LAS VEGAS—December 3, 2021— Dona Kay Rule and High Valor took home the Round Two win at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge with a 13.56 to pocket $26,996.97.
Second on the ground, the duo wasted no time setting the pace for the remaining 13 ladies to run. Rule has been prepping 2009 sorrel gelding “Valor” for this win since he won the WPRA World Finals Card Holder Race two weeks ago, out-running 800 horses and setting the fastest time of the event. While the duo had a little tough luck in Round One of the NFR, Rule felt reflecting on Valor’s win in the WPRA Finals played a role in her win tonight.
“I was mad about my run last night, well not mad, but disappointed, and so I gave myself a speech today. ‘We can do our best over 15 horses if we can do it over 800.’ So that’s what we tried,” Rule said.
Focusing on that confident feeling from the WPRA Finals, the Minco, Oklahoma, barrel racer didn’t allow the two downed barrels in Round One to plague her. She made a few adjustments in her riding style—one of which was calling on daughter KK Rule to help lead her down the alleyway inside the Thomas and Mack—as well as her approach down the alley and to the first barrel, which was the ticket to her third career go-round win.
“What happens for Valor and his power when he leaves [the alley] is when I let him launch, I like to have his shoulder away from the first barrel and his hip in toward the barrel,” Rule said. “If I allow him to leave a different way, it can mess up a lot of things, but if I let him leave with the hip in, then I can send him right to the spot and he just takes it right then and moves out of it.”
True in his approach, Valor used his efficient style and perfect foot placement to get the edge over the remaining field, taking a lead that no other pair was able to best. Lisa Lockhart clocked the second-fastest time of 13.70 on Prime Diamond (Prime Talent x Hugos Diamond x Hugo Streakin), worth $21,336.32.
Rule came into the Wrangler NFR in the No. 4 position in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world standings, and after Round Two, she moved to the No. 3 position. It was a rewarding moment for Rule after being unable to compete in the 2020 Wrangler NFR due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Turning in the fastest time of the event so far, Rule knows it’s only the beginning with 15 of the best horses and riders in the world battling on the same field for championship honors. She’s excited to be one of them and showcase Valor’s talents along the way.
“These horses are incredible. I’m hoping Valor stays healthy and not sore,” she said. “Valor seems to like the ground, so that is good. He hit his spots and it felt comfortable and smooth tonight. He loves it when the crowd goes wild, and they did that tonight.”
Currently, reigning world champion Hailey Kinsel leads the world standings race after Round Two with $139,639.69 in earnings, $26,111.10 of which comes from the 2021 NFR. Kinsel also currently sits in second place in the aggregate race with a time of 27.66 on two runs.
Round One co-champion Cheyenne Wimberley leads the aggregate with 27.62 seconds on two runs. She currently sits in No. 5 in the world standings with $111,298.94 in world earnings.
Round Two Results
Place, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won
- Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 13.56, $26,996.97
- Lisa Lockhart, Prime Diamond, 13.70, $21,336.32
- Shelley Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 13.73, $16,111.10
- Stevi Hillman, Famous Lemon Drop, 13.74, $11,321.31
- Wenda Johnson, Macgyver Moon Flash, 13.77, $6,966.96
- Jordon Briggs, Famous Lil Jet, 13.81, $4,354.35
- Cheyenne Wimberley, VQ Sucker Punch, 13.85
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Babe On The Chase, 13.86
- Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.88
- Molly Otto, Teasin Dat Guy, 13.89
- Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 13.90
- Emily Miller-Beisel, Namgis D 33, 13.96
- Amanda Welsh, Frenchmans Fire Fly, 13.98
- Nellie Miller, Rafter W Minnie Reba, 14.03
- Ivy Saebens, KN Fabs Gift Of Fame, 24.29**
Aggregate Standings on Two Runs
Rank, Name, Aggregate Time
- Cheyenne Wimberley, 27.62
- Hailey Kinsel, 27.66
- Stevi Hillman, 27.69
- Jordon Briggs, 27.70
- Amanda Welsh, 27.75
- Emily Miller-Beisel, 27.77
- Shelley Morgan, 27.78
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 27.82
- Lisa Lockhart, 27.83
- Molly Otto, 28.10
- Jessica Routier, 28.38
- Nellie Miller, 33.04
- Dona Kay Rule, 37.28
- Wenda Johnson, 37.64
- Ivy Saebens, 38.26
WPRA World Standings
Rank, Name, Hometown, Earnings
- Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, TX, $139,639.69
- Jordon Briggs, Tolar, TX, $123,939.51
- Dona Kay Rule, Minco, OK, $121,986.93
- Shelley Morgan, Eustace, TX, $120,340.43
- Cheyenne Wimberley, Stephenville, TX, $111,298.94
- Amanda Welsh, Gillette, WY, $111,086.12
- Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, TX, $96,854.15
- Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, $96,380.03
- Emily Miller-Beisel, Weatherford, OK, $94,794.45
- Jessica Routier, Buffalo, SD, $88,847.28
- Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, CA, $85,519.15
- Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, OK, $84,351.52
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, TX, $83,785.70
- Ivy Saebens, Nowata, OK, $80,806.08
- Molly Otto, Grand Forks, ND, $74,172.51