NFR Warm Up – Get to Know the 2018 Top 15 Barrel Racing Qualifiers

2018 NFR Barrel Racers

The top 15 NFR barrel racing qualifiers have arrived in Las Vegas and will soon be blasting down the alley at the Thomas & Mack.

In anticipation of the rodeo action, I’m excited to share their reflections on the 2018 season, and what we can look forwarding to seeing in this years race to the gold buckle.

So before the gates open, let’s dive in and get to know these these amazing women and their horses who we can look forward to entertaining, educating, and inspiring us – at the 2018 NFR and beyond!

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Hailey Kinsel
Hailey Kinsel

#1 HAILEY KINSEL
2018 Earnings: $192,834
Hometown: Cotulla, TX
Horses: DM Sissy Hayday “Sister” – 7-year old palomino mare
Thunder Stones “TJ” – 14-year old gelding

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Sister is very quick in her turns and efficient between the barrels, and TJ is really fun to ride indoors as he is pretty free running. I think either one could do well in that set up and I’m thankful to have both healthy and ready!

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR?
Running down that alley ten times!

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? I’ve never been to a show there, but I have loved watching the rodeo, all the great places to eat, and seeing friends I don’t often get to see!

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
Winning San Antonio, as I have grown up watching from the stands every year and always wanted to compete there, and my whole family was there! Also winning Calgary, as this is such an honor to join the list of former champions there. My proudest moment was probably the shootout round at Calgary. This was a run where I knew I that no matter how good I had done that week, I couldn’t play it safe and win, so I really went for it.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification?
Myself and my own goals

Sponsors: Classic Equine, Cinch, Purina, Platinum Performance, Yeti, 12 Gauge Ranch, Capital Farm Credit-Agri Insurance, P&P Trailer Sales, Bloomer Trailers
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Nellie Miller
Nellie Miller

#2 NELLIE MILLER
2018 Earnings: $146,826
Hometown: Cottonwood, CA
Horses: Rafter W Minnie Reba “Sister” – 10-year old blue roan mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? My horse is very smooth and she doesn’t really waste time around her turns so I am hoping she will keep it smooth for 10 rounds.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? I just love everything about the rodeo, it is the best rodeo to be at and experience. I just love the sport and being able to be there is such an honor.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? I have actually lived in the city for a couple of years so I am pretty familiar with it and feel pretty comfortable there. Aside from a couple of my favorite restaurants I don’t have any big plans for the city this time around we are just going to focus on the rodeo.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
My top highlights were winning Houston and Cheyenne, they were two of my bucket list rodeos that I love going to and I will never forget those wins. I think Cheyenne was a proud moment for me because my horse really came through for me in some pretty tough conditions.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification?
I have tons of encouragement from my family, my parents have always tried to encourage me in whatever I wanted to do and my husband is very supportive of me to make this happen.

Sponsors: Platinum Trailers, Corral Boots, Wrangler, Equithrive, Total Equine, Haleakala Walnuts
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Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi
Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi

#3 BRITTANY POZZI TONOZZI
2018 Earnings: $137,267
Hometown: Victoria, TX
Horses: Steele Magnolias “Steeley” – 11-year-old mare
Yeah Hes Firen “Duke” – 15-year old palomino gelding
Babe On The Chase “Birdie” – 7-year old mare
KissKiss BangBang “Mona” – 8-year old mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Duke has always loved the Thomas and Mack and I am so excited to be able to ride him there again.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? I’m just excited to be back and looking forward to running down the alleyway ten times.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? Vegas is fun town and I have been to just about all the shows. I would really like to go see Brittany Spears but she isn’t in town while we are there for the rodeo. I highly recommend going to see the Micheal Jackson show.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
Winning Salinas, CA on Duke and doing well at Puyallup on Duke as well. My proudest moments have been being able to step back on Duke, it has been a dream come true. He has the biggest and heart and more try than any other horse I have ever ridden.

Who or what supports and pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification?
I would say my husband is my rock. He is always there for me.

Sponsors: Roper, Tanner Equine, Purina Feeds, Professionals Choice, Oxgen, Manzanola Feeds, RPM Swabbing, MGM Grand
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Lisa Lockhart
Lisa Lockhart

#4 LISA LOCKHART
2018 Earnings: $123,515
Hometown: Wolf Point, MT
Horses: An Oakie With Cash “Louie” – 15-year old buckskin gelding
Rosas Cantina CC “Rosa” – 8-year old buckskin mare (goes to the left barrel first)

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? I think that every running & turning style has its place at the T&M, and that’s what makes the competition so exciting.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? Competing for ten days is what it is all about for me.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? I have only been there for the rodeo, and when my kids were younger we tried to do a lot of fun things with them.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season? Having a good “winter season” and “summer season” which allowed me to basically stay home with my family during the spring and fall.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? I am pretty self motivated, but Grady is definitely my #1 supporter.

