By Kailey Sullins
Photo Credit: PRCA
December 7, 2016 (Las Vegas, Nevada) – The 68-year-young cowgirl from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, who captured America’s heart this year with her stylish buckskin gelding and a momentous win at the Calgary Stampede brought the Thomas and Mack Center Arena to its feet in round No. 7 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Mary Burger topped the round riding Sadiefamouslastwords to a fast time of 13.58 for her first go-round win of the NFR.
“I’m just so pleased,” Burger said. “He couldn’t have tried any harder. It wasn’t a perfect run, but he’s been under the weather for six weeks, so he’s starting to get back in shape and trying real hard to get with the program. He’s my hero.”
Burger has been steadily collecting cash during the week. banking $64,577 so far, but she hasn’t won a round until round seven. Tonight’s win was monumental to the veteran competitor, because prior to the NFR, “Mo” suffered a deep flexor tendon injury and required six weeks off prior to running in the bright lights of Vegas. Burger says the gelding’s heart keeps her motivated.
“We check him daily, morning and night, and he’s in therapy in the afternoons,” Burger said. “He’s not 100 percent, but he’s got a lot of heart.”
Mo is a 9-year-old son of Sadies Frosty Drift and out of Porky And Bess, a Dash Ta Fame daughter. He has been Burger’s principal mount for the 2016 season. Although he was out of commission prior to the NFR, he’s run strong in five of the seven rounds, in part because of Burger’s dedication to his health and daily therapy regimen.
Burger keeps her lead in the world standings with $255,554 and currently sits sixth in the aggregate. She plans to stay with her game plan and keep her horse healthy and relaxed in the remaining rounds.
“When he’s off for six weeks, he gets a little out of tune, a little sloppy, but he gets back in the groove and he just gives his all,” Burger said.
The 2014 Rookie of the Year, Sarah Rose McDonald, picked up another second-place paycheck for $20,731 in round No. 7 with a 13.72. McDonald rode her main mount, Fame Fling N Bling, to the payday, which put them ninth in the aggregate race and sixth in the world standings.
Lisa Lockhart and An Oakie With Cash turned in a 13.72 to split the fourth- and fifth-place positions. The solid finish helped Lockhart keep her lead in the aggregate with a time of 96.83 seconds on seven runs. She is sitting third in the world standings, trailing Burger by $76,348.
Sherry Cervi rode Dash Ta Diamonds, owned by Trip duPerier and Callie duPerier-Apffel, to third place with a time of 13.71. The finish put Cervi No. 3 in the aggregate and fourth in the world standings.
Don’t miss the February issue of Barrel Horse News to read in-depth coverage of all the great stories from the 2016 NFR.
Barrel Racing Results – Seventh Go Round:
1. Mary Burger, 13.58, $26,231
2. Sarah Rose McDonald, 13.66, $20,731
3. Sherry Cervi, 13.71, $15,654
4/5. Lisa Lockhart, 13.72, $8,885
4/5. Carley Richardson, 13.72, $8,885
6. Stevi Hillman, 13.73, $4,231
7. Jackie Ganter, 13.79
8. Pamela Capper, 13.80
9. Jana Bean, 13.82
10/11. Ivy Conrado, 13.86
10/11. Michele McLeod, 13.86
12. Cayla Melby Small, 14.03
13. Kimmie Wall, 16.13
14. Amberleigh Moore, 18.31*
15. Mary Walker, 18.74*
* time reflects score with penalty
1. Lisa Lockhart, 96.83
2. Amberleigh Moore, 100.97
3. Sherry Cervi, 101.68
4. Jana Bean, 101.85
5. Pamela Capper, 101.91
6. Mary Burger 101.99
7. Stevi Hillman, 103.01
8. Kimmie Wall, 103.62
9. Sarah Rose McDonald, 106.51
10. Michele McLeod, 106.96
11. Cayla Melby Small, 107.81
12. Jackie Ganter, 108.20
13. Mary Walker, 112.99
14. Carley Richardson, 117.06
15. Ivy Conrado, 98.37 (on six runs)
1. Mary Burger; $255,554
2. Kimmie Wall; $190, 987
3. Lisa Lockhart; $179,206
4. Sherry Cervi; $174,910
5. Amberleigh Moore; $159,722
6. Sarah Rose McDonald; $147,595
7. Michele McLeod; $144,707
8. Jackie Ganter; $142,041
9. Pamela Capper; $139,389
10. Jana Bean; $135,605
11. Ivy Conrado; $134,275
12. Stevi Hillman; $129,874
13. Mary Walker; $122,816
14. Carley Richardson; $103,991
15. Cayla Melby Small; $101,967
Kailey Sullins is managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected]