Lisa Lockhart

Still ranking among the best barrel racing duo in the world, Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs and her buckskin named Louie are shown with the silver platter they received in 2011.

Photo by Springer

Persistence pays.

That has to be barrel racer Lisa Lockhart’s motto. She’s definitely proved it and the results are amazing

As noted in last week’s Chadron Record, the Oelrichs great was one of just five barrel racers to qualify for the recent Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for the second year in a row.

And, this was Lockhart’s 11th consecutive NFR.

Going back a bit further, she’s the only barrel racer among the 15 finalists this year to have competed in Las Vegas more than twice in the last five years.

The remaining four who were there both last year and this year are Amberleigh Moore, Ivy Conrado, Stevi Hillman and Kimmie Wall. They finished 2nd, 8th, 11th and 5th, respectively, in the final world standings a year ago and placed 4th, 5th, 8th and 15th, respectively, this year.

None of them were qualifiers the previous three years. The only other 2017 qualifier to compete at any of the previous four NFRs is Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, who finished 12th in the final standings in 2013, but did not qualify the ensuing three years. She placed 11th in the world this year.

Lockhart finished seventh in this year’s standings after placing second in both 2014 and ’15 and third in 2013 and 2016, making her far and away rodeo’s most successful barrel racer the past five years. She’s won more than $200,000 while circling the barrels each of the last four years.

One other South Dakotan also did well at this year’s NFR. Steer wrestler Chason Floyd of Buffalo had runs of 3.70 and 3.80 seconds while winning first and second in go-rounds and wound up ninth in the averages and 11th in the world.

This was Floyd’s first NFR. He tied for third and fourth in the doggin’ at this year’s Old West Trail Rodeo in Crawford.

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The only Nebraskan to qualify for the 2017 finals was bareback rider Steven Dent of Mullen. He finished strong by placing second in Round 9 with 87 points and splitting first and second in Round 10 with 88 points. He wound up sixth in the averages and ninth in the world with earnings totaling $170,709.

This was Dent’s eighth NFR.

Tim O’Connell of Dubuque, Iowa, won $371,416, about $103,000 more than the runner-up, to dominate the bareback riding for the year.

The other event champions were Tyler Pearson of Louisville, Miss., steer wrestling; Erich Rogers Round Rock, Ariz., and Cory Petska of Marana, Ariz., team roping; 19-year-old Ryder Wright of Milford, Utah, saddle bronc riding; Marcos Costa of Childress, Texas, by way of Brazil, tie-down roping; and Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., bull riding for the fourth straight year.

The runner-up in saddle riding was Brody Cress of Cheyenne, who will be 22 on Jan. 7. He totaled $282,287 for his series of eight-second rides, about $2,500 less than Wright.

Tuf Cooper won the all-around cowboy title with paychecks totaling $341,560 to beat out his brother-in-law, Trevor Brazile, by about $21,000. Both call Decatur, Texas, home. Brazile was seeking his 14th all-around crown in the last 17 years.

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