LAS VEGAS – That was a close one.
As Carlee Pierce and her horse Lolo sped past the first barrel a little too much during Friday night’s second round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, it looked as though her chances of a paycheck went with her.
The duo recovered, finishing the cloverleaf pattern in 14.81 seconds, typically a slow run in such quick conditions inside the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. But other cowgirls struggled more. Only seven cowgirls left all the barrels standing, and only six of those placed. For struggling through the run, Pierce collected a $3,065 first-place check.
“I have to remember she is my baby and not Dillion or Arson,” she said of Lolo, a 6-year-old sorrel mare now competing in just her fourth rodeo – it just so happens this is the biggest stage in the game, amplified by 10 go-rounds and the largest purse. “This was rider error totally.”
Those things happen, but Pierce and her filly have persevered.
“We’ll put that behind us and move on,” said Pierce of Edmond, Okla. “We have eight more rounds, so I’m excited to see what we can do. This is a chance for Lolo and I to learn a lot.”
Through two go-rounds, the Alberta-born cowgirl has earned a little more than $11,000. By leaving the barrels up in both nights, she is fourth in the average race with a two-run cumulative time of 29.10 seconds, just four-tenths off the leader, four-time world champion Sherry Cervi.
“All I can do is try to ride better every night and give Lolo her shot,” Pierce said. “That’s what I’m going to do.”