The Pros might have to watch their backs in the WRWC Showdown Round, because Mallee Jones is coming in hot on VF Look I’m Back. She won the semifinals with a 13.495—the fastest of the WRWC in 2022—and pocketed $1,000 for the round win. Combined with her 13.819-second Qualifying round run, Jones punched her ticket to the Showdown round and picked up $2,400 for her No. 2 finish in the aggregate.
And it’s only Jones’ second run on the 10-year-old mare.
“She’s amazing. We actually just became a team for this event. I flew in from Arizona, Erin Zoucha met me down here with her, and now here we are,” Jones explained. “My horse Goodbye Lane Seis qualified me for this event but is currently recovering from an injury.”
From the crowd, it would have been impossible to tell that the team was a new pairing. Jones noted that “Picasso,” has an impressive resume, including The American Semifinals qualifications, pro rodeo wins, WPRA Derby Championships, arena records, and more.
Of course jump riding at an event like this is not an ideal situation, but it’s what we had to do. It didn’t work with our schedules for me to get any runs on her before, so I watched her videos, I got to cruise her through once on Sunday, and that’s it. I knew she had done well in this pen before, so that was comforting. She’s very honest and loves her job—that’s a huge help when jump riding. I knew if I rode her well we would have a really good chance. Monday was our first real run and she did awesome. I just focused on riding with feel and trying to get our timing right. We knew she could be faster after her first run, and that’s exactly what she did in the next round.Mallee Jones
As for Jones, she has been barrel racing since she talked her parents into purchasing her first horse for her at the age of 12. She had to overcome a learning curve, but her perseverance landed her in Fort Worth, where she is proving she can hang with the best in the world. The WCRA is a natural fit for 20-year-old Jones.
“I’m a full-time college student at Arizona State University. I love the WCRA because I’m able to run for big money without rodeoing full-time. I’m so grateful for the opportunities the WCRA gives all of us.”
Jones was also quick to thank her support system.
“I cannot thank Erin enough for offering me Picasso,” Jones said. “And without my parents, none of this would be possible. I’m extremely thankful for everything they do to help me chase my dreams.”
In the aggregate, it was Jana Guthrie that maintained her lead after turning in a 13.513-second run. She and Victoria Procter, Reagan Johnson and Jones will join previously No. 1-seeded Challenger Britta Strain to go against the Pro qualifiers in Wednesday’s Showdown Round.
- Mallee Jones, 13.495-second run, worth $1,000
- Jana Guthrie, 13.513-second run
- Victoria Procter, 13.710-second run
- Kari Boxleitner, 14.030-second run
- Reagan Johnson, 14.037-second run
- Cranna Roberts, 14.079-second run
- Jana Guthrie, 27.098 seconds on two, worth $2,900
- Mallee Jones, 27.314 seconds on two, worth $2,400
- Victoria Procter, 27.555 seconds on two, worth $1,900
- Reagan Johnson, 27.886 seconds on two, worth $1,400
- Cranna Roberts, 28.081 seconds on two, worth $900
- Kari Boxleitner, 28.142 seconds on two, worth $500