LAS VEGAS — December 9, 2022 — The three-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world champions Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday can never be counted out. Even after collecting $146,873.72 in 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo earnings and winning four rounds thus far, they haven’t let off the pedal. Kinsel and “Sister” came into Round Nine fourth out on the ground and turned in a 13.34 to run the fastest time of the NFR so far and earn another round win.

“That was a fun run,” Kinsel said with a laugh. “She was just doing everything fast tonight — she warmed up fast, pushing on the bridle a little like she was ready to rock and roll.

“I knew I was going to have to hold her and keep her contained best I could,” she continued. “When she took off to the first and was shaking her head, flying, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I better start saying whoa now.’ And I did as soon as we came out of the mouth of the alley.”

Not only did the team from Cotulla, Texas, turn in the fastest time so far of the 2022 Wrangler NFR, but they did so with the reins flipped over Sister’s head going to the third barrel.

“I’ve never flipped my reins on her before. Doing that on the backside of the second barrel was terrifying,” Kinsel said with a laugh. “I knew by Round Nine or Round Ten that she would get tighter. She just gets a little tighter and tighter. They know where the barrels are. Knowing we were running to the third barrel with only the option of an inside rein was a little nerve wracking, but I just said, ‘Well, I guess you don’t have a plan B, so you better just drive and pick up a little. So that’s what we did.”

Hailey Kinsel
Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday win Round Nine of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with a 13.34, the fastest time of the NFR so far. Photo by Kenneth Springer

—> 2022 WPRA Top 15 Stats

There’s no doubt Kinsel and Sister, who’s by PC Frenchmans Hayday and out of Royal Sissy Irish by Royal Shake Em, will go down in history as one of the greatest barrel racing teams to ever run. They’ve earned more than $2 million in EquiStat reported lifetime earnings, more than $1 million in career NFR earnings, earned three world titles and three American Rodeo championships. Still, the duo never ceases to impress.

The 28-year-old from Cotulla, Texas, says it isn’t without its struggles or hard work. Even after six NFR qualifications, Kinsel’s nightly routine after each round — win or lose — is to study footage and make a game plan for the next round.

“I watch my run back [each night], and I watch the dirt a little, especially for whatever position I’m going to be the next night,” Kinsel said. “More than anything, I just see what did I do right? What did I do wrong? I’ve struggled to get my first barrel this week. She wants to run in there really hard. So, tonight the way she took off, I thought we could have definitely went straight to the camera bit like we did last night. But I decided to ride it different, and sometimes it’s things like that. It’s having that mental discipline to say, ‘I’m going to do this different and I’m going to do it right this time.'”

Emily Beisel
Emily Beisel and Namgis D 33 picked up a second-place paycheck in Round Nine of the Wrangler NFR and moved into the No. 3 position in the world standings. Photo by Kenneth Springer

This marks Kinsel’s 20th NFR round win. Kinsel is quick to note that while she’s been aboard Sister for each and every history-making win, she gives herself little credit and instead solely credits Sister for the success.

“My horse is amazing, and she keeps giving me these cool opportunities, so I better pay attention and ride every step of it, because if I don’t she’s going without me,” Kinsel said. “She seems to wake up and peak whenever she feels like it, and oftentimes it comes in important moments, and I don’t have a lot of say in when that is. I keep her as comfortable as I can, but the rest of it’s her idea entirely.”

—> 2022 Wrangler NFR First-Timers

Standings Update

One round remains. Tomorrow night, a world champion will be crowned. The entire 2022 Wrangler NFR has been a knife fight, and it promises to be so all the way to the end.

Currently, Kinsel sits in the No. 1 position in the world standings with a $34,180.90 lead over No. 2 Jordon Briggs. However, Briggs currently sits in the No. 4 position in the aggregate which will pay $34,976 in comparison to the $6,995 Kinsel will receive if she holds onto her No. 8 position in the aggregate race.

Shelley Morgan has ridden HR Fameskissandtell through nine rounds and currently sits in the No. 1 position in the aggregate race with a time of 123.77 on nine runs. “Kiss” is by CEO and out of Fames Fiery Kiss by Dash Ta Fame and was bred by lifelong barrel racer Elizabeth Hayes. Kiss has earned more than $484,000 in EquiStat reported lifetime earnings and placed in five of 10 rounds at last year’s 2021 NFR. She’s earned more than $170,000 in Wrangler NFR earnings alone — not including the 2022 NFR earnings they’ve collected, which reaches $63,163.90.

