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On The Money Reds

Courtesy Barrel Racing Report:

Jennifer Barrett and Nicole Yost will head to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., courtesy of their fleet- footed On The Money Red-bred barrel horses.

Barrett, formerly of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., borrowed the Designer Red gelding LR Designerwood (“Maverick”) from Blake and Traci Monroe of Griffin, Ga., to win the First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo, held in Harrisburg, Pa.

Yost, Rice’s Landing, Pa., finished second in the average to hold on to the year-end title with Red Hot Peso, a solid Paint gelding by Red Hot Pursuit.

Bred by Bob and Mary Lee of McAlester, Okla., Maverick is out of Miss Cowboy Lady by Cowboy Drift.

Barrett, a radiograph technician, had first borrowed the gelding from the Monroes back in 2012 when she got the opportunity to go the national circuit finals rodeo in Oklahoma City. She had purchased the horse she rode to her first FFCFR qualification back in 2002 from Traci and had built a friendship with her through other horse deals.

“She was a connection I used when I had people looking for horses because I trusted her,” Barrett said. “I knew she had an eye for horses, especially for futurity horses that might make rodeo horses, and I trusted her opinion.”

Barrett won the first 300-plus entry barrel race she entered with Maverick back in 2012 and hit a barrel to advance at the national circuit finals rodeo, but she hadn’t ridden the gelding since.

To qualify for the circuit finals, she rode Zevolene, a 14-year-old gelding that took her to the FFCFR last year, and King Olena Cat, a 10-year-old mare. Both horses came from Doreen Ulery of Mount Pleasant, Pa.

“The gelding does better on deeper footing, so I ran him at Cowtown (Woodstown, N.J.) and at the rodeos that I did well on him the year before,” Barrett said. “I ran the mare where he didn’t do so well, or if the ground was really slick or mud. He doesn’t like to slide. He likes the ground to hold him. Of the money that I won, I won about half of it on each one. I won seven checks on him and seven checks on her. It was a team effort to get me there this year.”

When she and her husband, Dusty, a rodeo clown and saddlemaker, moved to Buhl, Idaho, this past fall, Barrett knew she wasn’t going to haul a horse back to Pennsylvania just for the FFCFR, so she called Traci again.

“We knew there was more money added this year, but we knew
it wasn’t worth dragging one of my horses back there with the weather and everything,” Barrett said. “I had to make a decision if I was going to come back and have fun or try to take myself to the next level. Being that our circuit had added so much more money this year—even though I went in 12th in the standings, if I had won the first round, I would have moved to first in the standings. Basically it was a clean slate once we got to the finals. It was anyone’s game.”

Even though there was the possibility to win the year-end, the average was Barrett’s sole focus. She got things started by placing second in the round, running on the bottom of the ground.

“It’s a little different setup,” she said. “The angle to the first barrel is a little different than what Maverick’s used to, but I’ve been there 10 times so I knew it was a funny angle. I had always had a good first barrel there so I wasn’t worried about that. Traci was a little worried, but I wasn’t. We got by the first a little and kind of lost our way a little at the second and had a super third and ended up second in round. That took me from 12th to second in the standings the first night.”

In the second round, they were first out, running in reverse order, and were able to set an arena record.

“Maverick was very happy to have top of the ground,” she said. “Maverick had a road map for the second night. He knew where they were and we had an almost flawless run.”

For the third round, Maverick was little weary, but Barrett knew she just needed a “business run” to stay in the hunt for the average.

“I’m such a drawing fool,” she laughed. “I drew 12th in the round. We were just out of the money. He buried up a little harder than I would have liked him to at the first, but we got around it. He made a nice clean run, but he didn’t fire as hard as he did the first two nights, which was fine. It was almost like he knew exactly what we needed to win the average.”

Barrett was quick to applaud the tractor man and grounds crew for making the footing even for everyone.

“Our tractor man Mike Rhineer has tried every year to get the ground right for us,” she said, noting Yost and her horse Red Hot Peso broke their previous arena record in the first round of the FFCFR, “and I don’t know what he did different this year, but the stars aligned and it was the best footing we have ever had at the circuit finals. It was fair top to bottom and in the middle. The Pennsylvania high school kids also raked after each one of us and that was above and beyond appreciated by all of us.”

