December 10, 2020—Arlington, Texas— Hailey Kinsel is just as amazed by her one-in-a-million mare DM Sissy Hayday as the rest of the world is every time she enters the arena. In Round Eight of the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Kinsel and “Sister” lit Globe Life Field on fire with the fastest time of the rodeo by three-tenths to win the go-round in 16.56.

“I’m not surprised ever that she can do it, I’m just surprised that she keeps doing it, just like it’s nothing keeps doing it. I thought I had a good run tonight; I didn’t think it was going to be that fast. I don’t think I even thought about how fast it was going to be, it just felt fine. And it was pretty dang fine!” Kinsel exclaimed with a laugh.

The time also marks a new WPRA standard pattern record at a pro rodeo. Kinsel and Sis also hold the previous WPRA standard pattern record for a rodeo of 16.63, set this summer at the Dodge City Roundup in Dodge City, Kansas.

She says her preparation for the two runs was much the same, but even so, the emotions that come each time Sister shatters a record never lessen.

“This summer at Dodge City was a great time in my life and a time when I needed things to go well. With my horse, I tried to cover my bases and do all I could to put her in that good position to do something great, and she met me right there,” Kinsel said. “It was the same thing tonight, she was a little edgier back there—I didn’t know what that was going to mean—but I knew I had to ride confident. I was confident and placed her, and she met me once again. I can’t really put that into words; there’s so many amazing horses that run on so many standard patterns over the years, so to do that twice is pretty insane. She’s just amazing.”

—>Read more: Hailey Kinsel explains her fitness program for Sister<—

Ironically enough, Kinsel’s game plan heading into Round Eight was to make a clean, solid run and not mash the gas. Kinsel is currently leading the average at the 2020 Wrangler NFR and has called upon her best friend Ivy (Conrado) Saebens, the 2019 average champion, for advice every day this week.

Needless to say, Sister had other ideas.

“My best friend Ivy told me before tonight to not send it and just go to my spots and ride the backside of the turn. She won the average last year, so she’s a good one to take advice from,” Kinsel said. “I talk to her every day, and she’s an angles genius, too. We’ve talked a lot about that, about positioning going into the turn, about how big of a difference it makes here with the weird fences and atmosphere.”

Though Kinsel jokes that she’ll apologize to Saebens for throwing her advice out the window when Sister came down the alley, Saebens was likely fist-pumping just as hard as Kinsel did when she crossed the timer’s line.

“Now I have to apologize to her, because I didn’t mean to!” Kinsel said with a laugh. “I really was going in to try and place my horse in her spots, and she was a tiny bit tighter starting every turn, so I told myself to really ride the backside of the turn and keep her moving through it. I’m thankful I did, so she did start the turns a lot faster. When she turned the first I knew that was fast. It felt fast, I heard the crowd, and I just felt that. She’s so honest on the other two and ran right up into the holes, but she definitely was more square going into her pockets and tighter in there so she was ready to come back and just in a good spot. So, I’m sorry Ivy!”

Kinsel, Saebens and Emily (Miller) Beisel are all close friends, and Kinsel says it’s been special to battle alongside Beisel at the Finals. Beisel and Kinsel have shared the leaderboard the last couple nights, as Beisel won Round Seven with a 16.85 and Kinsel finished second in 16.90. After Kinsel posted her winning 16.56 in Round Eight, Beisel and Namgis D 33 clocked a 16.75 for second.

“With Emily just turning it on and doing awesome, especially last night and tonight shuffling to the bottom, it still being so freaking fast, that says a lot about the ground and the care they’re putting in, but it also says a lot about somebody being clutch and making good runs, and she’s doing that,” Kinsel said. “It’s so fun. We have a lot of great camaraderie among the girls. The top 15 this year, we’re all good friends and we all help each other. Even the deal with Dona Kay Rule going out, that was hard on all of us. That’s how close most of us are; we’re friends and we help each other. I’m so thankful for that in barrel racing and in the current sport and state of the world right now, that we can look out for each other.”

It would be remiss not to mention the care the ground crew has put into making the footing for the barrel racers safe and fast. Kinsel says matching great horsepower with safe ground on which to run is a recipe for record-breakers, and this isn’t the first time she’s proven that theory.

