LAS VEGAS—December 6, 2021—Emily Miller-Beisel and Namgis D 33 raced to first place in the fifth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge with the fastest time so far, a 13.43 to bank $26,996.97.
“Chongo” and Beisel are not unfamiliar with coming in clutch to get the go-round win. In 2019 at the Thomas and Mack Center Arena, they won Rounds One and Four, and in 2020 in Arlington, Texas, on a standard pattern inside Globe Life Field, they won Rounds Six and Seven. Now, back inside the Thomas and Mack Center Arena in Vegas, they’ve picked up the win in Round Five.
“They have the ground so good out here,” the Weatherford, Oklahoma, barrel racer and dental hygienist said. “I just put my hand down and trusted my horse. My turns were tight…there wasn’t a lot of room for error.”
The 11-year-old gray gelding has earned more than $59,639.59 this week at the NFR, moving Beisel from No. 10 in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world standings prior to the NFR to No. 4 after Round Five.
Beisel started the Finals on the gray standout for the first two rounds. In Round One, they earned $11,321.31 from a fourth-place finish. In Round Two, they finished 12th with a 13.96 when Chongo pulled off the third barrel. After careful review of her run, Beisel made a minor bit adjustment by tightening up her bridle and securing the bit shanks with a string to keep it from pulling through his mouth. That ended up being the fix, but Beisel still made the decision to give Chongo the night off to rest in Round Three. She called on her Ram National Circuit Finals champion Namgis D 35 (“Pipewrench”) for Round Three.
Beisel was back on Chongo for Round Four with a renewed determination. The effort reflected the extra steps Beisel took to get it right in the arena. They turned in a 13.63 in Round Four for $11,321.31 and let that momentum carry them into Round Five.
“After the second round he was pretty anxious, and I just felt like he needed the day off,” Beisel said. “That horse and I have been through a lot together, and I have learned to listen to him. I took Sunday off; cancelled all my signings and spent the whole day with him. I knew last night he was going to be good, and tonight he really fired.”
Even through their successes at three NFRs, Beisel says it hasn’t been without a learning curve. To help accommodate Chongo’s personality, Beisel has learned what he needs to stay relaxed and focused—a routine of calm warming up along with choosing to stay off-site and far from the Las Vegas skyline, where Chongo can graze on grass and enjoy a spacious turnout during this year’s stay for the NFR.
It’s one example of Beisel going the extra mile to make sure her equine athlete is on top of his game.
“I’ve just learned to listen to him,” she said. “He’s so talented, and I just try to do right by him and it paid off tonight.”
Beisel also tried a new strategy prior to the NFR of less hauling. Compared to years past, Chongo’s pre-NFR race schedule was much reduced for 2021, with the gelding only making a handful of runs between the end of the regular season and the start of the NFR.
Beisel quipped that she only shortly second-guessed her decision.
“This was the least amount of runs I’ve ever made on him [before the NFR],” Beisel said. “I didn’t think he needed it. He was doing really good; he was exercising good. I was riding him every day and alternating between ponying and riding. He felt like a million bucks, so I didn’t feel we needed the runs. The first few rounds I wasn’t sure that was a good idea, but I knew he’d get with it and he did.”
Beisel says she could feel the promise of a winning night in the energy when she warmed Chongo up.
“When my horse warms up quiet, it is going to be a good night, so I knew it would be special tonight,” she said. “This horse has changed my life.”
Round Five Results
Place, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won
- Emily Miller-Beisel, Namgis D 33, 13.43, $26,996.97
- Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.53, $21,336.32
- Jordon Briggs, Famous Lil Jet, 13.54, $16,111.10
- Dona Kay Rule, High Valor, 13.57, $11,321.31
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Ima Famous Babe, 13.66, $6,966.96
- Wenda Johnson, Steal Money, 13.68, $4,354.35
- Stevi Hillman, Famous Lemon Drop, 13.70
- Cheyenne Wimberley, Streakin Images, 13.78
- Amanda Welsh, Frenchman Fire Fly, 13.79
- Nellie Miller, Rafter W Minnie Reba, 13.80
- Shelley Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 13.83
- tie-Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 13.88
- tie-Lisa Lockhart, Prime Diamond, 13.88
- Ivy Saebens, KN Fabs Gift Of Fame, 18.50*
- Molly Otto, Sixappeal, 19.27*
Aggregate Standings on Five Runs
Rank, Name, Aggregate Time
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 68.82
- Stevi Hillman, 68.84
- Jordon Briggs, 68.98
- Amanda Welsh, 69.04
- Jessica Routier, 70.05
- Hailey Kinsel, 73.52
- Emily Miller-Beisel, 73.71
- Cheyenne Wimberley, 73.73
- Shelley Morgan, 74.28
- Nellie Miller, 74.58
- Lisa Lockhart, 74.71
- Molly Otto, 75.61
- Dona Kay Rule, 78.32
- Wenda Johnson, 78.55
- Ivy Saebens, 84.26
WPRA World Standings
Rank, Name, Hometown, Earnings
- Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, TX, $165,330.36
- Dona Kay Rule, Minco, OK, $147,242.16
- Jordon Briggs, Tolar, TX, $144,404.96
- Emily Miller-Beisel, Weatherford, OK, $133,112.73
- Amanda Welsh, Gillette, WY, $132,422.44
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, TX, $128,200.08
- Wenda Johnson, Pawhuska, OK, $127,024.15
- Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, TX, $123,851.12
- Shelley Morgan, Eustace, TX, $120,340.43
- Cheyenne Wimberley, Stephenville, TX, $111,298.94
- Ivy Saebens, Nowata, OK, $96,917.18
- Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, $96,380.03
- Jessica Routier, Buffalo, SD, $88,847.28
- Nellie Miller, Cottonwood, CA, $85,519.15
- Molly Otto, Grand Forks, ND, $74,172.51