Meet the winningest circuit cowgirls as rodeo’s regular season winds down and ProRodeo's 2022 circuit finals qualification deadline looms.
The Badlands Circuit
Buffalo, South Dakota, cowgirl Jessica Routier has been hustling in the Badlands Circuit with $17,956 earned from 15 rodeos. Routier’s main mount that has taken her to all four of her National Finals Rodeo appearances (2018-2021) is Fiery Miss West, aka “Missy,” owned and bred by Gary Westergren. Hot on Routier’s trail with $16,387 is Summer Kosel, Glenham, South Dakota. Kosel had a breakout performance this season at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming riding her sorrel speedster FireWaterFrenchFame, or “Apollo,” to a new arena record. Kosel and Routier finished one and two, respectively, at the Dacotah Stampede Rodeo in Aberdeen, South Dakota, held August 15-16.
| READ ProRodeo Results: Summer’s Hot in Cheyenne
The California Circuit
Ukiah, California’s Megan Champion has earned $18,595 for a commanding lead in her circuit over veteran barrel racer Kathy Petska. Champion is the defending California Circuit Finals and year-end winner. Champion and her daughter, rookie barrel racer Oceana Champion, both placed at rodeos in Sonoma and Santa Rosa, California, in August.
| READ Champion’s Roller-coaster Road to California Circuit Titles
The Columbia River Circuit
NFR Open Champion Cheyenne Allan of Mabton, Washington, holds the No. 1 spot in her circuit with $17,220 over rookie Tristan Parrish of Yakima, Washington, with $12,629. Allan won third at Lynden, Washington, August 15-16, for $929, second at Grandview, Washington, earlier the same week for $711, and a snagged another good check from Gooding, Idaho, worth $638. Allan is 31st in the WPRA World Standings with $38,938 from 29 rodeos.
| READ Winning Hand: Cheyenne Allan Rides RCA Royal Flush to 2022 NFR Open Championship
Allan, a back-to-back Pendleton Roundup Champion (2018, 2019) aboard home-raised and -trained full siblings, knows the type of horse she likes to ride and has found those desirable characteristics in her 9-year-old gelding RCA Royal Flush, aka “Three.”
“We shoulder brand all our horses. He was born in 2013 and the single number “3” indicates he was a favorite. We decided to keep him as a baby, and we just called him Three, and it’s just stuck with him. We raise a lot of horses; we raise horses and sell them.”
Never count Allan out at the upcoming Pendleton Roundup—she’s a multiple champion and many times a finalist riding multiple horses that she’s trained and conditioned to tackle the iconic green mile.
The First Frontier Circuit
Defending First Frontier Circuit Champion Barrel Racer Christina Mulford, Franklinville, New Jersey, leads the First Frontier with $6,031. Gold card member Beth Ann Borowy of Walnut Bend, Pennsylvania, is chasing Mulford’s lead with $5,432 as of the most recent standings update on August 24, 2022. Mulford has collected an impressive string of first-place finishes during the month of August, including twice at Gerry, New York for $823 and $787, and two more firsts in Woodstown, New Jersey, for $572 and $478.
| READ Taking All The Money: Mulford Sweeps First Frontier Circuit Barrel Racing
The Great Lakes Circuit
In the Great Lakes Circuit it’s Kricket Gintner of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, who holds a slight edge in the circuit over rookie Katie Chism of Tiskilwa, Illinois. Gintner has accrued $17,007 for a lead of $238.64 over Chism who has $16,768.
| READ Trio of Cowgirls Race for Great Lakes Rookie Title
The Maple Leaf Circuit
North of the border in the Maple Leaf Circuit rookie Jennifer Neudorf, of Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada, holds a slim lead with $11,560 over all-around cowgirl Bradi Whiteside of Longview, Alberta’s $11,160. Neudorf has had a solid summer with placings at Benalto, Ponoka and Airdrie, Alberta, while Whiteside recently won La Crete, Alberta, held August 9-10, for a healthy paycheck in the amount of $2,073 to jump her into contention for the circuit title. Whiteside represented the Maple Leaf Circuit at the 2022 NFR Open in both the barrel racing as well as in the breakaway roping where she placed in the first go and the semis.
| READ Halfway Point: Breakaway Ropers Leading the 2022 Circuit Standings
The Montana Circuit
Montana Circuit rodeos have been going full throttle thanks to welcoming summer temps in this picturesque region of the country. Leading the Montana Circuit is Abigail Knight of Charlo, Montana, with $17,774. In second with $13,380 is NFR qualifier Brittney Barnett, who calls Stephenville, Texas, home. Knight won second in the first round at the NFR Playoff Series rodeo in Baker, Montana, held August 18-20, for $3,159, and placed the same weekend at the Yellowstone River Round-Up in Billings for another $553.