Knowing that this was her 11th and final FFCFR before becoming a member of the Wilderness Circuit made the New York native a bit emotional.

“I was little nervous on Thursday night, knowing that I had the horse power and the only thing standing between me and Kissimmee was me,” she said. “There was a little bit of pressure on my shoulders that I needed to rise to the occasion. I didn’t let myself down, and that was a big thing for me. A lot of times, my head gets in the way and I didn’t let it happen to me this year at circuit finals. I knew I wanted to go out with a bang, and I did. I’m blessed and humbled and so appreciative.”

Barrett wanted to thank her “village” for their support: Blake and Traci Monroe—“I don’t know what I would do without the two of them,” Doreen Ulery, her husband “for putting up with me and all these barrel horses that we’re feeding,” her circuit director Eileen Lang, saying “When I was having a tough time during the year, she kept my head on straight. I needed a kick in the butt a couple of times. I had few friends that I think had more faith in me than I did myself a couple times this summer. They really made the difference.”

In March, Barrett will fly back to Georgia to meet back up with Maverick for their second appearance at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

Nicole Yost of Rice’s Landing, Pa., won her second First Frontier Circuit Championship, thanks to the solid performance of her 13- year-old gelding Red Hot Peso, a solid Paint. She and Peso finished second in the average at the FFCFR to hold on to the yearend title.

Bred by Freespirit Farms of Ocala, Fla., Peso is by Red Hot Peso, a son of On The Money Red, out of the Indians Image mare Indian Passion. Yost purchased the gelding from Michelle (Hicks) Moore of Morgan Mill, Texas, as a 5-year-old.

“Peso was the one I won all my money on this year,” said Yost, who wanted to thank her sponsor Formula 707 for giving Peso a little extra “umph.” “I want to say I went to 18 rodeos up there (in the First Frontier Circuit). I didn’t go really hard, but I had to go to enough to get in (the circuit finals rodeo).”

She said one of her bigger wins on the year, which helped her have confidence returning to her circuit, was in Arcadia, Fla.

“That was pretty exciting because I didn’t think I could compete with the girls down here. My first weekend back in the circuit, I won Augusta and Cowtown. I won a few Cowtowns and picked a long at everywhere else.”

Yost, and her husband Justin, a team roper, split their year between Pennsylvania and Florida, so they’ll already be down South for the RNCFR. They decided to designate the Southeastern Circuit as their home circuit so they could pursue other avenues back in Pennsylvania.

“We switched because we didn’t want to go so hard when we got home,” she explained. “We just got done building our place and we want to have barrel races and team ropings over the summer. We knew if we designated First Frontier we’d rodeo all summer rather than enjoy being home.”

First Frontier Circuit Finals
Jan. 14-16, 2016, Harrisburg, Pa
Average on three:
1 Lr Designerwood, Jennifer Barrett, 42.16, $2,943

05 br. g. Designer Red-Miss Cowboy Lady, Cowboy Drift

2 Red Hot Peso (APHA), Nicole Yost, 42.36, $2,207

03 sor. g. Red Hot Pursuit-Indian Passion, Indians Image

3 Cashes First Image, Jaime Fowler, 42.68, $1,471

02 b. g. Kickback Cash-Greygo’s Image, Executive Counsel

4 Jennifer Oberg, 42.87, $736
First round:
1 Red Hot Peso, Nicole Yost, 13.99, $1,962
2 Lr Designerwood, Jennifer Barrett, 14.17, $1,471
3 Jody Stockton, 14.23, $981
4 Incarnata Tesiero, 14.26, $490

Second round:
1 Lr Designerwood, Jennifer Barrett, 13.79, $1,962
2 Cashes First Image, Jaime Fowler, 14.15, $1,471
3 Nicole Yost, 14.25, $981
4 Jen Bruno, 14.31, $490

Third round:
1 Red Hot Peso, Nicole Yost, 14.12, $1,962
2 Cashes First Image, Jaime Fowler, 14.13, $1,471 3 Jen Bruno, 14.17, $736
3 Jennifer Oberg, 14.17, $736