Shelley Morgan
Shelley Morgan and HR Fameskissandtell lead the aggregate at the 2022 Wrangler NFR with a time of 123.77 on nine runs. Photo by Kenneth Springer

Morgan, along with Rookie of the Year Bayleigh Choate, are the only two barrel racers to have kept all the barrels up this NFR. Choate has ridden two horses and currently sits in the No. 2 position in the aggregate.

Bayleigh Choate rode 7-year-old gelding Hail To Be Famous, by Dash Ta Fame and out of Itty Bitty Boon by Flaming Talent. He was bred by Terri Willingham with the assistance of her sister Luann Johnson of Twisted J Ranch in Stephenville, Texas. Hail To Be Famous’ barrel racing career started under Kassie Mowry’s training with EquiStat earnings at his first futurity, the 2018 BFA World Championship Juvenile (3-year-old). A year later, Choate made the 2019 BFA Futurity Finals on the gelding as the only Junior rider in the Finals. In 2022, Choate won Ponoka (Alberta, Canada) on the gelding to help bolster her first NFR qualification.

Choate started the NFR out abaord TJR Stinson Blue. The 5-year-old Eddie Stinson gelding out of YO Threatnin Frost by Pat Cowan did well for Choate in the winter building rodeos. Whitney Godinez trained “Boozer” and was hauling him as a 3-year-old when Choate purchased him. Together, Choate and Boozer have won more than $108,547 in EquiStat reported earnings.

NFR Barrel Racing Round Nine Results

Place, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won

  1. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.34 seconds, $28,914
  2. Emily Beisel, Namgis D 33, 13.38, $22,851
  3. Shelley Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 13.47, $17,255
  4. Margo Crowther, Shes Packin Fame, 13.52, $12,125
  5. 5/6. (tie) Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 13.59, $6,063
  6. 5/6. (tie) Lisa Lockhart, Promise Me Fame Guys, 13.59, $6,063
  7. Wenda Johnson, Macgyver Moonflash, 13.65
  8. Kassie Mowry, CP He Will Be Epic, 13.71
  9. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Babe On The Chase, 13.77
  10. Bayleigh Choate, Hail To Be Famous, 13.80
  11. Jordon Briggs, Famous Lil Jet, 13.88
  12. Sissy Winn, A R Dash Ta Flame, 13.99
  13. Stevi Hillman, Sand In My Socks, 14.92
  14. Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 23.69 **
  15. Leslie Smalygo, Justaheartbeattofame, NT

*denotes penalty

2022 WPRA World Standings

Rank, Name, Hometown, Earnings

  1. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, TX, $266,263.30
  2. Jordon Briggs, Tolar, TX, $232,082.40
  3. Emily Beisel, Weatherford, OK, $221,718.13
  4. Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, OK, $206,676.62
  5. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, $205,629.03
  6. Shelley Morgan, Eustace, TX, $173,624.82
  7. Dona Kay Rule, Minco, OK, $171,018.99
  8. Margo Crowther, North Fort Myers, FL, $161,900.01
  9. Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, OK, $158,342.95
  10. Kassie Mowry, Dublin, TX, $150,121
  11. Stevi Hillman, Granbury, TX, $138,063.82
  12. Sissy Winn, Chapman Ranch, TX, $136,564.71
  13. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, TX, $135,972.96
  14. Bayleigh Choate (R), Fort Worth, TX, $118,147.76
  15. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, SD, $111,319.95

Aggregate Standings on Nine Runs

Rank, Name, Aggregate Time

  1. Shelley Morgan, Eustace, Texas, 123.77 seconds on nine runs
  2. Bayleigh Choate, Fort Worth, Texas, 125.33
  3. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 128.00
  4. Jordon Briggs, Tolar, Texas, 128.79
  5. Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, Okla., 129.09
  6. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, Texas, 129.16
  7. Sissy Winn, Chapman Ranch, Texas, 130.02
  8. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, 132.71
  9. Margo Crowther, North Fort Myers, Fla., 133.55
  10. Kassie Mowry, Dublin, Texas, 133.96
  11. Emily Beisel, Weatherford, Okla., 136.87
  12. Dona Kay Rule, Minco, Okla., 140.06
  13. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, S.D., 144.67
  14. Stevi Hillman, Granbury, Texas, 145.59
  15. Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, Okla., 119.55 on eight runs

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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