December 7, 2020 – Arlington, Texas — Hailey Kinsel has spent several months preparing DM Sissy Hayday for the most grueling 10 days in rodeo at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, this year with an added twist—more sprinting for the barrel horses compounded over 10 rounds on a 16-17-second standard pattern instead of the short 13-14-second cloverleaf inside the Thomas and Mack Center.

“Knowing it was going to be bigger, I prepped differently. I tried to get her more summertime fit, more jackpot runs, and more sprint work,” Hailey said. “I’ve learned a lot more over the last few years about long conditioning and moving forward as opposed to just loping circles in the arena and pounding on their joints, but it’s getting them to stretch out their muscles and strengthen them that way.”

—>Read more: Hailey Kinsel explains her fitness program for Sister<—

Hailey’s diligent preparation and increased conditioning regimen for “Sister” is paying off in spades. Not only was the mare strong enough to come out of two scary slips in Round Three completely sound and injury-free, but she won both Rounds Four and Five, putting up the fastest time so far of the 2020 Wrangler NFR to win the fifth go in 16.92.

“I’m thankful I’ve learned how to apply [long conditioning], trying to do my best and have them fit so that she’s able to slip and come back and win the next two rounds,” Hailey said. “She’s just built right; she’s very sound, she’s an awesome horse and never had an injury, so that makes a difference as well. I know fitness and conditioning, for me, really helps prevent a lot of injuries.”

Round Five didn’t come without its obstacles. The ground continued to pose a challenge for many horses, for example causing a five-second penalty for first runner of the night Cheyenne Wimberley when KN Fabs Mist Of Fame slipped at the backside of the second and hit the barrel when she stood up.

While Hailey was busy prepping Sister and not watching the round too closely, her mother Leslie Kinsel made sure to pay attention and relay what she saw back to Hailey.

“It was a little shifty or slick on the backside of the second, I’m not sure because I didn’t really watch it, but my mom was watching it and tells me what she sees,” Hailey said. “I think that was the reason there were hit barrels more than anything, because [the ground] just moves away from you.”

—>Read more: All About Sister’s Bit<—

Knowing her horse’s turning style and what she could do as a rider to change it made the biggest difference for Sister staying safely upright on the ground, Hailey says.

“The horses that were slipping were the ones that drop behind a lot and really have their weight on their hind end. She can, but she doesn’t have to. It kind of depends, but I can adjust it,” Hailey said. “I told myself to keep her moving forward, keep her stepping around it, so that if she does get to a spot that gives a little, the next step will be forward and not back on top of it. I kept telling myself going back and forth in the alley, ‘Just keep moving forward.’ You can’t lean forward, but keep her step moving forward and squeeze with my legs and push her around them so she takes another step every time, so that if a little bit gives or one foot gives, her next step is a forward motion. I can adjust her like that, and not everybody’s horses can, but she can and that’s awesome.”

Hailey and Sister got around the second barrel fast, clean and sure-footed. When the pair rounded the third in typical fashion, the crowd inside Globe Life Field erupted, filling the giant stadium to the ceiling with applause as Sister grabbed another gear and crossed the timer line with the fastest time so far of the 2020 Wrangler NFR.

“Really just to turn the third and they’re all standing feels awesome, but the crowd here is great, especially this year because we had so many runs without an electric crowd. Here, it’s loud in there,” Hailey said. “Being at the third barrel it’s pretty close, especially after being in the back because there’s not as many people back there, but when you turn the third barrel it’s like surround sound. It’s awesome.”

The No. 1 spot in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world standings still belongs to Hailey with $187,883.94. She leads the aggregate on four runs as well. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi stays at No. 2 with $169,494.07 after placing third in Round Five on Ima Famous Babe for $15,653.85.

Notable horse changes include Ryann Pedone getting on Tracy Nowlin’s NFR mare DJG Madison (Royal Blue Chew Chew x Run Madison x Sunset Six). Tiany Schuster changed from Show Mance to her 5-year-old gelding Famous Mic Guy Ver (Frenchmans Guy x Disarray x Dash Ta Fame). Wenda Johnson switched from Macgyver Moonflash to Tom and Nick Wylie’s aged-event standout, the Troy Crumrine-trained 7-year-old stallion SR Industry Titan (Firewaterontherocks x Mulberry Canyon Moon x Marthas Six Moons). Lisa Lockhart stayed on the Hallie Hanssen-trained mare Tres Movidas for the second night in a row.

