By Blanche Schaefer
December 3, 2016 (Las Vegas, Nevada) – Lisa Lockhart has made 10 trips to Las Vegas for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Yet, Lockhart says it just never gets old. Lockhart and An Oakie With Cash wrapped three tight turns and crossed the timer in 13.72 seconds to win round No. 3 and clock the fastest time of the 2016 NFR so far. The go-round victory put $26,231 in Lockhart’s pocket. Fellow NFR veteran Sherry Cervi—this is Cervi’s 19th NFR—was only a hundredth of a second behind Lockhart, winning second place with a 13.73 aboard Dash Ta Diamonds and earning $20,731.
“I’m so excited,” the ever-gracious Lockhart said. “It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to [win a go-round], so I’m extremely excited to have this opportunity to do so tonight.”
Lockhart says the first turn is fundamental to a winning run, and she concentrated specifically on setting “Louie” up for the first barrel in round three. Her strategy was spot-on, and Louie’s snappy first turn set the stage for the rest of his run.
“Louie felt awesome,” Lockhart said. “He had such a super first barrel, which was so crucial in getting our run tapped off right. I was focused on doing that tonight, and he nailed it. That’s what set up our great run.”
The 13-year-old gelding, who is by Biebers Oakie and out of Lady Kaweah Cash, has gotten faster with every trip down the alley at the Thomas and Mack Center. He ran a 14.11 in round one to place seventh, unfortunately one hole out of the money. In round two, Lockhart stepped on the gas pedal to clock a 13.80 and split second place with Cervi. Each barrel racer earned $18,192. Lockhart says Louie gets stronger with every run—their NFR week has only just begun. A true student of the game, Lockhart reviews each round before her next run and fixes mistakes on an as-needed basis to keep Louie consistent.
“I just try to look back on each day and some mistakes we made the day before and how to improve on our next run,” Lockhart said. “We’ll just keep going one day at a time and address his needs as they come, and go as fast as we can possibly go.”
Lockhart’s go-round checks from rounds two and three and the automatic qualification paycheck bumped her to No. 3 in the world standings with $154,667. Lockhart entered the NFR sitting seventh in the world standings. She is also currently in third in the aggregate with 41.63 seconds over three runs.
Cervi’s second-place payday on “Arson” moved her up three spots in the world standings to No. 4 with $143,602. Cervi entered the NFR ranked 12th and has moneyed in all three rounds.
No. 1-ranked Mary Burger placed 10th with a 13.97 aboard Sadiefamouslastwords. Though Burger hasn’t won a check since round one, she remains on top of the world standings with $205,207.
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 – Third Go Round:
1. Lisa Lockhart, 13.72, $26,230
2. Sherry Cervi 13.73, $20,731
3. Jackie Ganter 13.74, $15,654
4/5. Amberleigh Moore, 13.81, $8,885
4/5. Ivy Conrado, 13.81, $8,885
6. Cayla (Melby) Small, 13.82, $4,231
7. Sarah Rose McDonald, 13.87
8. Pamela Capper, 13.88
9. Jana Bean, 13.93
10. Mary Burger, 13.97
11. Stevi Hillman, 14.00
12. Kimmie Wall, 18.56*
13. Carley Richardson, 18.96*
14. Mary Walker, 19.01*
15. Michele McLeod, 19.11*
* time reflects score with penalty
1. Sherry Cervi, 41.49
2. Amberleigh Moore, 41.62
3. Lisa Lockhart, 41.63
4. Pamela Capper, 41.65
5. Jana Bean, 41.77
6. Jackie Ganter, 41.91
7. Kimmie Wall, 46.25
8. Sarah Rose McDonald, 46.67
9. Mary Burger, 47.07
10. Mary Walker, 47.37
11. Stevi Hillman, 47.78
12. Michele McLeod, 51.81
13. Cayla (Melby) Small, 51.84
14. Carley Richardson, 51.86
15. Ivy Conrado, 27.69 (on two runs)
1. Mary Burger; $205,207
2. Kimmie Wall; $164,757
3. Lisa Lockhart; $154,667
4. Sherry Cervi; $143,602
5. Jackie Ganter; $142.041
6. Ivy Conrado; $134,275
7. Pamela Capper; $123,736
8. Mary Walker; $122,816
9. Amberleigh Moore; $115,722
10. Stevi Hillman; $114,643
11. Sarah Rose McDonald; $106,134
12. Jana Bean; $105,989
13. Cayla (Melby) Small; $101,967
14. Michele McLeod; $97,745
15. Carley Richardson; $90,875
Blanche Schaefer is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected].