March 3, 2021 — Fort Worth, Texas — Taylor Smith and Cash Flow Depot have been as consistent as ever in Cowtown Coliseum. The pair qualified in the top 30 of the Semifinals barrel racing slack round with a 13.587 and came back two days later in the first performance to clock a 13.573 and move into the top spot.
Smith said she knew her expressive gelding was ready to do his part in the arena, and she focused on a few adjustments as a jockey to improve upon their slack run. The pair had a close call rocking the second barrel, but fate was on their side.
“In the [slack] round, I wished I had been a little more aggressive going to the first barrel. So [in the performance], I was just focusing on letting him go a little faster so I could get that first barrel better, and I think he did,” the Crockett, Texas, resident said. “I could tell he was ready tonight to run. He gets pretty sassy. Usually he runs better the second run. He had a lot more fire I felt like even tonight, and because he had a better first barrel it took me by surprise. By the time I caught up with him going to the second barrel, I tipped it, which we hardly ever do hit barrels, and then it threw me out of whack. But he was running the whole time, so I’m super happy with how it turned out.”
Cash Flow Depot holds a special place in Smith’s heart. She bred, raised and trained the 2010 gelding by The Money Depot out of her own mare JMB Stormy Bug by Lee Easy and out of a daughter of Bugs Alive in 75. Smith futuritied the gelding, and then a series of life events took him out of the arena for a few years.
“He was really easy to train. He’s real smart, very quirky. He’s very easy to read because he’ll let you know if he didn’t like something. Very communicative. I futuritied him, and he did well and we’ve gone to rodeos. We took a little break for about three years, so I have been back running since this last September,” Smith said. “He got sick with colitis, and so I turned him out for a couple years and then we had a move, and I’m teaching, so I just pulled him back up and we’re back at it again. He’s come back strong.”
She prepared the gelding by attending barrel races and the weekly rodeos at Cowtown Coliseum in the few months leading up to The American Semifinals. Even Smith admits she’s never experienced anything quite like what awaits her inside AT&T Stadium, should her time hold through the next two performances.
“I was very confident because I’d gotten to run there, had done well and that’s a good setup for him. He’s got quick speed and he really seems to like that long alley. He runs good in buildings and indoors. That’s right up his alley,” Smith said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time. I’m going to go to the open arena [in AT&T] and just hope for the best, take it as it comes. It’s all completely new for me. I don’t really even know how to prepare.”
Thankfully for Smith, she has a steadfast partner to rely on when the lights are bright and the pressure is on.
“He has a lot of heart. I think he really loves it. He just seems to enjoy it,” Smith said. “He’s just a real strong-willed horse. I think that makes him tough. If he was ever hurt or anything, you wouldn’t know it. He’s just real tough and a lot of heart.”
RFD-TV’S The American Semifinals Performance One Results
- Taylor Smith, Cash Flow Depot, 13.573
- Janna Brown, DH Jess Stellar, 13.649
- Kassie Mowry, Epic Guy, 13.678
- Shannon Lillard, LZK Dashus Rockstar, 13.702
- Emily Wilkins, Chasin Easy Money, 13.815
- Jamie Steiner, XS Dirty Lil Secret, 13.905
- Trinity Beauvais, 18.700*
- Erin Zoucha, VF Look Im Back, 18.737*
- Paris Jean, Fame In A Fling, 18.904*
- Charlie Sohrt, It Pays More To Win, 18.962*
- Tammy Ochs, Return Ofthe Chicado, 23.839**
- Shannon McReynolds, Wood Bring Bullion, 24.371**
- Emma Smith, One First Class Lady, 29.672***