The ladies in the final progressive performance at Rodeo Corpus Christi took fast to another level, breaking the 13-second mark two different times—and both were turned in by teenage talents.
London Gorham, the 15-year-old from Cotulla, Texas, took the title of the fastest time of the week with a 13.803, while 16-year-old Annika Ruth from Rolla, Missouri, ran a 13.983 to also move on to Saturday’s Showdown Round.
Gorham, who was seeded No. 4 in the RCC leaderboard, was partnered up with her 10-year-old gelding Cashin Chicks, “Hitman.” Gorham has owned Hitman, who is by Time For A God out of a Panther Mountain mare, Star Dancer Victress, since she herself was 10 years old. Hitman is fast by nature, and Gorham has to be mindful of how she lets him go in her runs.
“He can’t go too fast because he’ll get way out of control and just run off,” Gorham said. “So, I just let him pick his speed to the first barrel, and then if he shakes his head at the first barrel, he’s probably going to run off. But he is very smooth and very consistent, and he usually does his job.”
Gorham had her plan locked in, and the rest was up to Hitman. He picked a good night to raise the bar, because the rest of the field was hot on their heels.
“It was a lot tougher tonight than it was the other nights,” Gorham said. “But I just tried to make a smooth, clean run. He was really good, and he felt really good.”
The teenager has ran on plenty of big stages in the past but usually, nervousness isn’t on her list of emotions prior to high-stakes runs.
“I never get nervous, but this year I was a little because I had a terrible run last year,” Gorham said, laughing. “It was so bad. But now I’m a little more confident for tomorrow.”
For the Showdown Round, Gorham just wants to push on the clutch even more.
“I want to try and stay the same,” Gorham said. “But go a little bit faster. That way, I’ll have a little more momentum to the second and third barrel so he doesn’t end up hitting those when we’re leaving them.”
Joining Gorham in the Triple Crown of Rodeo round will be 16-year-old Annika Ruth, who turned in a 13.830-second run to earn $1,200 and move on in the competition in the second-place spot.
Rodeo Corpus Christi Barrel Racing Results
Friday, May 12, 2023
Bolded athletes advance to the Triple Crown of Rodeo round.
- London Gorham, 13.803, $1,600
- Annika Ruth, 13.83, $1,200
- Ava Garcia, 14.102, $800
- Acey Pinkston, 14.167, $400
Rodeo Corpus Christi Barrel Racing Triple Crown of Rodeo Round Qualifiers