DM Sissy Hayday must have heard that Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet were back on top of the predicted world standings before Round 9, because “Sister,” reminded the world why she’s the Thomas & Mack queen with a 13.35-second run on the ninth night of the 2022 NFR.
Hailey Kinsel broke her own Round 9 record—previously a 13.40-second run that she turned in during Round 9 in 2018—and earned $28,913 for her efforts. However, Kinsel had a freak occurrence at the second barrel that could have taken out a less seasoned competitor.
Sister dipped her head at the exact time that Kinsel was pushing her reins up the yellow mare’s neck to keep her in position on the backside of the barrel and the reins flipped over her neck, landing with both sides on the left side in Kinsel’s left hand. The broadcast announcer didn’t take note at first, but the crowd absolutely went wild. Kinsel wasn’t nearly as excited at the time as fans were.
“I’m not going to lie, It’s a little bit scary because I’ve never had that happen before and you don’t exactly hope that the first time it happens is at the NFR,” Kinsel said.
In her typical fashion, Kinsel stayed gritty, a preview of what she’s willing to do to secure her fourth world championship.
No Plan B
“The fact of it happening here, if you’re in a state of mind that’s competitive, you’re going for it,” Kinsel said. “It made me really think about it and step up and go, ‘Okay, you have no options. There’s no plan B here, you’re just going to get around it somewhere.'”
Not only did the Texas cowgirl face adversity inside the arena in Round 9, outside the arena, she and her family have been battling illness while trying to keep up with an intense schedule.
Just like during her run, Kinsel proved there’s no room for quit when there’s money and titles on the line. She cleared her head and found her focus when it came time to fire her palomino dragon down the alleyway.
“One thing about lining up in that tunnel is when you’re moving down there, there’s no pause, there’s no saying ‘I’m not ready,'” Kinsel said. “You go when they tell you to go.”
Kinsel’s shakeup has her unofficially back in the lead of the world standings. The world standings race is going to come down to the final runner of tomorrow night. Stay tuned tomorrow for a full aggregate, world standings and “what-if,” analysis before Round 10.
NFR Round 9 Payout
|5/6||$6,062.55||Dona Kay Rule||13.59|