Sponsors: Priefert Ranch and Rodeo, Polaris RANGER, Platinum Performance, B Bar Heart Performance Horses, Martin Saddlery, Classic Equine, DeTye Vet Supply, Woody’s Performance Horse Feeds, Cowgirl Tuff, Rodeo Rigs, Outback Customs
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Stevi Hillman
Stevi Hillman

#5 STEVI HILLMAN
2018 Earnings: $110,232
Hometown: Weatherford, TX
Horses: Cuatro Fame “Cuatro or Truck” – 11-year old gelding
Slick by Design “Slick” – 11-year old black stallion
Luv My Fame “Layla” – 6-year old mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Slick is sure a different style than Truck. He will be fun to run there, he obviously loved it in the past with Michele McLeod, will be hard to compare to that team and it’s a comforting feeling knowing he’s been there and likes it. Was a huge blessing he has been with Truck being out. We hope to make Truck proud!

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR?
I hope to get to run the same horse all 10 go rounds! Looking forward to seeing that crowd again the first night in grand entry, that’s a pretty cool feeling.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? We went to the WCRA this year. Other than that I’d like to only go to Vegas in December.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
I would have to say winning Ponoka was a pretty exhilarating win and then winning Colorado Springs because family was there and it was a big win. Also these two were both tournament style so making 2 runs in one day, I was super proud of Truck. Not sure on the ‘proud’ word, but I will say I was most grateful and excited to win Caldwell again, back to back on a different horse. We love that rodeo also because two of our best friends live there and it’s a home away from home.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification?
It’s not really a who but what, I know we have been put right where we are at for a greater purpose. It provides a greater platform to reach more people. Not only to achieve qualifying for the NFR but to live this life 24/7 like we do. And obviously every year to make it, feels like a dream come true all over again.

Sponsors: Rock And Roll Denim, Panhandle, HayRite, K&N Equine Solutions, Shiloh Saddlery, MVP, Cody Cearley Bits And Spurs, Team PHT, Nutrena, 5 Star Equine Products, Flair Strip, Equipulmin, FlexiNeb, Outlaw Equine, PrepareToWinTV, Mouton Sand And Gravel, Dunn Ranch, Cowtown USA inc, Merhow Trailers

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Taci Bettis
Taci Bettis

#6 TACI BETTIS
2018 Earnings: $$103,692
Hometown: Round Top, TX
Horses: Bogie Is A Smash “Smash” – 10-year old gelding
Traffic Guy Shine “Shiner” – 5-year old mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Long strided and round. I think it fits him pretty well.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? Taking in each moment to it’s fullest!

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? The only other time I have been was to attend the NFR as a spectator. We went on our Honeymoon in 2012 and got to take in some of the sights. My favorite was the water show at the Bellagio! Honestly, that trip was what pushed me over the edge. After the final perf, I told Jeremy that we weren’t coming back until I was running down the alley. Six months later we bought Smash and the rest is my fairytale.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
Winning RFD TV’s The American, and winning the RNCFR.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification?
I think you have to want this to achieve this. The rodeo grind is not for the faint of heart and you have to be your biggest motivation. Obviously you also have to have a strong support group behind you and I am blessed with that also.

Sponsors: Classic Equine, Oxy-gen, Cinch Jeans, Purina, Shefit apparel, K&N equine solutions, Mirage Rodeo Vegas, Resistol, Round Top Farm and Ranch Supply
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Kylie Weast
Kylie Weast

#7 KYLIE WEAST
2018 Earnings: $107,715
Hometown: Comanche, OK
Horses: Hell On The Red “Reddy” – 6-year old mare
Namgis D 15 – 9-year old gelding

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Hell on the Red is four-wheel drive. She stays pretty level throughout her run. She’s never real flashy, just efficient. I do think that the Thomas and Mack will compliment her style. She enjoys the buildings, and her free run style will hopefully shut the clock off.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? I am just excited that my entire family will be out there with me. I think the atmosphere is what I am looking forward to. I guess just the excitement of the entire event.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? I went the first year my sister, Janae Ward Massey, made the finals, but I was in 7th grade so I didn’t actually get to do much.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
I got the first round and average win at Guymon, OK to start the summer and then I set a new arena record at Nampa, ID. Those would have to be my two highlights of the year. My proudest moment was in Nampa, ID. We had just come back from a not-so-good Calgary, and we were a long ways from home. It was a building run, and I knew my mare liked buildings. It was a confidence booster to finish the summer run.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? My family has been a huge influence and the backbone to this NFR qualification. Honestly, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have done it. I like to be home, and I like training futurity colts. I never really saw myself doing this. But once the year started like it did, they kept telling me I had to keep going.

