant, TX, DH Jess Stellar, 13.387, $21,165
  2. Abigail Poe, Fitzgerald, GA, Furious Interlude, 13.484, $16,932
  3. Bristan Kennedy, Levelland, TX, Copies Famous Saint, 13.505, $13,575
  4. Cassidy Teague, Wichita Falls, TX, Tres Socks, 13.528, $10,582
  5. Taylor Smith Crockett, TX, Cash Flow Depot, 13.587, $8,466
  6. Ryann Pedone, Sunset, TX, JS Milo And Stitch, 13.614, $6,350
  7. Troy Crumrine, Waynesfield, OH Blazin Boss, 13.617, $5,291
  8. Jenny Born, Waubun, MN, Hot Lil Scooter, 13.619, $4,762
  9. Erin Zoucha, Sutton, NE, VF Look Im Back, 13.620, $4,233
  10. Trinity Beauvais, Balsam Lake, WI, Eyes Okey Dokey, 13.631, $3,703
  11. Emma Smith, Pleasanton, TX, One First Class Lady, 13.637, $3,174
  12. Ali Kate Kelleher, Gray, GA, Dis Kat Kin Skat, 13.657, $2,645
  13. Sarah McCormick, Karnack, TX, Down Town Streakin, 13.679, $2,116
  14. Haley Wolfe, Flora Vista , NM, Iron Eyes Rio Bravo, 13.692, $1,687
  15. Sue Smith, Blackfoot, ID, Dash’s Centerfold, 13.697, $1,144
  16. Kassie Mowry, Dublin, TX, CP He Will Be Epic, 13.699, $1,000
  17. Shannon McReynolds, La Luz, NM, Wood Bring Bullion, 13.714, $1,000
  18. Brandon Cullins, Clements, MD, MCM Imasharpguy, 13.724, $1,000
  19. (tie) Cindy Patrick, Brooksville, FL, Flitin N Dashin, 13.732, $1,000
  20. (tie) Paris Jean, Pearl River, LA, Fame In A Fling, 13.732, $1,000
  21. Kortney Kizer, Pep, NM, HPQ Hop Ta Cerveza, 13.733, $1,000
  22. Casey Mathis, Washoe Valley, NV, SH Stylish And Sly, 13.736, $1,000
  23. Ilyssa Glass, Tatum, NM, Championofthehouse, 13.746, $1,000
  24. Fonda Melby Backus, MN RF Back for the Cash, 13.756, $1,000
  25. Charlie Sohrt, Manvel, TX, It Pays More To Win, 13.758, $1,000
  26. Kenna Squires, Fredonia, TX, NB Ladybird, 13.764, $1,000
  27. Emily Wilkins, Bath, NY, Chasin Easy Money, 13.778, $1,000
  28. Jamie Steiner, Weatherford, TX, XS Dirty Lil Secret, 13.790, $1,000
  29. Bailey Belcher, Brooks, KY, Pocket Coin Five, 13.819, $1,000
  30. Shannon Lillard, Fargo, OK, LZK Dashus Rock Star, 13.822, $1,000

Kailey Sullins is editor of Barrel Horse News, and an avid barrel racer and breakaway roper. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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