By Jolee Lautaret-Jordan
The 109th Pendleton Round-Up kicked off September 9, with team roping and barrel racing slack. Nearly 60 barrel racers competed on opening day, taking their shots on the pattern dubbed the “Green Mile” both because of its length—barrels are set 288 feet apart—and because all the action, except the turns around the barrels, happens on the famous Pendleton grass arena.
Ellensburg, Washington, cowgirl Jody Tucker took a commanding lead with her time of 28.95 seconds. Tucker was the only cowgirl to break into the 28-second range Monday. She rode her 12-year old gelding Streakin For Mama, by A Streak of Fling and out of West 149 by Drifts Chip. Tucker raised “Streaker” and last made the finals in Pendleton in 2017.
Women’s Professional Rodeo Association 18th-ranked Leia Pluemer is currently fourth at Pendleton as she is seeking her first trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Only those ladies ranked inside the top 15 of the WPRA world standings at the close of the regular season September 30 will qualify to the NFR. No. 15 Ericka Nelson is sixth at Pendleton.
The long round will see the remaining 36 cowgirls competing in the three rodeo performances beginning September 11. Following the performance September 13, the 12 fastest cowgirls will advance to the short go September 14.
1. Jody Tucker, Ellensburg, WA, 28.95
2. Kristin Brashears, Molalla, OR, 29.29
3. Kacey Gartner, Walla Walla, WA, 29.31
4. Leia Pluemer, Los Lunas, NM, 29.32
5. Jackie Ganter, Abilene, TX, 29.33
6. Ericka Nelson, Century, FL, 29.44
7. Meghann McNulty, Santa Maria, CA, 29.50
8. Amber Alsterlund, Viola, ID, 29.53
9. Britni Carlson, Hermiston, OR, 29.61
10. Hayle Gibson, Redcrest, CA, 29.85