By Danika Kent
Photo by PRCA
December 8, 2016 (Las Vegas, Nevada)
When Amberleigh Moore squeaked into the top 15 at the close of the regular season, her goal for her first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification was to give her mare, 7-year-old CP Dark Moon, a chance to shine on the big stage of the Thomas and Mack.
“I wanted to win at least one round. She came out of the futurity and derby world and I’ve had a couple people say they didn’t even know who the mare was,” the Keizer, Oregon, cowgirl says of the daughter of Darkelly out of SRQH New Highs. “Now, she’s stepped out and showed everybody who she is.”
Highlighted by the fifth go-round win with a time of 13.62, Moore and “Paige” had placed in every round of their inaugural NFR and were leading the aggregate – until last night, when a toppled barrel in the seventh round also knocked them down in the average.
Rather than being discouraged, however, Moore found the silver lining in that barrel left lying in the dirt.
“I was so excited she had run that time (13.31) – that’s one of the fastest times ever run here! I was bummed, yes, but at some point, you’re going to tip a barrel. That’s just part of the game. We all get here not by good runs or perfect runs. We get here by tipped barrels, bad experiences, slips, falls, and it happens. It’s just part of the experience, part of the game. And so, when I was coming out of the alleyway last night and they announced my time, all the girls were giving me high fives and I’m laughing, thinking, I can’t believe I just ran that fast! There was no upset about it, no disappointment, it was a matter of going, ‘OK, now we’ve done it, let’s go back and get it.’”
Bolstered by her winning attitude, some slight schooling in the wee hours of Thursday morning, and a top-of-the-ground advantage for the left-running mare, Moore executed her plan perfectly, stopping the clock with a 13.37 to tie the arena record set in 2013 by Taylor Jacob on Honor Thy Frenchman.
The go-rounds continue to get faster for the leading ladies of 2016; it took a sweltering 13.69 to place among the top six money-earning spots tonight. Ivy Conrado turned in a run many fans have been waiting for with a 13.63 on Cfour Tibbie Stinson to place second. One hundredth of a second separated places 3 through 6; Mary Burger with a 13.66 on Sadiefamouslastwords; Stevi Hillman with a 13.67 on Cuatro Fame; Sherry Cervi with a 13.68 on Dash Ta Diamonds; and Pamela Capper with a 13.69 on Sheza Smooth Flight.
The race for the world championship will be down to the wire with some of the strongest contention the Thomas and Mack has seen. Stick with us for the final two rounds, and don’t miss the February issue of Barrel Horse News to read in-depth coverage of all the great stories from the 2016 Wrangler NFR.
Barrel Racing Results – Eighth Go-Round:
1. Amberleigh Moore, Keizer, Ore., 13.37, $26,230.77
2. Ivy Conrado, Hudson, Colo., 13.63, $20,730.77
3. Mary Burger, Pauls Valley, Okla., 13.66, $15,653.85
4. Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 13.67, $11,000.00
5. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., 13.68, $6,769.23
6. Pamela Capper, Cheney, Wash., 13.69, $4,230.77
7. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 13.72
8. Kimmie Wall, Roosevelt, Utah, 13.73
9. Carley Richardson, Pampa, Texas, 13.78
10. Michele McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 13.84
11. Jackie Ganter, Abilene, Texas, 13.88
12. Jana Bean, Ft. Hancock, Texas, 18.58*
13. Sarah Rose McDonald, Brunswick, Ga., 18.71*
14. Cayla Small, Burneyville, Okla., 18.84*
15. Mary Walker, Ennis, Texas, 19.00*
*Time reflects score with penalty.
Aggregate Standings – Eighth Go-Round:
1. Lisa Lockhart 110.55/8
2. Amberleigh Moore 114.34/8
3. Sherry Cervi 115.36/8
4. Pamela Capper 115.60/8
5. Mary Burger 115.65/8
6. Stevi Hillman 116.68/8
7. Kimmie Wall 117.35/8
8. Jana Bean 120.43/8
9. Michele McLeod 120.80/8
10. Jackie Ganter 122.08/8
11. Sarah Rose McDonald 125.22/8
12. Cayla Small 126.65/8
13. Carley Richardson 130.84/8
14. Mary Walker 131.99/8
15. Ivy Conrado 112.00/7
World Standings – Eighth go-round:
1. Mary Burger $271,207.36
2. Kimmie Wall $190,987.48
3. Amberleigh Moore $185,952.58
4. Sherry Cervi $181,678.74
5. Lisa Lockhart $179,205.73
6. Ivy Conrado $155,006.26
7. Sarah Rose McDonald $147,595.16
8. Michele McLeod $144,706.52
9. Pamela Capper $143,620.14
10. Jackie Ganter $142,040.54
11. Stevi Hillman $140,873.75
12. Jana Bean $135,604.86
13. Mary Walker $122,815.95
14. Carley Richardson $103,990.71
15. Cayla Small $101,967.40
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