Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Cheat Sheet: Round 9 Recap

11x Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer Charmayne James shares her impressions from Round 9 and what to look for in Round 9.

Photographs by Jamie Arviso

11x Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer Charmayne James shares her impressions from Round 9 and what to look for in Round 9.

Charmayne James needs no introduction in the world of barrel racing. She’s ridden many different horses down the alley at the Thomas & Mack Center arena, most famous among them the legendary “Scamper” (Gills Bay Boy). She’s been kind enough to share her thoughts with Barrel Racing Magazine as we continue tracking the most exciting 10 days of the year in rodeo.

World Standings Leader Hailey Kinsel

Charmayne’s take: Hailey ran a 13.63 to place fifth in Round 9. She and sister were as solid and smooth as ever. Hailey just goes and does what she does every round and that’s what I expect again in Round 10. Hailey’s gunning for her fourth consecutive world title tonight and she and Sister are going to go for it tonight, I have no doubt.

Hailey Kinsel and Sister were a 13.63 for fifth in Round 9.

No. 2 Jordon Briggs

Charmayne’s take: Phenomenal job once again for Jordon and Rollo, wow. As the average leader Jordon’s got a lot of pressure on her to just go get around the barrels. I think it’s natural if you get a little added pressure to start looking down at the barrels, she might’ve done that at third last night, but obviously got around them to win another round. I know the feeling of that pressure and I would just say that’s when you’ve got to do your best not to worry. The team that got you there will get you through. Kristie’s got to be so very proud!  

Jordon Briggs and Rollo were a 13.48 to share the Round 9 win.

No. 3 Shelley Morgan

Charmayne’s take: Shelley and Kiss unfortunately hit a barrel and went from fourth to eighth in the average, but she’s still in there for a good check, so if they go make their run they’ll stay in there. Shelly might’ve looked down a little and that’s where your horse goes, they move in, so I’d make every effort to look up and stay square in the saddle.

No. 4 Emily Miller-Beisel

Charmayne’s take: Emily’s horse really worked, and I was sorry to see them tip first leaving it to move from third to sixth in the average. Emily’s had an awesome Finals and I expect her to go make a great run to close it out. She’s won more than $94,000 and there’s still a great chance she’ll cash in in the average.

No. 5 Stevi Hillman

Charmayne’s take: What a great run in Round 9 from Stevi and Lemon Drop! That horse is so fast, getting a little by first didn’t faze them and they’ll move up to a better spot on the ground tonight, so I look for this team to capitalize on that.

Stevi Hillman and Lemon Drop were a 13.48 to share the Round 9 win.

No. 6 Dona Kay Rule

Charmayne’s take: Valor had a bad slip at the first barrel. Dona Kay had him really running and she nailed the position, so I was surprised to see that happen and I hope he’s OK. He fell and still almost placed in the round; what an amazing horse.

No. 7 Amanda Welsh

Charmayne’s take: Amanda and Firefly had a little trip at the third barrel and still won third in the round. They move up from sixth out to fourth and are certainly a threat to win their second go round, I know she’ll go for it.

Amanda Welsh and Fire Fly were a 13.54 for third in Round 9.

No. 8 Wenda Johnson

Charmayne’s take: Wenda switched to Mac and it worked out great for her. She won fourth in the round and rode super confident. Both of those First Moonflash geldings she has are so fast. They have a lot of flexibility and give all the way through their bodies. Good job to Wenda on making the switch and getting some money won.

Wenda Johnson and Mac were a 13.61 for fourth in Round 9.

No. 9 Ivy Saebens

Charmayne’s take: Ivy and J-Lo made another rock-solid run that looked great. They were a 13.66 toward the bottom of the ground to win the last hole. It looked to me like the ground at the third might’ve gotten a little deep by the time Ivy ran but super job on her part getting a check.

Ivy Saebens and J-Lo were a 13.66 for sixth in Round 9.

No. 10 Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi

Charmayne’s take: I was sorry to see Brittany and Katniss rim the second and hit it leaving it, I know that had to be disappointing for her because she and her horse are both really trying hard. Hopefully this final round is good to them.

No. 11 Cheyenne Wimberley

Charmayne’s take: I hate to see Cheyenne and Rocco hit barrels. She knows she’s obviously out of the average, so I expect Cheyenne to go for it again in Round 10 and hopefully finish her Finals the way she started them with winning a round.

12 Lisa Lockhart

Charmayne’s take: Lisa changed back to Cutter from Levee. Cutter is so athletic, but I don’t know why he shakes his head. That cost her a little and I hope Lisa can sort that out tonight.

No. 13 Jessica Routier

Charmayne’s take: Jessica and Missy were just a hundredth out of placing with their 13.67. They’re clocking great and third in the average so I’m sure she’s going to do her best to make another smooth run and get a great check.

No. 14 Nellie Miller

Charmayne’s take: Nellie’s mare had been working so nice that I was surprised to see her switch horses, however, you never know until you are in someone else’s shoes. Her back up (Colleen Kingsbury’s “Cinco”) is obviously a very nice horse for her to use him so if she runs him tonight, I hope to see her leave them all up because she barely caught third last night.

No. 15 Molly Otto

Charmayne’s take: Molly and Chewy got by first a little again made a very nice run nonetheless and I’m sure her NFR experience has been a good one. She’s fourth in the average going into Round 10 and that’s worth about $32,600.