Fort Worth, Texas — February 27, 2020 — Mulligans come few and far between in rodeo. North Dakota trainer Molly Otto has more than taken advantage of a rare second chance offered via the buy-back round to advance through RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals. After a poor performance in the slack round February 24, she and Dustin and Katie Lindahl’s gelding Sixappeal have been the fastest team on the dirt in both the buy-back round February 25 and the first Semifinals performance February 27.
“My first run was really not great,” Otto said. “I didn’t let it get to me. I knew he was capable of going out there and making a good run, so I just pretended like it didn’t happen. I didn’t change anything, didn’t tune on him. I just came back with a different attitude.”
The duo posted a convincing 13.775 to win the buy-back Tuesday and won again in the first performance Thursday with a 13.908.
“I was nervous all day thinking about [the first performance],” Otto admitted. “Once I got here and got my horse ready, I felt some peace about it and thought, ‘It’s just another run.’ I’m just going to go out there and stay relaxed and try to make a nice run.”
The tight quarters of Cowtown Coliseum can be challenging for some horses. Otto says the small pattern was more like a home-field advantage for the 7-year-old gelding by More Nachos and out of Six It Up by Tres Seis.
“All the pens I run in up in Minnesota are all small like this, so I feel really comfortable in this type of pen,” Otto said. “He felt really strong warming him up, felt like he was going to have a lot of run. I tried to stay calm and not let him get too fired up—I just stood back there and let him relax.”
From the four performances February 27–March 1, the top 10 fastest overall will move on to RFD-TV’s The American at AT&T Stadium from March 7–8, where they will compete against the top 10 from the 2019 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association final world standings for a chance at $1 million.
RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals Performance One Results
- Molly Otto, Sixappeal, 13.908
- Ari-Anna Flynn, PC Uncle Psi, 13.923
- Leslie Willis, Gimme Damoney, 13.924
- Ryan Johnson, Tobys Poco Misterio, 14.066
- Ashlyn Goven, Smooth And Irish, 14.097
- Shannon Lillard, LZK Dashus Rockstar, 14.138
- Mark Bugni, JL Twisted Roc, 14.156
- Kenna Squires, NB Ladybird, 14.174
- Victoria Williams, Three Jets Olena, 18.862*
- Taylor Shields, Furys Princess, 18.950*
- Margo Crowther, Grandiose Guy, 19.299*
- Sara Withers, Frenchmans Perks, 19.334*
- Jimmy Bryant, Special Chicado, 19.572*