The Outside Circle: The WNFR review and the meaning of Christmas |

The Outside Circle: The WNFR review and the meaning of Christmas

Once again, the Finals were quite a show. Arena records were broken and re-broken, there were triumphs, injuries and magical moments, all in an amazing 10 days. It’s not only the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), but an endurance race! I’m guessing the let-down after the adrenaline fueled rush of the Finals is exhausting.

I’ll talk first about the South Dakota ladies that showed them how at the Finals. Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD, rode her backup horse at the Finals after her number-one horse sored up after an accident just before Vegas. She ended up third in the average and fourth in the world.

Jill Moody, Letcher, SD, on the iron-horse Dolly, won the WNFR average with solid as a rock runs throughout the Finals. That is remarkable in view of the fact that Dolly had to come back from being gravely ill with pneumonia a year ago. Jill and Dolly set a new arena average record with 138.26 on 10 runs, plus the most money with $133,000 at the Finals. Also, in the course of two WNFRs, they have not knocked a barrel over.

A new arena record was set in the 8th round. The record of 13.52, set by Brandie Halls in 2006, didn’t seem likely to ever be toppled. Then Sherry Cervi and Stingray smoked it around all three barrels in perfect form and clocked a 13.49! In that round, after the bar was reset with Sherry’s run, there were 10 runs under 14.0. Sadly, Lisa hit first barrel in that round, which knocked her out of the average.

So, Arizona’s Sherry Cervi won the World with Jill second, Lindsay Sears third and Lisa fourth. It was such a thrill watching “our” girls run and be so amazing. Both are ladies that our young barrel racers can look up to, not only for their arena performance, but for who they are and how they act outside the arena. Thank you.

Also at the Finals, Trevor Brazile won his second Triple Crown in four years. He won the WNFR tie-down average, was second in the average in team roping and took World titles in both events, plus won a record 8th All-Around title. He’s quite a hand. He can go spank ’em at a steer roping too. He’s not only a great roper, but by all accounts, a fine person too.

Some of our regional hands that I sure want to mention covered all the events except tie-down roping. In the barebacks, Joe Gunderson, Agar, SD won round one, and Kelly Timberman, Mills, WY, won round 10. Steer wrestling had Dean Gorsuch, Gering, NE, winning the World Championship title, plus he split first in round 9. Todd Suhn, Hermosa, SD, split 4/5 in round 9 and was 4th in round 10. Team roping had Brady Tryan, Billings, MT, and Jake Long winning rounds 4 and 7, and Clay Tryan, Billings, MT, and Travis Graves winning round 9. Saddle broncs had Jesse Kruse, Great Falls, MT, winning round 1, Wade Sundell, Boxholm, IA, winning round 4, and Cort Scheer winning round 9. In the bulls, Kanin Asay, had a score of 91 points in round 3 for first, plus a first in round 4. Ardie Maier, Timber Lake, SD, made the high score of the Finals in the 10th round with a 91.5 point ride. Ardie’s big grin after that ride was contagious! It made me grin too.

The bulls sure weren’t pussycats at the Finals, as in round 8 there was only one qualified ride! Rank, rank stock overall. One could sure see why they’d been chosen to be there.

It may have seemed like the WNFR was the only thing going on in the world, but there were some other events happening at the same time. At the World Championship Barrel Futurity in OKC Dec. 7-11, the top horse at the finals, SX Dr Peacharita, is sired by Frenchmans Guy, owned by Bill and Deb Myers, St. Onge, SD.

At the Future Fortunes Barrel Futurity and Derby Year End Awards, Frenchmans Guy was named the Leading Sire. Also named at that event was the 2010 Futurity Champion, Blue Moon Fling, by A Streak Of Fling, who is owned by Brian and Lisa Fulton, Valentine, NE.

The Dec. 11 Seven Down Barrel Race, Spearfish, SD, was cancelled due to the weather. If I hear when or if there’s a makeup date, I’ll let you know. It was a cold and nasty day with the roads icky in some areas, so it’s good it was cancelled.

Christmas is nearly upon us once again. In all the busy-ness, shopping, card writing, and what-have-you, I hope the real meaning of this holiday doesn’t elude you. It didn’t start out as a retailer’s money grab.

It started out with a young couple who, by law, had to travel a great distance to a city called Bethlehem to register for the census. The young woman was in the last days of her pregnancy and rode a donkey, which her husband led. They ended up staying the night and having the baby in a stable with the donkey and other animals due to a shortage of accommodations. Yet God chose that place and time to present to the world, His son Jesus Christ. In a stable, not a palace; amidst animals, not royalty. Announced first to shepherds on the hills, not the nobility. He came to live among the people, to eventually take upon His shoulders, the burden of our sins.

He was the greatest gift ever given to mankind. God sent Him to us and for us, because of His love for us. Nothing we have done or can do makes us deserving of this gift, so we must not try to earn it, for it can’t be earned. God asks only that we accept His gift, by taking Jesus Christ into our hearts as our Savior. That is why He came. To seek and save the lost. Without Him, we are ALL lost. Just ask Him to come in, it’s that simple.

Ponder this one great gift this season. Enjoy the trees, decorations, get-togethers and other trappings of Christmas. It’s a joyous occasion! But please remember what it’s all about: The birth of OUR Savior.

So, from my house to yours, I wish you a truly Merry Christmas and ask that you take time to ponder the magnitude of God’s Gift.