Margo Crowther Earns the NFR Playoff Series Finale Championship

Crowther gains ground in the WPRA World Standings thanks to NFR Playoff Series Finale win in Puyallup, Washington.
Margo Crowther barrel racing
NFR Playoff Series Finale Barrel Racing Champion Margo Crowther and Shes Packin Fame. Image by Rod Conner.

The NFR Playoff Series Finale in Puyallup, Washington, kicked off Thursday, September 8, 2022, and concluded Sunday, September 11. After battling her way to the final four round riding Shes Packin Fame, it was Florida’s Margo Crowther who earned the NFR Playoff Series crown and $13,000. Crowther entered the NFR Playoff Series Finale ranked 13th in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Standings with $81,170. She added $15,700 to that total in Puyallup.

Final Four Round: 1. Margo Crowther, Fort Myers, Fla., 13.96, $13,000; 2. Shelley Morgan, Eustace, Texas, 14.15, $9,750; 3. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, 14.37, $6,500; 4. Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, Okla., 18.89, $3,250.

Semifinals: 1. Shelley Morgan, 13.85 seconds; 2. Margo Crowther, 13.90; 3. Leslie Smalygo and Hailey Kinsel, 13.96 each; 5. Andrea Busby, 13.97, $1,500; 6. Katie Pascoe, 14.07, $1,500; 7. Jessica Routier, 14.12, $1,500; 8. Michelle Darling, 19.04, $1,500.

Margo Crowther. Photograph by Rod Connor

The following are unofficial results from the preliminary rounds of the Cinch Playoffs at the Puyallup Rodeo, part of the Washington State Fair.

First Performance: 1. Shelley Morgan, Eustace, Texas, 13.64, $3,600; 2. Ivy Saebens, Nowata, Okla., 13.85, $2,700; 3. Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, Okla., 13.90, $1,800; 4. Emma Charleston, Reeds, Mo., 14.02, $900. 

Second Performance: 1. Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, Okla.,13.82, $3,600; 2. Shelley Morgan, Eustace, Texas, 13.88, $2,700; 3. Molly Otto, Grand Forks, ND, 14.00, $1,800; 4. Cheyenne Wimberley, Stephenville, Texas, 14.08, $900.

Aggregate: 1. Shelley Morgan, 27.52; 2. Leslie Smalygo, 27.72; 3. Michelle Darling, 28.15; 4. Jessica Routier, 28.24.

NFR qualifiers Shelley Morgan and HR FameKissAndTell led their set into the Puyallup finals on Sunday, September 11, 2022.

Third Performance: 1. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, 13.63, $3,600; 2. Margo Crowther, Fort Myers, Fla., 13.93, $2,700; 3. Taycie Matthews, Wynne, Ark., 13.97, $1,800; 4. Andrea Busby, Brock, Texas, 14.00, $900.

Fourth Performance: 1. Tarryn Lee, St. David, Ariz., 13.58, $3,600; 2. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, S.D., 13.78, $2,700; 3. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, 13.83, $1,800; 4. Katie Pascoe, Morro Bay, Calif., 13.89, $900.

Aggregate: 1. Hailey Kinsel, 27.46; 2. Andrea Busby, 27.89; 3. Katie Pascoe, 27.95; 4. Margo Crowther, 28.00.

Pedigrees the NFR Playoff Series Qualifying Horses

Shelley Morgan’s “Kiss”

Leslie Smalygo’s “Gus”

Michelle Darling’s “Martini”

Jessica Routier’s “Missy”

Hailey Kinsel’s “Sis”

Andrea Busby’s “Tito”

Katie Pascoe’s JR Naughty Jet

Margo Crowther’s She’s Packin Fame

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A side-by-side comparison of the $74,500-added NFR Playoff Series roster and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World standings going into the event illustrates the potential impact of every dollar earned in Puyallup. Those sitting just outside the top 15 like No. 16 Leslie Smalygo, No. 17 Cheyenne Wimberley and on down the list know that fourth quarter rodeo earnings can close the deal on their 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification quest.

2022 NFR Playoff Series Roster & WPRA World Standings Comparison

According to WPRA ground rules, a go round in Puyallup pays $3,600 and winning the Playoff finals pays $13,000. Considering that less than $10,000 separates 15th and 20th in the latest WPRA standings, barrel racers on the outside looking in are running at high stakes with the potential total champion’s payday worth upwards of $20,000.

The ladies running in Puyallup are the top 23 in the NFR Playoff Series standings who entered. The 24th qualifier is the winner of the national championship for the 2021 ProRodeo circuits, and that is 2022 NFR Open Champion Barrel Racer Cheyenne Allan.

Barrel racers make two runs, back-to-back with the fastest eight cumulative times making it back to the semifinals on Sunday. The rodeo culminates with a final-four round to determine the overall champions.

First Performance, Thursday, September 8 @6:30 p.m. & Second Performance, Friday, September 9 @6:30 p.m.

  1. Michelle Darling, Medford, OR
  2. Shelley Morgan, Eustace, TX
  3. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, Lampasas, TX
  4. Emily Beisel, Weatherford, OK
  5. Ivy Saebens, Nowata, OK
  6. Cheyenne Wimberley, Stephenville, TX
  7. Leslie Smalygo, Skiatook, OK
  8. Jessica Routier, Buffalo, SD
  9. Molly Otto, Grand Forks, ND
  10. Shannon McReynolds, La Luz, NM
  11. Steeley Steiner, Weatherford, TX
  12. Emma Charleston, Reeds, MO

Third and Fourth Performances – Saturday, September 10 @1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

  1. Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, TX 13.83
  2. Margo Crowther, Fort Myers, FL
  3. Taycie Matthews, Wynne, AR
  4. Paige Jones, Wayne, OK 14.14
  5. Katie Pascoe, Morro Bay, CA 13.89
  6. Michelle Alley, Madisonville, TX
  7. Cheyenne Allan, Mabton, WA 13.96
  8. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD 13.78
  9. Tarryn Lee, St. David, AZ 13.58
  10. Megan McLeod-Sprague, Marsing, ID
  11. Andrea Busby, Millsap, TX 13.89
  12. Rachelle Riggers, Lewistown, ID

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