S.D. barrel racer pockets winnings at ‘American’ Rodeo
After placing at the top in the first round, Lisa Lockhart advanced to the final “Shootout” round at the nation’s richest one-day “American” rodeo held in Arlington, Texas. She and her business partner, an attractive buckskin she calls “Louie” needed to simply make a clean run in the finals to take home the winning $100,000, after the other three finalists each tipped a barrel. She did, and she said, “it was a little overwehelming, it’s surreal. I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”
Louie has been “spot on” all winter, Lockhart said, adding that the $2 million rodeo was “just another day at the office.” Spending the winter in the Texas region to compete in rodeos made the decision to travel to the American pretty easy for the Oelrichs, S.D., ranchwife and mother of three.
“They only paid two places, I wish they paid more, I had thought that even before the rodeo started, but I knew in the back of my mind that I had a chance because Louie has been working as well as he ever has.”
The American rodeo was “very well accepted from the public and the contestants,” she added, saying that the tournament-style setup provided a lot of excitement and chatter among the rodeo crowd.
Each event paid $100,000 for first and $25,000 for second. There was also a $1 million “side pot” set aside for one of the qualifiers to claim if he/she could beat all of the best and also win their event, which Texas bareback rider Richie Champion did in the bareback to claim the million dollars.
Lockhart claimed the top prize in the barrel racing after fellow top-four competitors Robyn Herring, Sheri Anzick and Jane Melby each tipped a barrel. Lockhart was the only unpenalized rider, winning with a 14.035. Lockhart and Louie ran for a time of 13.983 in the first round, which earned her the final-four placing.
The event, billed as the largest one-day pot in rodeo history, split the total prize money between a field of up-and-coming qualifying riders, living legends and seasoned veterans.
Another Oelrichs rodeo competitor, Chad Ferley, made it into the final round of four with a score of 85.75 in the first round of the Saddle Bronc competition but finished out of the money after being bested by Wade Sundell of Boxholm, Iowa, who put up a 90 in the first round and then final score of 92.5 for the win. Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Neb., finished second with a final score of 89
Other event winners were: Hunter Cure, steer wrestling; Kaleb Driggers-Patrick Smith, team roping; Wade Sundell, saddle bronc; Tyson Durfey, tie-down roping; J.B. Mauney, bull riding.
–adapted and reprinted with permission from Rapid City Journal
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