Sherry Cervi learned last Friday night she had clinched the 2010 WPRA barrel racing world championship.
That was about 21 hours before the final go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Nobody in the field could catch her.
But a champion is as a champion does. That gold buckle was no reason for the Arizona cowgirl to rest on her laurels, so when given the chance last Saturday night, she went for it, racing her outstanding mare, Stingray, around the cloverleaf pattern with one thing on her mind.
“I wanted to win first, and I was trying to win first,” she said.
For the first time all week, Cervi and Stingray knocked over a barrel. It was the final turn of the 10-night championship, and the five-second penalty took the three-time world champion out of the round money. She finished just $106 shy of crossing the $300,000 mark in 2010 earnings.
But she was trying to win the round.