Round No. 5 Wrangler NFR Cheat Sheet

10x NFR barrel racer, trainer, and clinician Molly Powell, of Stephenville, Texas, breaks down the 2021 Wrangler NFR, presented by Teton Ridge.
Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday.

Having ridden a number of different horses — “Pecan,” “Quaker,” “Slider,” and “Sparky” just to name a few — down the alley at the Thomas & Mack Center arena, Molly Powell has been kind enough to share her insider insights with Barrel Racing Magazine as we continue tracking the most exciting 10 days of the year in rodeo.

World Standings Leader Hailey Kinsel

Round 4: 13.70 seconds

Round Winnings: $4,354.35

Total NFR Earnings: $30,465.45

World Standings Earnings: $143,994.04

Average: 8

World Standings: 1

Powell’s take: Hailey and Sister continue to show up and make fast, solid runs. They’ve got their timing down, and another thing I’ll say is we’ve seen Sister win on all kinds of ground since coming on the scene, which shows the tremendous heart she has. I’ve always said that fast, fresh horses win in Vegas and Sister’s one of them.

No. 2 Dona Kay Rule

Round 4: 13.69

Round Winnings: $6,966.96

Total NFR Earnings: $50,930.89

World Standings Earnings: $135,920.85

Average: 13

World Standings: 2

Powell’s take: Dona Kay rode awesome and just smoked a run toward the bottom of the run order. That horse has the wheels for sure. During my career I was less inclined to the racehorse bloodlines for myself, but you look at a horse like Valor and it just proves that breeders like Canadian River Quarter Horses who bred Valor have discovered the right lines to produce horses with tons of run along with the rate and turn needed to excel.

Dona Kay Rule and High Valor.

No. 3 Amanda Welsh

Round 4: 13.61 seconds

Round Winnings: $21,336.32

Total NFR Earnings: $50,502.96

World Standings Earnings: $132,422.44

Average: 3

World Standings: 3

Powell’s take: Amanda used her top-of-ground draw to great advantage and Firefly smoked a run. Firefly is so quick on the backside and runs so hard—they’re winning a lot of money here in Vegas and will continue to do so. They might’ve rimmed second just a little, but as the saying goes, ‘Rubbing is racing,’ right?

Amanda Welsh and Firefly won second in round 4 with a 13.61.

No. 4 Jordon Briggs

Round 4: 13.91 seconds

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $25,675.66

World Standings Earnings: $128,293.86

Average: 4

World Standings: 4

Powell’s take: Jordon and Rollo were a little later in the order and he might’ve gotten in a rut that slowed him down just a touch, but what a super smooth style he has, and they still clocked great. The barrel racing times were so tight in round 4, it’s just amazing and great watching.

Jordon Briggs and Rollo.

No. 5 Stevi Hillman

Round 4: 13.75

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $52,672.63

World Standings Earnings: $123,851.12

Average: 1

World Standings: 5

Powell’s take: Stevi has placed in every round up until the fourth and she was just one out. As we hit the midway point in round 5, Stevi goes in leading the average, which is an amazing feat on such a young horse. She and Lemon Drop got a little tight at second, but I know Stevi has said she attends practice sessions whenever they are offered so I’m betting she’s doing everything in her power to keep her horse calm, cool and collected as the week progresses.

Stevi Hillman and Lemon Drop.

No. 6 Wenda Johnson

Round 4: 13.46

Round Winnings: $26,996.97

Total NFR Earnings: $55,285.24

World Standings Earnings: $122,669.80

Average: 14

World Standings: 6

Powell’s take: What a run for Wenda and her great young horse Moe (Steal Money)! Those are the kind of runs you make in your mind when you’re visualizing the ideal performance, which is exactly what Wenda went out and executed. That might be one of the best runs I’ve seen made at any NFR; it was fabulous. I’m happy to say that the conditions are right to make this one of the toughest NFR’s we’ve seen in my opinion.

Wenda Johnson and Moe winning round 4.

