LAS VEGAS – The time was amazing. The barrel on the ground was not.
Carlee Pierce maneuvered her great horse, Rare Dillion, around the cloverleaf pattern in 13.73 seconds, their fastest run through five go-rounds at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. But they tipped the final obstacle in the horserace and suffered a five-second penalty. It took them out of the money and placed them toward the bottom of the standings for the fourth night.
“I’m extremely proud of my little buckskin,” Pierce said of the 12-year-old gelding, which helped her qualify to the NFR for the second straight year. “He really worked his booty off, and we hit an honest third barrel.
“It’s all good, and I’m so blessed to be here.”
It’s been a powerfully tough barrel race. Mary Walker leads the way so far with three round wins; she also placed fourth on Monday night. She has earned more than $62,000 in just five days.
Pierce, on the other hand, has scored $14,429, that coming off her second-place finish in the fourth round. Had she not suffered the penalty on Monday, her time would’ve been good enough for third place in the round, which pays nearly $11,000.
“Even when your horse works great, you can tip a barrel,” Pierce said. “That’s what happened in the fifth round. When you look at the times, you know you’ve got to be fast if you want to make money. We’re going to continue to go at these runs just like we have, and we’ll hope for the best.
“There are five more nights for us to really do well. I’m really looking forward to it.”