By Kailey Sullins. Photos by Amanda Rutherford, Way Out West Rodeo Photography
As a winter storm swept across the state, contestants from across the country, Canada, and even Australia pulled down their hats and called on their grit to pull them through the fierce competition inside the Jim Norick Arena in hopes of claiming a world title. The International Professional Rodeo Association drew 127 contestants in its finals to battle for gold buckles in barrel racing, breakaway roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling and bull riding.
The barrel racing competition in particular was a tough field in the four-round aggregate race and it was No. 1 cowgirl Kindyl Scruggs who finished the weekend atop the field for a world title and a total of $9,406 in finals earnings. Scruggs entered the IFR with $39,612 next to her name and after dominating in Oklahoma City her IPRA world earnings reached $49,019.
In round one Scruggs of Southaven, Mississippi, flew into the area as the first barrel racer through the alley to turn in a time of 15.170, which took first in the round. Setting the bar high Scruggs held onto her lead and was followed by Jodi Colton with a time of 15.180 for second place.
Scruggs and Money Red Down Home – who is by Down Home Dash out of the On The Money Red granddaughter, Flash Mia Money Red – kept their momentum in round two turning in a time of 15.323. The time was a little slower than their first round time, but good enough for second place in round two. Scruggs and her mount were only bettered by Sindy Laliberte of Thetford Mines of Quebec, Canada, with a time of 15.265, worth the round win.
Rounds three and four were two more consistent runs for Scruggs and the 6-year-old gelding. With a 15.308 for first in round three and a 15.304 for third in round four, the duo finished the finals with an aggregate time of 61.105 on four runs taking the top spot in the average, worth $3,583.
“Winning the world title feels awesome,” Scruggs said. “I’m so thankful for my friends, family and horses who have helped me accomplish my goals this year.”
Jodi Colton had a phenomenal finals, collecting $3,135 plus the honor of fastest time of the event with a 15.089 which took the win in round four, and finished the year with $24,310 placing her No. 3 in the world standings.
Carrie Putnam finished $22,747 behind Scruggs in the world standings and unfortunately didn’t pick up any money in Oklahoma City, however the $26,272 she entered the finals with held to earn her the barrel racing reserve championship.
IFR 47 Champions:
Bareback: Trey Moore
Steer Wrestling: J.W. Ery
Team Roping, Heading: Justin Thigpen
Team Roping, Heeling: Stephen Britnell
Saddle Bronc: Shane Hand
Tie-Down: Justin Thigpen
Breakaway: Megan Rinehart
Barrel Racing: Kindyl Scruggs
Bull Riding: Corey Bailey
IPRA World Barrel Racing Standings:
World Rank, Contestant, World Earnings
1. Kindyl Scruggs, $49,019
2. Carrie Putnam, $26,272
3. Jodi Colton, $24,310
4. Caroline Poulin, $22,034
5. Sindy Laliberte, $20,584
6. Dawn Powell, $17,741
7. Natalie Overholt, $16,267
8. Edesse Descoteaux, $15,288
9. Cayla Fielder, $14,330
10. Amber Mostoller, $13,561
11. Peyton Morrow, $13,222
12. Lauren Smith, $11,906
13. Bert Kathy Thompson, $11,899
14. Mary Brooks, $11,831
15. Kim Desilets, $10,520
For full results please visit the IPRA at www.ipra-rodeo.com.
Kailey Sullins is managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected].