By Blanche Schaefer
Photo Credit: Ross Hecox
December 6, 2016 (Las Vegas, Nevada) – It’s difficult to imagine how the barrel racing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo could get any faster after a thrilling round No. 4. First-time NFR qualifier Kimmie Wall and TKW Bullys Famous Fox made sure to topple those times in round No. 6 with a convincing 13.46 to win the round and clock the fastest time of the 2016 NFR. Wall’s time is only nine one hundredths of a second off the arena record of 13.37, set by Taylor Jacobs in 2013.
Wall says she never dreamed of coming so close to the historic record on “Foxy,” whom she raised and trained herself with her husband, Travis Wall, at their home in Roosevelt, Utah.
“I came into the NFR with no expectations,” Wall said. “I just wanted to come here and have a good time, so to go to the South Point [Hotel and Casino for the gold buckle ceremony] twice is so unexpected, but so cool. I’m so excited.”
Wall won round No. 2 with a 13.79 and has clocked sub-13-second times in every round, save round No. 3. Wall and “Foxy” hit the second barrel in heartbreaking fashion—without the penalty, the pair would have posted a blazing 13.56 to win. Wall says she didn’t make any adjustments to her riding after the misfortunes in round three.
“I just kept riding Foxy the way I always ride her,” Wall said. “Everyone is going to hit a barrel every once in a while. She shorted me out just a little bit [in round three] on the second barrel at that wall, but it was nothing I was going to hold against Foxy.”
Since round No. 3, Wall and Foxy have stayed consistent with a 13.79 and 13.98 in rounds four and five, respectively. Wall’s round six time is more than half a second faster than her round five effort, which she partially attributes to the ground conditions. Wall ran 10th out of 15 barrel racers and says her time is a reflection of how well the ground held up.
“I moved up two holes on the ground, and the ground felt better tonight to me,” Wall said. “I really want to commend [the NFR grounds crew]. I think they’ve done a great job on the ground this year for me to run that fast as 10th on the ground, so I want to commend them for that.”
Wall’s winning-round check for $26,231 bumped her to No. 2 in the world standings with $190,987. Wall entered the NFR fifth in the world standings. She’s also currently sitting third in the aggregate race with 87.49 seconds on six runs.
Jana Bean placed second with her personal best time of the week after a horse change from Steele Magnolias, whom she has ridden throughout the NFR. Bean rode 6-year-old Dashing Klee (“Chick”) to a 13.57 worth $20,731. Bean is ninth in the world standings with $135,605 and fifth in the aggregate with 88.03 seconds on six runs.
No. 1-ranked Mary Burger added to her healthy lead in the world standings with a solid 13.76, earning an $8,885 paycheck to split fourth place with Amberleigh Moore. Burger ran ever-consistent Sadiefamouslastwords, whom she rode all year to her current $229,333 world earnings.
Don’t miss the February issue of Barrel Horse News to read in-depth coverage of all the stories from the 2016 NFR.
Barrel Racing Results – Sixth Go Round:
1. Kimmie Wall, 13.46, $26,230
2. Jana Bean, 13.57, $20,731
3. Sherry Cervi, 13.72, $15,654
4/5. Amberleigh Moore, 13.76, $8,885
4/5. Mary Burger, 13.76, $8,885
6. Stevi Hillman, 13.85, $4,231
7. Sarah Rose McDonald, 13.86
8. Cayla (Melby) Small, 13.94
9. Lisa Lockhart, 13.96
10. Michele McLeod, 14.04
11. Mary Walker, 18.71*
12. Pamela Capper, 18.79*
13. Ivy Conrado, 18.95*
14. Jackie Ganter, 19.23*
15. Carley Richardson, 22.83*
* time reflects score with penalty
1. Amberleigh Moore, 82.66
2. Lisa Lockhart, 83.11
3. Kimmie Wall, 87.49
4. Sherry Cervi, 87.97
5. Jana Bean, 88.03
6. Pamela Capper, 88.11
7. Mary Burger, 88.41
8. Stevi Hillman, 89.28
9. Sarah Rose McDonald, 92.85
10. Michele McLeod, 93.10
11. Cayla (Melby) Small, 93.78
12. Mary Walker, 94.25
13. Jackie Ganter, 94.41
14. Carley Richardson, 103.34
15. Ivy Conrado, 84.51 (on five runs)
1. Mary Burger; $229,323
2. Kimmie Wall; $190,987
3. Lisa Lockhart; $170,321
4. Amberleigh Moore; $159,722
5. Sherry Cervi, $159,256
6. Michele McLeod; $144,707
7. Jackie Ganter; $142,041
8. Pamela Capper; $139,389
9. Jana Bean; $135,605
10. Ivy Conrado; $134,276
11. Sarah Rose McDonald; $126,864
12. Stevi Hillman; $125,643
13. Mary Walker; $122,816
14. Cayla Melby Small; $101,967
15. Carley Richardson; $95,106
Blanche Schaefer is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected]