LAS VEGAS – The first turn around the cloverleaf pattern was a little wide for Carlee Pierce during Tuesday’s sixth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Wide turns make things slower, but barrel racing is all about speed. Instead of making up ground, Pierce and Lolo compounded it, knocking down the third barrel and suffering a five-second penalty. That kept the Edmond, Okla., away from the pay window.
“I rode terribly,” said Pierce, a three-time NFR qualifier who grew up near Woodward, Okla., and lived in northwest Oklahoma for a number of years. “Lolo was a little out of control. All I can say is I’m thankful we weren’t expecting much this year.”
Pierce wasn’t expecting much out of the horse, whose registered name is Easy Streakin April, because Lolo is just 6 years old. The mare with a strong pedigree still has a lot of learning to do, and she’s getting a crash course inside the Thomas and Mack Center.
“I think six runs in a row is a lot for a young horse,” said Pierce, who will stay with Lolo instead of trying to utilize another youngster, her backup horse, Tiny, a 5-year-old sorrel mare. “I’m disappointed in my riding and not so much her run.”
Just four rounds remain in the 2014 ProRodeo season, and she hopes to cash in at the most lucrative rodeo in the world. Go-round winners earn $19,000 each night, so there’s a lot of room for growth. The most important thing for the Oklahoma cowgirl, though, is to keep the education process positive for Lolo.
“She is a very cool horse,” Pierce said. “I have a bit of a wild side and like to go fast, and I wasn’t as focused as I needed to be.”
That will change soon enough.