LAS VEGAS – One round remains in ProRodeo’s 2012 season, and Carlee Pierce has a game plan.
“We’re just going to run as fast as we can and focus on each barrel in the pattern,” said Pierce, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Stephenville, Texas. “With rounds paying as much as they do, there’s no reason to let off now.”
That’s true. Pierce has already cashed in for $61,544 and has placed in just four rounds. She earned the $18,257 for winning the sixth round and finished runner-up in Rounds 4, 7 and 8. She and her 12-year-old buckskin gelding, Rare Dillion, have clocked well; a couple of overturned barrels have cost the pair another $20,000.
In fact, they rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 13.90 seconds in Friday’s ninth go-round of the NFR, which would’ve been good enough to finish in a tie for third place, but a barrel on the ground provided a five-second penalty and knocked the duo out of the money.
“I am still so very proud of Dillion,” Pierce said. “I can’t complain a bit about this NFR. We’ve won $60,000, and Dillion has been awesome.”
This is the best finals for Pierce, who was born in Red Deer, Alberta, and who lived in northwest Oklahoma for several years – in Freedom and Woodward. She and her family moved to Stephenville in the fall of 2011, where they also won Branded P, a Western store.
For Saturday night, the business is to cash in one final time at this year’s NFR.
“I’m extremely blessed just to be here, and I appreciate everything that’s happened,” said Pierce, who has earned more than $186,000 this season. “This has been an awesome ride.”