Featuring a $1 million payout the inaugural event showcased 87 fierce rodeo athletes competing for their share of the pie. Stakes were high as the top 15 athletes in barrel racing, team roping, tie down roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and bull riding battled it out for top honors.
Kassie Mowry riding Firewatermakemehappy topped the first performance of the three-day finals. The field was tough and at draw No. 1 Mowry and “Junior” had to wait out a tough field of 14 other standout teams.
“I was first out, so it was a little nerve-racking trying to be ready and be there when they called my name,” Mowry said. “I know he broke really hard to the first barrel and I wasn’t sure if he saw it or not, so I did grab him. He went a little by it, but he did recover and after that he was like clockwork, he knew his job.”
Firewatermakemehappy is by Firewaterontherocks out of Junior Country Girl owned my Martha and Jeff Smith. Junior was a champion futurity horse as a 4-year-old and now he’s earning his stripes as a rodeo mount.
Mowry qualified for the ERA World Championships at the Wednesday, November, 9, Last Chance Qualifier at the Dallas Fair Park Coliseum. She hasn’t had much time to mentally prepare for the ERA World Championships, however she says she’s been preparing the 6-year-old gelding standout for high-pressure situations like this one his whole life.
“I went through the qualifier series in Mesquite and he won a couple of rounds and when we came down to the very last bracket we were long, so I didn’t make it through that set,” Mowry said. “They did have another qualifier and I came through that one and I was bound and determined to make it here I realy wanted to have the opportunity to run him here.”
Going into tomorrow’s performance Mowry says her game plan is to keep Junior confident and stick to her strategy of riding him like he’s a young rodeo mount.
“Keep treating him like a colt,” Mowry said of her game plan. “I’m going to take him in there tomorrow and do the same thing and slow work him and let him know everything’s going to be OK and then I’m going to hopefully come in with the same plan knowing he’s a little more confident.”
Second in the first round of the finals went to Fallon Taylor with a 13.05 riding Flos Heiress and Lisa Lockhart and An Oakie With Cash took the third place win with a 13.06.
Race to the ERA World Championship
Place, Contestant, Points
1, Lisa Lockhart, 2,925
2, Chayni Chamberlain, 2,362.5
3, Fallon Taylor, 2,337.5
4, Brittany Diaz, 2,237.5
5, Kassidy Denison, 2,112.5
6, Ashley Schafer, 1,925
7, Sarah McDonald, 1,887.5
8, Taylor Jacob, 1,475
9, Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 1,437.5
10, Callie duPerier, 1,412.5
11, Charmayne James, 1,087.5
12, Kassie Mowry, 892
13, Shelley Morgan, 444
14, Jennifer Kalafatic, 417.5
15, Makenzie Mays, 0