PeelBack

By Kailey Sullins – Photo Credits: Kenneth Springer   

December 1, 2016 (Las Vegas, Nevada) — Round No. 1 of the Wrangler National Finals kicked off December 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Set to pay out a lucrative $10 million shared between 10 go-rounds and the aggregate race, the NFR showcased top-shelf competition in the first performance. Each of the 120 contestants received an automatic bonus worth $10,000 for qualifying to the finals, which will count toward their NFR earnings. With the rich payout of $26,231 to win a round, the next nine nights promise to be as exciting as the first.

First-time NFR qualifier Pamela Capper laid claim to round No. 1’s first gold buckle. Riding Sheza Smooth Flight, the Cheney, Washington, cowgirl turned in a time of 13.75, worth a rich $26,231.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Capper said. “I knew the fastest girl got to do the victory lap, and they wanted me to get on that horse. I said, ‘Not until the last girl!’ I know my family is ecstatic, and I know it’s going to hit me later tonight.”

PamelaCapper Springer NFR16Pamela Capper and her homebred mare Sheza Smooth Flight win NFR round No. 1. Photo by Kenneth SpringerSheza Smooth Flight, who is by Dinner Flight by Jet On and out of Lady Lasmooth, has been Capper’s trusty mount since 2009. The 14-year-old mare was bred and raised at Capper’s Washington home and has been a winner from the very beginning.

While a few ladies struggled in the first round tipping barrels, Capper and “Jesse” looked like veterans in the pen. Capper says the mare’s success is partly due to her big heart and the way she approached the first round. Instead of taking Jesse through a formal practice before the first round, Capper had a special way of preparing Jesse for the Thomas and Mack arena to keep her calm inside the prestigious coliseum.  

“In a building like this, I like to show her the walls more than the pattern. So, when I was doing that first practice, I just basically turned her out and did big circles by the wall, just so she wouldn’t be afraid of something since it’s a new building.”

With her go-round check and the automatic qualification paycheck, Capper sits at No. 4 in the world standings race after round one. Capper entered the NFR 11th in the world standings. She’s also currently leading the aggregate race.

MaryBurger Springer NFR16Mary Burger keeps her lead in the WPRA world standings riding Sadiefamouslastwords in round No. 1. Photo by Kenneth SpringerAnother first-time NFR qualifier finished the first round in style. Kimmie Wall rode TKW Bullys Famous Fox to a time of 13.90 for second place, worth $20,731. The second-place finish plus the automatic qualification bonus put her world standings earnings to $138,526, which puts her in second place in the world right behind Mary Burger.

No. 1 ranked Mary Burger finished sixth to bank $4,231 with a time of 14.10, keeping a grip on her first-place world standing of $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 – First Go Round:
1. Pamela Capper, 13.75, $26,230
2. Kimmie Wall, 13.90, $20,731
3. Jana Bean, 13.93, $15,654
4. Sherry Cervi, 13.96, $11,000
5. Amberleigh Moore, 14.02, $6,769
6. Mary Burger, 14.10, $4,231
7. Lisa Lockhart, 14.11, $0
8. Jackie Ganter, 14.19, $0
9. Cayla Melby Small, 14.24, $0
10. Mary Walker, 14.32, $0
11. Stevi Hillman, 14.40, $0
12. Michele McLeod, 18.79*, $0
13. Carley Richardson, 18.89*, $0
14. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.92*, $0
15. Ivy Conrado, NT, $0
* time reflects score with penalty

Aggregate:
1. Pamela Capper, 13.75, $26,230 (on one run)
2. Kimmie Wall, 13.90, $20,731
3. Jana Bean, 13.93, $15,654
4. Sherry Cervi, 13.96, $11,000
5. Amberleigh Moore, 14.02, $6,769
6. Mary Burger, 14.10, $4,231
7. Lisa Lockhart, 14.11, $0
8. Jackie Ganter, 14.19, $0
9. Cayla Melby Small, 14.24, $0
10. Mary Walker, 14.32, $0
11. Stevi Hillman, 14.40, $0
12. Michele McLeod, 18.79, $0
13. Carley Richardson, 18.89, $0
14. Sarah Rose McDonald, 18.92, $0
15. Ivy Conrado, 0, $0

World Standings:
1. Mary Burger; $205,207
2. Kimmie Wall; $138,526
3. Jackie Ganter; $126,387
4. Pamela Capper; $123,736
5. Mary Walker; $122,816
6. Ivy Conrado; $121,160
7. Stevi Hillman; $114,643
8. Lisa Lockhart; $110,244
9. Jana Bean; $105,989
10. Sherry Cervi; $104,679
11. Sarah McDonald; $99,364
12. Michele McLeod; $97,745
13. Cayla Melby Small; $97,737
14. Amberleigh Moore; $95,837
15. Carley Richardson; $90,875


Kailey Sullins is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected]

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