“I’ve tipped some barrels to win some rounds in the past, and I tipped some barrels this week to win the round, but there was nothing I would’ve changed about the way my horse was working,” Churchill said, reflecting on the nine performances.

Running second on the ground, Churchill was off to an early lead and “Worm” smoked a run in his signature style. Trula_Churchill

“He’s stayed really collected and up underneath himself and he’s been really free this week, too,” Churchill commented. “I know there are some that have struggled with the ground a little bit, but it is what it is. I’ve just tried to stay positive, day after day, stay in my routine and take care of my business and not worry about what anyone else is doing because I can’t control that, anyway.”

Churchill, herself a seasoned veteran in the barrel racing arena, credits some of that focus to her husband, Linn, a former NFR qualifier in the steer wrestling.

“He understands how it all works and a lot of the mental part of it, so he’s helped me stay pretty mentally focused this week and kind of picked me up when my chin was dragging a little bit,” Churchill said. “Any time you have that experience in your corner, it’s an advantage. My grandpa was one of the original signers that created the PRCA back in the day, so it’s been in my blood since I was born. To have [my husband] in my corner, where he understands it and the challenges that you go through year-round, it really keeps me focused and positive.”

Worm is at the top of his game, as well, both mentally and physically.

“He’s feeling great,” Churchill remarked. “We went home after Omaha and he got lots of pasture miles. We went to the Canadian finals and then went to California for a couple weeks and got some sunshine and some more miles. I absolutely give his mind a rest, but his body never gets a rest, so he stays in shape all year round. I know how hard it is for us to get back in shape if we get out, so I don’t let him get out of shape.”

The first three out, Samantha Lyne, Churchill, and Carlee Pierce, respectively, placed 3-1-2. Lyne’s first paycheck of the finals was earned astride the Paint horse she calls “Jimmy” – who she reportedly bought 10 days before she came to Vegas, and had originally designated her grand entry horse. Splitting fourth and fifth for $6,436.30 each were Lisa Lockhart and Nancy Hunter, and Fallon Taylor banked $3,064.90 for sixth.

Someone is going to win their first-ever world title, and it’s coming down to the wire in the dog fight that is the barrel racing of the 2014 Wrangler NFR. If the rodeo were over tonight and the aggregate paid on nine rounds instead of 10, it would be Lisa Lockhart to win the prestigious gold buckle. Lockhart trails Taylor in earnings by $8,168.43, but leads the average by a margin of .23 seconds – which, at $48,732, will pay $9,195 more for first place than for second. Lockhart and “Louie” have edged Taylor and “Babyflo” in the past couple of rounds, but the latter have run as tough as ever despite costly stumbles at the third barrel two nights in a row. All in all, the fastest of the two on the tenth night will very likely be your next world champion.

Don’t miss the February issue of Barrel Horse News to read in-depth coverage of all the great stories from the 2014 Wrangler NFR.

Barrel Racing Results – Ninth go-round:
1. Trula Churchill Valentine, Neb. 13.67 $19,002.40
2. Carlee Pierce Stephenville, Texas 13.90 $15,018.03
3. Samantha Lyne Cotulla, Texas 13.94 $11,340.14
4/5. Lisa Lockhart Oelrichs, S.D. 13.96 $6,436.30
4/5. Nancy Hunter Neola, Utah 13.96 $6,436.30
4. Fallon Taylor Whitesboro, Texas 14.04 $3,064.90
5. Kassidy Dennison Tohatchi, N.M. 14.09
6. Sherry Cervi Marana, Ariz. 14.10
7. Britany Diaz Solen, N.D. 14.11
8. Christy Loflin Franktown, Colo. 14.14
9. Michele McLeod Whitesboro, Texas 14.23
10. Christine Laughlin Pueblo, Colo. 14.24
11. Kaley Bass Kissimmee, Fla. 14.26
12. Jana Bean Ft. Hancock, Texas 14.40
13. Mary Walker Ennis, Texas 24.08

Aggregate Standings – Ninth go-round:
(Rank/Name/Aggregate/Aggregate Prize/Total NFR Earnings
1. Lisa Lockhart 130.91/9 $0.00 $92,100.35
2. Fallon Taylor 131.14/9 $0.00 $90,414.65
3. Kaley Bass 133.00/9 $0.00 $27,890.63
4. Britany Diaz 133.09/9 $0.00 $28,656.84
5. Michele McLeod 137.07/9 $0.00 $38,311.29
6. Carlee Pierce 137.64/9 $0.00 $40,456.72
7. Sherry Cervi 137.69/9 $0.00 $29,116.59
8. Jana Bean 137.89/9 $0.00 $22,067.30
9. Trula Churchill 140.79/9 $0.00 $61,604.56
10. Nancy Hunter 146.32/9 $0.00 $32,487.98
11. Kassidy Dennison 147.18/9 $0.00 $34,020.43
12. Mary Walker 161.24/9 $0.00 $26,971.15
13. Christine Laughlin 162.70/9 $0.00 $0.00
14. Samantha Lyne 124.53/8 $0.00 $11,340.14
15. Christy Loflin 144.21/8 $0.00 $16,243.99


Windham Weaponry World Rankings – Ninth go-round:
(Rank/Season earnings/NFR earnings/Total world earnings)
1. Fallon Taylor $131,471.13 $90,414.65 $221,885.78
2. Lisa Lockhart $121,617.00 $92,100.35 $213,717.35
3. Kaley Bass $155,279.55 $27,890.63 $183,170.18
4. Michele McLeod $100,645.02 $38,311.29 $138,956.31
5. Trula Churchill $75,874.35 $61,604.56 $137,478.91
6. Nancy Hunter $104,289.49 $32,487.98 $136,777.47
7. Britany Diaz $102,946.71 $28,656.84 $131,603.55
8. Carlee Pierce $90,430.58 $40,456.72 $130,887.30
9. Mary Walker $99,712.14 $26,971.15 $126,683.29
10. Kassidy Dennison $92,051.12 $34,020.43 $126,071.55
11. Sherry Cervi $93,048.33 $29,116.59 $122,164.92
12. Christy Loflin $91,736.41 $16,243.99 $107,980.40
13. Christine Laughlin $93,134.61 $0.00 $93,134.61
14. Jana Bean $70,415.60 $22,067.30 $92,482.90
15. Samantha Lyne $70,577.07 $11,340.14 $81,917.21


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