LAS VEGAS — December 4, 2022 — Emily Beisel and Namgis D 33 got their first round-win of the 2022 Wrangler National Finals in Round Four with a time of 13.60, worth $28,913. It marks Beisel’s sixth round-win of her NFR career.
“Every night in barrel racing is a knife fight, but I’m so thankful for my horse,” Beisel said of the 2010 gelding by Bucks Hancock Dude and out of Track Goddess by Eyesa Special. “He’s been working so hard for me. I felt like the first couple of nights I was trying to cut corners a little too fast. Tonight, I gave him more room, and he made it happen.”
Beisel and started off her fourth NFR with a round paycheck in Round One, picking up fifth place with a 13.82, worth $7,461.60. However, in Round Two, Beisel and “Chongo” caught a barrel to win the round with a 13.57. Similarly in Round Three, they picked up another 5-second penalty on a 13.53.
Beisel said the only corrections needed were on her part as a rider.
“I haven’t had to make much adjustments on his end,” she said of the 12-year-old grey gelding. “He has felt great all week; he is wanting to do things right. He’s being super honest. He’s trying hard to do right for me. The biggest thing was I had to change me. I was trying too hard to be fast.
“When you have a horse like Chongo, sometimes smooth is fast — most of the time smooth is fast — and you cannot outrun a 5-second penalty,” Beisel continued. “I should have learned that after Round Two, and I didn’t it. It took me twice. Because you know, I’m a slow learner. Tonight, I [I knew] even if it cost me a tenth of a second on the clock, I have to get him around the barrels and avoid that penalty.”
The Weatherford, Oklahoma, resident said what made the difference was riding Chongo all the way through the turn and trusting her horse. Over the course of four NFRs, Beisel says she’s noticed a difference in Chongo’s attitude and capabilities in handling the tough setup the Thomas and Mack Center arena presents.
“Honestly, as he’s matured and gotten a little older, he’s just being really honest. I’m not having to help him quite as much,” Beisel said. “In this setup here, I’m having to ride through my turn more. In 2019, you guys saw me pulling a lot more on him. I had a lot different headgear setups on him. I did have to go ahead and help him finish and get through the turn. [This year], his third barrel has been incredible all week long, and that used to be the worst barrel we had together. He’s growing up, maturing and handling these situations better. He knows this arena, and that experience here makes a world of difference. It went back to trusting him and knowing he’s going to turn, and I’ve got to just get him through it.”
Beisel was out as draw No. 3 on the ground for Round Four — a position that has been lucky for this year’s Finals barrel racers, with three out of the four rounds being won from the No. 3 position on the ground. Beisel said the ground crew at the NFR went to extra care to make sure the ground was safe across the field.
“There’s nowhere else that we run 15 barrel racers, especially this caliber, without a tractor drag,” Beisel said. “I know they are hand-raking. We appreciate that. Randy Spraggins does a great job with the ground. He is amazing. He was heartbroken last night over what happened. I know they worked really, really hard today to get it right. He sent me a really nice long text about all the differences they made, and the girls had confidence that he had it right so we could go down the alley and trust our horses and trust it was going to hold us today. And it did. I mean, what an amazing barrel race it was. Hats off to him.”
To put into perspective the differences ground adjustments made, Beisel ran top of the ground with her round-winning run, but Stevi Hillman and Hailey Kinsel ran at draws No. 13 and No. 14, respectively. Hillman finished fifth with a time of 13.67 and Kinsel placed fourth with a time of 13.66.
WPRA World Standings Changes
A few shake-ups in the standings occurred after the tough round of competition. Most notably, Lisa Lockhart took over the lead in the aggregate. Aboard the Teton Ridge-owned 2016 gelding Promise Me Fame Guys (Aint Seen Nothin Yet x Bar Blue Lass x FC Aboo), Lockhart has earned $59,433.10 in NFR earnings this year, moving her from 14th in the world standings to No. 6 after Round Four. In Round Four, the duo tied for second with Margo Crowther and Shes Packin Fame (Carrizzo x Heidis Dashing Sixes x Packin Sixes) with times of 13.65. Crowther also moves from seventh in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world standings to fifth and takes over the No. 3 position in the aggregate.