No. 7 Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi

Round 4: 13.62 seconds

Round Winnings: $16,111.10

Total NFR Earnings: $47,447.42

World Standings Earnings: $121,233.12

Average: 2

World Standings: 7

Powell’s take: Brittany’s using her horsepower wisely. As Brittany has moved up on the ground she’s switched to Katniss (Ima Famous Babe) to give the mare the best possible chance. Their second and third barrels were just awesome, and that mare really cuts the clock off. Katniss is another that’s so quick on the backside with so much heart and run.

Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi and Katniss scored another big check in round 4.

No. 8 Shelley Morgan

Round 4: 13.76 seconds

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $26,111.10

World Standings Earnings: $120,340.43

Average: 10

World Standings: 8

Powell’s take: It’s unfortunate that Shelley and Kiss tipped a barrel in round 3 because I think they’d have been strong average contenders. I love this style of barrel horse. A horse that’s trained to go around the barrels without leaning or cutting in at the barrels is the style of horse I recommend to people when they’re shopping, especially those looking for youth rodeo horses. Kiss is obviously a special individual, and the only reason Shelley didn’t place is because this round was super tight.

Shelley Morgan and Kiss.

No. 9 Cheyenne Wimberley

Round 4: 13.78 seconds

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $34,166.64

World Standings Earnings: $111,298.94

Average: 7

World Standings: 9

Powell’s take: Cheyenne and Rocco did so great running at the very bottom of the ground. Cheyenne’s riding with a lot of intention and focus and as she moves up in the draw, she’s going to be right in the thick of things.

Cheyenne Wimberley and Rocco.

No. 10 Emily Miller-Beisel

Round 4: 13.63

Round Winnings: $11,321.31

Total NFR Earnings: $32,642.62

World Standings Earnings: $106,115.76

Average: 9

World Standings: 10

Powell’s take: Emily got on Pipewrench for round 3 and in round 4 Chongo came back strong to place fourth. He tightened down better at third and as I said before, Emily knows exactly what she needs to do for the remaining six rounds to keep her horses in winning form.

Emily Beisel-Miller and Chongo were fourth in round 4.

No. 11 Ivy Saebens

Round 4: 13.77

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $26,111.10

World Standings Earnings: $96,917.18

Average: 15

World Standings: 11

Powell’s take: What a nice run Ivy and J-Lo made. They were just out of placing but really made the kind of run we’re accustomed to seeing from the 2019 average champions, and I look for them to keep it up. They work exceptionally well together as a team.

Ivy Saebens and J-Lo.

No. 12 Lisa Lockhart

Round 4: 13.92

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $31,336.32

World Standings Earnings: $96,380.03

Average: 12

World Standings: 12

Powell’s take: Lisa has great faith in Cutter and they make a great team. I don’t know when or if we will see a back-up come into play, but Lisa has a solid arsenal of horses and I have no doubt that being the veteran horsewoman she is, she’ll utilize each to the best advantage.

Lisa Lockhart and Cutter.

No. 13 Jessica Routier

Round 4: 13.94

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $10,000

World Standings Earnings: $88,847.28

Average: 5

World Standings: 13

Powell’s take: Jessica and Missy made a super smooth, nice run in a waspy round. They moved up to fifth in the average and as 2018 reserve world champions, I look for more strong performances from these two.

Jessica Routier and Missy.

No. 14 Nellie Miller

Round 4: 13.82 seconds

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $10,000  

World Standings Earnings: $85,519.15

Average: 11

World Standings: 14

Powell’s take: Sister fired harder and should keep getting faster. Again, all that kept Nellie out of a check is just that the round was so tight.

Nellie Miller and Sister.

No. 15 Molly Otto

Round 4: 14.06

Round Winnings: 

Total NFR Earnings: $10,000

World Standings Earnings: $74,172.51

Average: 6

World Standings: 15

Powell’s take: Molly is making great runs and I think there is a long, bright future for this young horse in rodeo. Molly has a great back up here in Sixappeal should she choose to get on him, but as she moves up on the ground I look for solid runs as the week goes.

Molly Otto and Chewy.