Meanwhile Barnett and her gritty mare “Paint” have cashed checks from Missoula and Cascade, Montana, in recent weeks and won the last hole in the first round at Baker. Registered as Chicks Keen O PocoPoo, Paint is by the APHA stallion Mr Dominator and out of the Quarter horse mare Stylish Chick Olena by Dix Chic Olena.
| READ Brittney Barnett Dominates Montana Circuit Finals Barrel Racing
The Mountain States Circuit
Thanks to a brilliant performance at The Daddy of “Em All in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Andrea Busby of Millsap, Texas, leads the Mountain States with $25,645 over her hauling partner Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, of Lampasas, Texas, with $21,749. Busby’s biggest August earnings came from the Larimer Country Fair and Rodeo in Loveland, Colorado, where she conquered the tiny confines of the Budweiser Events Center to win first and $2,666.
| READ Blazing Speed: Andrea Busby Wins 2022 Cheyenne Frontier Days Barrel Racing on Blazing With My Dude
| LISTEN to Busby’s story on The Money Barrel, S2 Ep 18: Andrea Busby
Defending Mountain States Circuit Finals and year-end champion Shali Lord is currently sixth with $10,110. Lord is relying heavily on her gray mare “CeCe,” registered Frosted In Fame, after losing her main mount Freckles Ta Fame at the end of 2021 to injury.
| WATCH Shali’s training series on BarrelRacing.com
The Prairie Circuit
Tops in the Prairie Circuit is NFR hopeful Michelle Darling, of Medford, Oklahoma, with $17,423. The top three in the Prairie Circuit – Darling, Leslie Smalygo and Emily Beisel are all in hot pursuit of 2022 NFR berths.
| READ What in the World? A Look at the Biggest ProRodeo World Standings Moves in Week No. 3 of August 2022
Skiatook, Oklahoma’s Smalygo is second in the Prairie Circuit with $16,501, while Beisel, of Weatherford, Oklahoma, is third with $15,747.
The Southeastern Circuit
Another top-ranked circuit cowgirl, Margo Crowther, of North Fort Myers, Florida, is currently in the Northwest chasing her first trip to the NFR, all while holding down the No. 1 spot in her circuit located on the other side of the United States. Crowther has $15,720 earned in the Southeastern Circuit, while rookie Presley Smith, Denham Springs, Louisiana, holds down the second spot with $14,697.
Crowther banked $11,402 outside of her circuit during the third week of August to move from 16th in the world to inside of the top 15 at No. 13 with $74,538.
The Texas Circuit
Defending Texas Circuit Finals champ Sissy Winn of Chapman Ranch, Texas, has a hold on the top spot in her ultra-tough circuit with $21,123. Second to Winn is past NFR qualifier Jackie Ganter of Abilene, Texas, with $15,005. Winn is on track to make her first NFR, currently ranked fifth in the world with $101,878.
Texas is historically a tough circuit finals rodeo to qualify to attend. Currently 15th in the circuit is NFR qualifier Jimmie Smith with $10,493.
| READ Winn Wins Texas Circuit Finals Championship
The Turquoise Circuit
The Turquoise Circuit Rookie powerhouse Kailee Murdock, of Litchfield Park, Arizona, holds the top spot in the Turquoise Circuit with $11,509 over second-ranked Jana Bean, an NFR veteran who hails from Ft. Hancock, Texas, with $10,670. Both ladies have been rodeoing outside their circuit but circuit action resumes in September with Socorro, New Mexico; co-approved Banning, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico, all of which take place during the first half of September. Murdock is currently fourth in the Resistol Rookie Standings with $28,496.
The Wilderness Circuit
The 2019 National High School Finals Rodeo Champion Barrel Racer Macee McAllister of St. George, Utah, holds the top spot in the Wilderness Circuit with $23,289 over second place Marcie Wilson, Lake Shore, Utah, with $20,416. McAllister placed in recent weeks at rodeos in Idaho, including the first round in Gooding and the second round and average of Caldwell. Wilson was just a few hundredths behind her at Gooding and also placed in Preston, Idaho, the end of July. Wilson banked big bucks in July when she won Spanish Fork, Utah, July 20-25, with a rapid 16.910, which was worth $10,163. Ironically, McAllister was second with her 16.970 to earn $8,131, and prove just how competitive barrel racing is in the Wilderness Circuit.