“You don’t set records on stuff that isn’t good. In Vegas in 2017 when we broke the record three times there, John Jamison was working that ground and did an outstanding job. Here it’s Randy Spraggins, and Randy’s pretty incredible,” Kinsel said. “Randy also just cares, he calls us afterwards and says what do you think? I saw him tonight beforehand, and he said ‘How’s Hailey doing tonight?’ And I said, ‘Good, how’s the dirt?’ And he said, ‘Like last night.’ And that’s perfect, because that was outstanding stuff to be fast at the bottom, having the drag and not running 15th. Before that, the NFR was the only rodeo of the year that we’d ever run lower than 12th, and we hated it, but we did it, because that’s our job, but it’s so nice not to put our horses in that position this year.”

—>Read more: All About Sister’s Bit<—

Kinsel’s win has given her a healthy distance in the world standings from No. 2 contender Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi. She also leads the average by a half-second over No. 2 in the average, Jill Wilson and Lean Mean Blue Dean.

Notable horse changes include Jessie Telford getting off Famous Cool Whip and onto Sue Smith’s aged-event standout 2011 mare Dashs Centerfold (Dash Ta Fame x Diamonds Tiny Effort x Proudest Effort). Tiany Schuster rode 2009 gelding Version Six (Latest Version x A Sixes Cowgirl x Stoli), and Stevi Hillman was back on MCM Imasharp Guy (A Sharp Frenchman x Mulberry Canyon Moon x Marthas Six Moons).

Jill Wilson turns a barrel at the Wrangler NFR
Jill Wilson is sitting No. 2 in the aggregate through Round Eight of the Wrangler NFR. She’s ridden her 15-year-old gelding Lean Mean Blue Dean for all eight runs. Photo by Kenneth Springer


Rank, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won

  1. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.56, $26,230.77 *WPRA standard pattern record for rodeo
  2. Emily Miller Beisel, Namgis D 33, 16.75,$20,730.77
  3. Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 17.10, $15,653.85
  4. Lisa Lockhart, Rosas Cantina CC, 17.15, $11,000
  5. Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 17.22, $6,769.23
  6. (tie) Shelley Morgan, Kinda Heavenly, 17.36, $2,115.38
  7. (tie) Jimmie Smith, Lena On The Rocks, 17.36, $2,115.38
  8. Wenda Johnson, SR Industry Titan, 17.37
  9. Jesse Telford, Dashs Centerfold, 17.38
  10. Brittany Barnett, Frenchmans Pick, 17.68
  11. Ryann Pedone, French Zone, 17.77
  12. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Ima Famous Babe, 18.27
  13. Stevi Hillman, MCM Imasharpguy, 21.83*
  14. Cheyenne Wimberley, Dash Ta Suz, 22.30*
  15. Tiany Schuster, Version Six, 23.31*


Rank, Name, Time on seven runs

  1. Hailey Kinsel, 137.26
  2. Jill Wilson, 139.47
  3. Jessica Routier, 139.76
  4. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 139.97
  5. Jimmie Smith, 140.79
  6. Emily Miller Beisel, 142.93
  7. Ryann Pedone, 143.16
  8. Shelley Morgan, 144.66
  9. Wenda Johnson, 145.72
  10. Jessie Telford, 150.07
  11. Brittney Barnett, 150.43
  12. Cheyenne Wimberley, 150.73
  13. Tiany Schuster, 151.07
  14. Stevi Hillman, 152.77
  15. Lisa Lockhart, 167.80


Rank, Name, Hometown, Earnings

  1. Hailey Kinsel, $234,845.48
  2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $169,494.07
  3. Jimmie Smith, $130,868.21
  4. Emily Miller Beisel, $125,580.50
  5. Lisa Lockhart, $116,382.65
  6. Shelley Morgan, $111,042.54
  7. Stevi Hillman, $101,021.92
  8. Jill Wilson, $95,524.82
  9. Jessica Routier, $83,794.01
  10. Cheyenne Wimberley, $79,039.30
  11. Dona Kay Rule, $77,453.54
  12. Brittany Barnett, $70,296.10
  13. Wenda Johnson, $63,491.60
  14. Jessie Telford, $59,477.20
  15. Ryann Pedone, $52,580.60

Blanche Schaefer is an avid barrel racer and managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Patty Edwards Reply

    You are so awesome Hailey!! Would love to have a poster of you!! My husband Robert is from Cotulla and knows your dad!!

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