By Blanche Schaefer

February 17, 2016, Fort Worth, Texas — Jimmy Bryant raced into Cowtown Coliseum for performance No. 3 of RFD-TV’s The American semifinals in head-to-toe pink and purple tie-dye, the words “Make A Wish” emblazoned down each leg. The Columbus, Indiana, cowboy spun Little Bit Of Cowboy around the first barrel, calling on his acrobatic barrel-saving tricks to keep it upright as he turned the backside. Bryant crossed the timer eye in 13.911, winning the performance and $3,603.6. The win secured Bryant’s first trip to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for The American Rodeo on February 19.JimmyBryant2 AmericanSemis2017 webJimmy Bryant pushes Little Bit Of Cowboy home to clock a 13.911 and win performance No. 3 of The American Rodeo semifinals February 17 in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by Kailey Sullins

Bryant knew his 2004 sorrel gelding by TNT Money Bars and out of Zions Sun Lady by Zion Sun King would wrap the first turn out of the blind alleyway. The barrel spun in the dirt, but Bryant pushed it back up as he left the turn.

“I sent him in there and knew he’d go to turn it, and I wasn’t going to let it tip,” Bryant said. “I thought, I’m in trouble, I’ve got to set this up. He’s so easy to ride, I just put my hand over there and set it up and knew he’d take care of the rest.”

Bryant’s performance win and advancement to The American Rodeo is more than just a barrel racing victory. Bryant is donning tie-dye and riding for a special cause—the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Brantley Morren, a 4-year-old boy who’s survived leukemia.

“A little girl asked me one time if I made it to The American if I would wear tie-dye. I said yes, and I wanted to do something for the kids, so I thought about Make-A-Wish,” Bryant said. “Everything just fell together, and I sponsored two kids and raised $16,000 in 30 days, and the rest is history. [Brantley Morren] is here with me tonight and supporting me and all my family.”

When Bryant heads to AT&T Stadium on February 19, he’ll be competing for a $1 million-win as a qualifying contestant.

“Words don’t describe it,” Bryant said of how it would feel to win $1 million. “I want to go help some more kids—it’d be great.”

For more on Bryant and Brantley Morren’s story, visit:

Kelsey Lutjen’s and KN Fabs Gift Of Fame’s time of 13.804 from performance No. 1 held to win the semifinals, worth a whopping $43,543. “J-Lo” is owned by Kenny Nichols and Dale Barron and was trained and futuritied by Lutjen. The 2009 mare is by Frenchmans Fabulous and out of Mistys Dash Of Fame by Dash Ta Fame.

The top 10 fastest barrel racers from the field of 30 who ran in the three semifinals performances will run against the 10 invited contestants in the long round of The American Rodeo on Feb. 19. From the long round, the four fastest will advance to the Shootout Round to determine the champion. The full field of barrel racers—qualifiers and invitees—competing in the long round is: Kellie Collier, Chayni Chamberlain, Wylee Mitchell, Fallon Taylor, Sophie Palmore, Kassidy Dennison, Lake Mehalic, Mary Walker, Brianna Trepanier, Pamela Capper, Jimmy Bryant, Kimmie Wall, Chris Martin, Sherry Cervi, Hailey Kinsel, Lisa Lockhart, Brandon Cullins, Amberleigh Moore, Kelsey Lutjen, and Mary Burger.

Stay tuned to Barrel Horse News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates from The American Rodeo at AT&T Stadium. Be sure to grab a copy of the April 2017 issue of BHN for in-depth coverage and photographs from The American.

Semifinals Results: Qualifiers Advancing to RFD-TV’s The American (Feb. 19)
1. Kelsey Lutjen, KN Fabs Gift Of Fame, 13.804KelseyLutjen2 AmericanSemis2017 webKelsey Lutjen and KN Fabs Gift Of Fame won The American Rodeo semifinals with a 13.804 from performance No. 1 on February 15. Lutjen earned a healthy $43,543 for winning the semifinals, in addition to $3,604 for winning the performance. Photo by Kailey Sullins
2. Brandon Cullins, VQ Sucker Punch, 13.833
3. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.900
4. Chris Martin, Frenchmans Perks, 13.910
5. Jimmy Bryant, Little Bit Of Cowboy, 13.911
6. Brianna Trepanier, DHR Phoebes Rose, 13.924
7. Lake Mehalic, Mondays Buddy, 13.974
8. Sophie Palmore, Chicks Quick Molly, 13.995
9. Wylee Mitchell, Smokey Gold Jack, 14.012
10. Kellie Collier, Streakin Easy April, 14.020


Results from Friday (Feb. 17) Semifinals Performance
1. Jimmy Bryant, Little Bit Of Cowboy, 13.911, $3,603.6
2. Lake Mehalic, Mondays Buddy, 13.974, $3,003
3. Sophie Palmore, Chicks Quick Molly, 13.995, $2,402.4
4. Terri Wood-Gates, Carley Cue, 14.249, $1,801.8
5. Lisa Nicholas, Stoli My Guy, 14.284, $1,201.2
6. Lindsey McLeod, Stitches Honor N Fame, 18.976*
7. Katie Joe Boyd, Famous Moon Cheyn, 19.073*
8. Callahan Crossely, DC Princess, 19.272*
9. Kylie Conner, Famous Fancy Coin, 24.405**
10. Rachel Stoller, Dats A Biankus, 24.662**

Results from Thursday (Feb. 16) Semifinals Performance
1. Brandon Cullins, VQ Sucker Punch, 13.833, $3,603.6
2. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.900, $3,003
3. Wylee Mitchell, Smokey Gold Jack, 14.012, $2,402.4
4. Victoria Williams, Three Jets Olena, 14.053, $1,801.8
5. Amy Jo Farella, Streakin Jet Remedy, 14.076, $1,201.2
6. Kathy Korrell-Rach, Smoke N Sunshine, 14.086
7. Ari-Anna Flynn, Tobys Poco Mysterio, 14.108
8. Shannon Jones, Frenchmans Royal Guy, 14.269
9. Haley Wolfe, Mia Fabulous Fame, 14.347
10. Shelby McCauley, Handlin Doc, 24.071**

Results from Wednesday (Feb. 15) Semifinals Performance

1. Kelsey Lutjen, KN Fabs Gift Of Fame, 13.804, $3,603.6
2. Chris Martin, Frenchmans Perks, 13.910, $3,003
3. Brianna Trepanier, DHR Phoebes Rose, 13.924, $2,402.4
4. Kellie Collier, Streakin Easy April, 14.020, $1,801.8
5. Kassie Mowry,Firewatermakemehappy, 14.027, $1,201.2
6. Stevi Hillman, Cuatro Fame, 14.056
7. Abby Penson, Pearl Snappin, 14.129
8. Brooke Rix, Gypsy Hat Oh Fame, 19.041
9. Jessica Leach, Rich Money, 19.103
10. Leslie Willis, Gimme Damoney, 23.820**

*Time denotes five-second* or 10-second** penalty

Blanche Schaefer is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected].


Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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