Hailey Kinsel Crosses $1 Million in NFR Barrel Racing Earnings
Three-time WPRA world champion Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday (PC Frenchmans Hayday x Royal Sissy Irish x Royal Shake Em) added another paycheck to their earnings this year after finishing fourth in Round Four. The paycheck padded the Cotulla, Texas, duo’s 2022 Wrangler NFR earnings to $79,952.50 thus far — the most of any other barrel racer. With today’s earnings, Kinsel — already an EquiStat earner of more than $2 million — pushes her NFR earnings alone to $1,006,588.
NFR Notable Horse Changes
Wenda Johnson stepped off Steal Money, who’s helped her collect $56,168.65 in NFR earnings so far this year plus a Round One win, and chose to ride Macgyver Moonflash in Round Four. Johnson is a three-time NFR barrel racing qualifier and has done so with a group of talented geldings, previously owned by Tres Mesa Horses of Fort Worth, Texas, and all trained by Luis Hernandez. The geldings have since sold to Highpoint Performance Horses. Macgyver Moonflash is by First Moonflash and out of Touched By The Moon by Black Moons Arising. “Mac” has earned more than $417,438 in EquiStat reported lifetime earnings, with $42,826 of that coming from NFR appearances.
NFR Barrel Racing Round Four Results
Place, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won
- Emily Beisel, Namgis D 33, 13.60, $28,913.70
- 2/3 (tie) Margo Crowther, Shes Packin Fame, 13.65, $20,053.05
- 2/3 (tie) Lisa Lockhart, Promise Me Fame Guys, 13.65, $20,053.05
- Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.66, $12,125.10
- Stevi Hillman, Sand In My Socks, 13.67, $7,461.60
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Babe On The Chase, 13.73, $4,663.50
- Leslie Smalygo, Justaheartbeattofame, 13.75
- Jordon Briggs, Famous Lil Jet, 13.77
- Kassie Mowry, CP He Will Be Epic, 13.78
- Shelley Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 13.80
- Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 13.91
- Sissy Winn, Chewingthehotwire, 13.96
- Wenda Johnson, Macgyver Moonflash, 14.05
- Bayleigh Choate, TJR Stinson Blue, 14.23
- Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 14.29
2022 WPRA World Standings
Rank, Name, Hometown, Earnings
- Jordon Briggs, Tolar, TX, $212,495.70
- Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, TX, $199,342.08
- Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, OK, $177,762.92
- Dona Kay Rule, Minco, OK, $164,956.44
- Margo Crowther, North Fort Myers, FL, $149,774.91
- Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, $144,304.01
- Emily Beisel, Weatherford, OK, $140,340.06
- Stevi Hillman, Granbury, TX, $138,063.82
- Shelley Morgan, Eustace, TX, $137,249.52
- Kassie Mowry, Dublin, TX, $125,404.45
- Sissy Winn, Chapman Ranch, TX, $119,309.76
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, TX, $107,758.79
- Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, OK, $106,578.10
- Bayleigh Choate (R), Fort Worth, TX, $100,892.81
- Jessica Routier, Buffalo, SD, $96,863.10
Aggregate Standings on Four Runs
Rank, Name, Aggregate Time
- Lisa Lockhart, 55.19
- Jordon Briggs, 55.25
- Margo Crowther, 55.26
- Wenda Johnson, 55.35
- Leslie Smalygo, 55.49
- Shelley Morgan, 55.55
- Sissy Winn, 55.94
- Bayleigh Choate, 56.32
- Hailey Kinsel, 59.75
- Kassie Mowry, 60.21
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 60.62
- Dona Kay Rule, 60.83
- Stevi Hillman, 61.05
- Jessica Routier, 61.68
- Emily Beisel, 64.52