Tonight in Las Vegas, Nev., Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday wowed the capacity crowd at Thomas & Mack Center with a time of 13.45 worth $26,997. A WPRA career earner of $1.4 million coming into this year’s National Finals Rodeo, Kinsel, of Cotulla, Texas, has added $100,135 to that total so far this week.
It seemed as if all the barrel racers rose to the occasion here on Military Night, and Kinsel was certainly no exception.
“One important thing is that tonight was Military Night and I got to ride in honor of Sergeant Nicole Gee, part of our Marine Corps,” said Kinsel. “She was killed in action in Kabul during the airport bombing. To be able to ride in her honor kind of puts it all in perspective. We’re just grateful to be here. We get to do what we love because people fought for our freedom, and they died in our place. Knowing that, it really helps you just ease through it.”
As always, the defending Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion praised her 10-year-old mare “Sister,” (PC Frenchmans Hayday x Royal Sissy Irish), as well as her fellow competitors.
“It’s such an even barrel race,” said Kinsel of her first go-round win of this Finals. “It’s very exciting. It’s so fun to watch and be a part of. For seven different girls to win the first seven rounds is pretty dang cool. I don’t remember the last time that’s happened. It’s been super, super awesome to be a part of, everyone’s done well. I’m just really grateful.”
With seven of the 10 NFR go-rounds now in the books Kinsel is second in the average and has a solid hold on the No. 1 spot in the world standings with a lead of $40,955 over Jordon Briggs, of Tolar, Texas. With Briggs leading the average, this NFR has shaped up to be quite the horse race. Kinsel has her mare primed and ready to go all 10 rounds and then some in pursuit of her fourth title.
“I told myself I wanted to have her ready to go for 12 rounds if they decided to have that many,” said Kinsel. “I think she’s going to be ready to go 10, but I’m just going to keep listening to her and being attentive to her needs and if she wants to keep going then we’ll keep going.”
Barrel racing records are synonymous with Kinsel’s name. She is the first WPRA member to win the world title, NFR average title, the RAM Top Gun award and fast time award all in the same year, which she did in 2020. At this year’s NFR, Kinsel is chasing her fourth consecutive WPRA world title, having captured her titles in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The last legendary lady to win four in a row was 11-time WPRA World Champion Charmayne James.
A steadfast companion having long accompanied Kinsel each night in the alley is her mother, whom she is more grateful than ever to have with her.
“My parents are awesome,” she said. “My brother and his wife got here last night. My dad’s been here the whole time—we call him the uber because he gets me everywhere I need to go. My mom is with the horses 24/7. It’s really a blessing to have her here this year, we weren’t sure we would have her here. She had a brain tumor removed earlier this year. She’s been through a lot, and we’ve been through a lot as a family. To have her heel-clicking in the alleyway and able to be in full force here feeling her best self is more than I could ask for. I felt like I won before I ever showed up.”
Follow Barrel Racing Magazine to stay up to speed on our coverage of all the great stories coming out of the 2021 Wrangler NFR. Catch our lengthier interview with Kinsel on “The Money Barrel” podcast where she talks more about her NFR strategy.
National Finals Rodeo – Go Round 7 Results
- Hailey Kinsel, DM Sissy Hayday, 13.45, $26,996.97
- Jordon Briggs, Famous Lil Jet, 13.57, $21,336.32
- Emily Miller-Beisel, Namgis D33, 13.59, $16,111.10
- Shelley Morgan, HR FameKissAndTell, 13.61, $11,321.31
- Stevi Hillman, Famous Lemon Drop, 13.65, $6,966.96
- Molly Otto, Teasin Dat Guy, 13.70, $4,354.35
National Finals Rodeo Average Standings
Jordon Briggs, 82.61 seconds on six runs; 2. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 83.13; 3. Hailey Kinsel, 87.07; 4. Emily Miller-Beisel, 87.29; 5. Stevi Hillman, 87.35; 6. Cheyenne Wimberley, 87.65; 7. (tie) Shelley Morgan and Amanda Welsh, 87.84; 9. Nellie Miller, 88.36; 10. Lisa Lockhart, 88.41; 11. Jessica Routier, 89.04; 12. Molly Otto, 89.63; 13. Dona Kay Rule, 92.19; 14. Ivy Saebens, 97.69; 15. Wenda Johnson, 102.19.
WPRA World Standings
1. Hailey Kinsel, $186,667; 2. Jordon Briggs, $151,372; 3. Dona Kay Rule, $147,242; 4. Emily Miller-Beisel, $144,434; 5. Shelley Morgan, $136,452; 6. Amanda Welsh, $132,422; 7. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, $128,200; 8. Wenda Johnson, $127,024; 9. Ivy Saebens, $123,914; 10. Stevi Hillman, $123,851; 11. Cheyenne Wimberley, $111,299; 12. Lisa Lockhart, $100,734; 13. Jessica Routier, $88,847; 14. Nellie Miller, $85,519; 15. Molly Otto, $74,173.