Ryann Pedone runs home at the NFR
Ryann Pedone changed horses in Round Five, getting on Tracy Nowlin’s 2006 mare DJG Madison (Royal Blue Chew Chew x Run Madison x Sunset Six). Photo by Kenneth Springer
Tiany Schuster turns the first barrel
Tiany Schuster got off Show Mance and switched horses to her 5-year-old gelding Famous Mic Guy Ver (Frenchmans Guy x Disarray x Dash Ta Fame). Photo by Kenneth Springer
Wenda Johnson turning a barrel
Tom and Nick Wylie’s 7-year-old stallion made his debut at The Big Show with Wenda Johnson. The Troy Crumrine-trained standout is by Firewaterontherocks and out of Mulberry Canyon Moon by Marthas Six Moons. Photo by Kenneth Springer


Rank, Name, Horse, Time, Money Won

  1. Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 16.92, $26,230.77
  2. Jimmie Smith, Lena On The Rocks, 17.30, $20,730.77
  3. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Ima Famous Babe, 17.35, $15,653.85
  4. Jessie Telford, Famous Cool Whip, 17.38, $11,000
  5. (tie) Brittany Barnett, Chicks Keen O Pocopoo, 17.44, $5,500
  6. (tie) Jill Wilson, Lean Mean Blue Dean, 17.44, $5,500
  7. Shelley Morgan, HR Fameskissandtell, 17.48
  8. Jessica Routier, Fiery Miss West, 17.56
  9. Tiany Schuster, Famous Mic Guy Ver, 17.58
  10. Ryann Pedone, DJG Madison, 17.67
  11. Emily Miller Beisel, Namgis D 33, 21.98*
  12. Wenda Johnson, SR Industry Titan, 22.41*
  13. Cheyenne Wimberley, KN Fabs Mist Of Fame, 22.89*
  14. Stevi Hillman, Cuatro Fame, 27.07**
  15. Lisa Lockhart, Tres Movidas, 27.44**


Rank, Name, Time on five runs

  1. Hailey Kinsel, 85.91
  2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 86.56
  3. Shelley Morgan, 86.98
  4. Jessica Routier, 87.44
  5. Jill Wilson, 87.50
  6. Jessie Telford, 87.70
  7. Jimmie Smith, 87.89
  8. Ryann Pedone, 88.90
  9. Emily Miller, 92.32
  10. Brittney Barnett, 92.75
  11. Tiany Schuster, 92.87
  12. Cheyenne Wimberley, 93.22
  13. Wenda Johnson, 93.85
  14. Stevi Hillman, 96.53
  15. Lisa Lockhart, 101.31


Rank, Name, Hometown, Earnings,

  1. Hailey Kinsel, $187,883.94
  2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $169,494.07
  3. Jimmie Smith, $128,752.83
  4. Shelley Morgan, $98,613.42
  5. Tiany Schuster, $96,791.15
  6. Stevi Hillman, $91,157.92
  7. Lisa Lockhart, $88,134.91
  8. Cheyenne Wimberley, $79,039.3
  9. Dona Kay Rule, $77,453.54
  10. Jessica Routier, $77,024.78
  11. Jill Wilson, $68,870.97
  12. Jessie Telford, $59,477.20
  13. Brittney Barnett, $59,926.10
  14. Ryann Pedone, $52,580.60
  15. Emily Miller, $52,388.19
  16. Wenda Johnson, $49,953.14

* No. 16-ranked Jessie Telford replaced No. 3-ranked Dona Kay Rule at the Wrangler NFR


Blanche Schaefer is an avid barrel racer and managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Linda A. King Reply

    I love watching Hailey compete. She is so humble and kind. She seems to have a great personality and love for the sport of Barrel Racing. I love how she and Sister connect with each other. She has done a lot for Barrel Racing and urge others as well. I would love to see the pair go as far as Charmayne and Scamper did. What a great story that would be in the history books. Keep it up Hailey and Sister. I am rooting for you.

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