Sponsors: Youree Ward Barrel Horses, Oxy-Gen, PHT, Tres Rios Silver, Namgis Quarter Horses, M Sport 6, Schneider Performance Pads, EAC Inc., Deanna Harrison’s Essential Oils
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Jessica Routier
Jessica Routier

#8 JESSICA ROUTIER
2018 Earnings: $98,704
Hometown: Buffalo, SD
Horses: Fiery Miss West “Missy” – 7-year old palomino mare
Especials Smoothie “Smoothie” – 23–year old sorrel mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Missy really uses her hind end, but at the same time she keeps a lot of forward momentum going around the barrels. She is very light and responds to every move I make. She also tends to get stronger every run, if you make multiple runs at the same place… so I am hoping that the setup in Las Vegas will be a good one for her.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR?
I am most looking forward to running barrels!

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? Never have been there.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season? Qualifying for, and placing 2nd in the final round at Kissimmee, also winning the semi-final round, and placing 3rd in the final round at Calgary.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? There are many people who pushed me to achieve this NFR qualification. There were many times that we didn’t have a babysitter lined up to help and it would have been so much easier to just stay home, and my husband had to all but push me out the door to get me to go. I also remember early in the year, there were friends who threatened to enter me and come pick me and my horse up and haul me to the rodeos if I didn’t start entering myself. My two oldest kids were also very excited about the thought of their mom getting to compete at the NFR, so they encouraged me to go as well.

Sponsors: Dakota Western Bank, Westergren Quarter Horses, Cowgirl Tuff Company, 5 Star Equine Products, Zesterra, Silver Lining Herbs, Thunderbird Brand

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Ivy Conrado
Ivy Conrado

#9 IVY CONRADO
2018 Earnings: $98,385
Hometown: Hudson, CO
Horses: KN Fabs Gift of Fame “JLo” – 9-year old palomino mare
CFour Tibbie Stinson “Tibbie” – 9-year old mare
Fames To Blame “Famey” – 7-year old sorrel mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? JLo is free and totally in control! If we make a mistakes it’s definitely my fault!

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? Running down the alleyway again!

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? No.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
Winning the All American Finals and winning the 2018 Mountain States Circuit Finals were highlights. I’m most proud to be qualifying with JLo all by herself for the NFR again!

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? My bank account! And Billie Jack Saebens.

Sponsors: Wrangler, Justin, 12 Gauge Ranch, Renew Gold, HorseWare Ireland, Platinum, Techmix, Horse Hydrator, CSI Saddle Pads, Equicare, Complete Trailers, Zesterra
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Tammy Fischer
Tammy Fischer

#10 TAMMY FISCHER
2018 Earnings: $91,277
Hometown: Brenham, Texas
Horses: LK Sheza Hayday “Ziva” – 8-year old palomino mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Coming soon!

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? Coming soon!

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? Coming soon!

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season? Coming soon!

Sponsors: Coming soon!

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Kelly Bruner
Kelly Bruner

#11 KELLY BRUNER
2018 Earnings: $90,515
Hometown: Millsap, TX
Horses: Suzytresseis “Suzy” – 9-year old gelding
Fabulous Zone “Pinky” – 9-year old palomino gelding
French Zone “Hollywood”

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Suzy has a stand-up, stiff, rollback turning style. He can catch barrels coming out. Pinky is rounder and keeps going forward. Rarely catches a barrel. Hollywood is a combo and real green.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR?
I hope that I’ll run all three of my horses and they will all look like they are nice horses.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? I went once when I was a WPRA director. After that I felt like I wouldn’t go back unless I qualified.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
Making the finals at Houston and San Antonio, Calgary Championship Final Four. My proudest moment was Calgary.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? Ann Thompson

Sponsors: The Air-conditioned Shirt and Teskey’s Brazilian Saddle

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Tracy Nowlin
Tracy Nowlin

#12 TRACY NOWLIN
2018 Earnings: $90,496
Hometown: Nowata, OK
Horses: DJG Madison “Dolly Jo” – 12-year old bay mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? She really likes big outdoor pens best. She can handle any type of ground and clocks in any size pattern so she will be fine.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? Running down the alley of the T&M.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? No. Overwhelmed by the thought.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season?
This highlights were winning St. Paul and Ellensberg. I’m most proud of Dolly Jo for being able to make several runs and stay sound and solid over the 4th of July run.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? My family and friends who won’t let me come home, not just one person.

Sponsors: Rock and Roll Cowgirl, Oxygen, Schriever Performance Pads, LubriSyn, Mike Fester Insurance, Marcotte Veterinary Clinic, Robbie Phillips Saddlery, and DC Construction

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Amberleigh Moore
Amberleigh Moore

#13 Amberleigh Moore
2018 Earnings: $89,127
Hometown: Salem, OR
Horses: CP Dark Moon “Paige” – 9-year old mare
Junos Royal Flush “Jen” – 11-year old mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Hard running and hard turning. Paige loves the Tomas and Mack, she will be happy to be back!

