As the barrel racing event got underway during the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo’s Friday matinee performance, defending world champion Fallon Taylor was thinking she would be the seventh cowgirl to compete.
Organizers had informed Taylor that she would be contestant No. 7.
But rodeo officials made a mistake and a gateman believed Taylor was scheduled as the second rider to run. So, as Taylor was chatting in a holding area and thinking she was five slots away from her run, she was informed by the official that she must immediately enter the arena and run the cloverleaf pattern.
Taylor and her mare, Babyflo, answered the call in a speedy time of 16.63 seconds, the type of solid time Taylor was looking for in attempting to qualify for Saturday night’s final round.
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“I had to get my game face on — it probably was one of the toughest runs I’ve had to make in terms of getting mentally prepared,” Taylor said.
Taylor, a former Ponder resident who lives in Whitesboro, praised Babyflo for posting an attention-grabbing time.
“I can call her at any moment and that’s what makes her a world champion,” Taylor said.
Taylor consistently has posted speedy times at the stock show. She finished fourth in the first round with a 16.62, which was only one-hundredth of a second faster than her second-round time during Friday’s show.
“It was our goal to be solid [in the second round] and run about the same time that we had last time [in the first round],” Taylor said. “She [Babyflo] has been the queen of consistent the last six or seven months and we’re grateful.”
Taylor is ranked fourth in the Stock Show Rodeo’s title race with a two-run time of 33.25, which should be plenty fast enough to earn a finals berth. The top 12 in the event will advance to the final round following Saturday’s 2 p.m. matinee performance.
Georgia cowgirl Sarah Rose McDonald leads thetitle race with a two-run-time of 32.79. Kali Parker is second with a 33.18.
A look at other title races:
▪ Team roping: Defending world all-around champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur and his partner, two-time world champion Patrick Smith of Lipan, are ranked No. 1 with a two-run time of 10.4. The team of two-time world champion Matt Sherwood and rookie Quinn Kesler is No. 2 with an 11.0.
▪ Tie-down roping: Cory Solomon, a two-time National Finals qualifier, leads the title race with a two-run time of 17.6. Five-time NFR qualifier Clint Robinson is No. 2 with a 17.7. Sterling Smith, a Stephenville cowboy, is No. 3 with an 18.0.
▪ Bareback riding: Luke Creasy and Tyler Nelson are ranked No. 1 with a three-ride score of 238 points. Each cowboy is attempting to earn a first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo berth this year.
▪ Steer wrestling: Ty Erickson and Chancey Larson are tied for the lead with two-run times of 8.5. Erickson is seeking a second NFR berth. Larson is seeking his first trip to the Las Vegas championships.
▪ Saddle bronc riding: Joe Lufkin, looking for a first NFR back number, is ranked No. 1 with a two-ride score of 162. Defending world champion Spencer Wright is No. 2 with a 161. Rusty Wright, the defending Stock Show champion, is tied for third with a 157.
▪ Bull riding: Clayton Savage, a three-time NFR qualifier, leads the title race with a two-ride score of 167. Veteran John Jacobs is ranked No. 2 with a 165.