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? Getting to run down the alley at the T&M again.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? Been to Vegas too many times to work conventions, probably done it all over the years.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season? The highlights were winning at Ft. Worth and San Angelo. The proudest moment was winning the Heber City, Utah rodeo after a four month break.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? This year my family kept pushing me to keep the dream alive.

Sponsors: Purina, 5 Star, Double J Saddlery, Cowgirl Tuff, CRRanchwear, OE, Silverlining Herbs, TightjointsPlus, Professional Choice, and MR4 Activet

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Jessica Telford
Jessica Telford

#14 JESSICA TELFORD
2018 Earnings: $88,342
Hometown: Caldwell, ID
Horses: Famous Cool Whip “Cool Whip” – 7 -year old sorrel mare
Shu Fire – 8-year old mare

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? Cool Whip is big with a huge stride, yet he’s been extremely competitive in small pens. So I’m just hoping he likes this one!

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? That first time down the tunnel, with my husband there on a horse we raised.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? We go several times a year for NRCHA shows, and the world series of team roping.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season? Winning 2nd in the second round at Redbluff CA by 3 tenths, and placing 3rd in avg. That’s a tough rodeo set up on true rodeo ground… and it was the first time I really knew Cool Whip had what it takes to be great in the rodeo arena. Prior to this.. all his super fast times were at futurities, derbys, and rodeos with awesome ground and good setups. My proudest moment was going from 16th in the world to 14th… by placing or winning in the last seven rodeos of the season. When the pressures on, and you are able to rise to the occasion… I don’t care what sport your in… that will make you feel proud of yourself.

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? My husband Jake. Hes the one who told me I better enter all the CA rodeos this spring, and he even volunteered to drive for me over the 4th of July run.

Sponsors: Classic Equine, Nutrena, Rios of Mercedes Boots, Roo-Hide Saddlery, Kimes Ranch Jeans

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Carman Pozzobon
Carman Pozzobon

#15 CARMAN POZZOBON
2018 Earnings: $86,947
Hometown: Aldergrove, BC
Horses: Ripn Lady “Ripp” – 8-year old buckskin mare
TammysLittleParadise “Lulu” – 5-year old mare
Rimes Girl “Rime” – 7-year old mare
Eyes A Hula Lady “French”

How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style? She’s very smooth and Precise. I feel like she’s going to love the Thomas and Mack.

What are you most looking forward to at the NFR? Just can’t wait to run down that alley and let Ripp do her thing.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas other than the NFR? What are your favorite things to do? Never been to a show there before. Have only been there to watch the World Series Roping or watch the NFR. Love the New York New York roller coaster. I go every time.

What are your top highlights or proudest moments from the 2018 season? The highlights were ruunning at Calgary Stampede, and Winning Strathmore. My proudest moments were earning Canada’s #1 back number, and of course qualifying for my first NFR

Who or what pushes you the most to achieve an NFR qualification? My Aunty Lynn Mobbs and Cousin Ty. Plus all my families. I’ve lived with multiple to make it possible for me to rodeo and learn more and more since I was young.

Sponsors: G MacRitchie Forestry Services, Equine Fit, Excipiotech, Woody’s Custom Saddles, Rock n Roll Denim, Vantage Trailers, Hoof Grip, RevitaVet, Classic Equine, Leading Edge Equine Sports Therapy, Tim Cooper Custom Hats, Coulee Equine – Conditioning, Rehab and Wellness, Zoetis, Sharp Edge Equine Supplements, HANSBO SPORT North America, MSport6 Apparel Inc. – The Air Conditioned Shirt, Elite Three, BC Trailer Guy, Zesterra by Pro Earth Animal Health, Branded By B, Coolaid, TC Custom Cinches, Mohair Tack Artist, Pulse Therapy, Prestige Leather, Fast Reinz, Nbk Equine, Frenchs Hula Guy, ThriveLife, TheraPlate by Rene Audsley

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The 2018 NFR action starts on Thursday, December 6th and will be televised LIVE nightly through December 15th at 7:00 Pacific, 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time, 9:00 Central and 10:00 p.m. Eastern time on the CBS Sports Network.

Click here for the WNFR TV schedule at WPRA.com.

View it on Direct TV channel 221, Dish channel 158, or visit CBSSportsNetwork.com for your cable channel. For those without cable television, it’s also available to stream online with a $39.99 Hulu Live TV subscription, which comes with a one week free trial.

Click here to learn more about becoming a member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, and also enjoy these additional resources:

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