Barrel Racing Semifinalists Announced for The American

By Laura Rodgers

After 50 competitors challenged each other today, 20 barrel racers are moving on to the Semifinals at Mesquite Arena this weekend for an exemption spot at RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER, on March 2, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Among the barrel horse racers who will be competing this weekend are leaders Robyn Herring and Firewaterontherocks. Herring said that “Happy” was really revved up for the event.

“I knew whenever I was warming him up he (Happy) was being very unruly,” Herring said. “He was very hyper, so I knew he would be really good or really bad. But he fired really good. I thought he ran excellent. I sat there, basically, on autopilot just about. I was very happy with his run.”

Some may worry about their stud getting hurt while running him. There is always the potential for catastrophic injury, and this becomes even more crucial when your horse is your breeding program. But Herring says you just need to take precautions.

“Someone asked Charmayne James at a rodeo, ‘Don’t you worry about that?’ And she said, ‘You know, he’s just a horse.’ Yes, he is phenomenal, but you can’t lose sight of who he is. You just have to take all the precautions you possibly can. If the ground looks treacherous, I’m going to do what’s best for him. If I think everything’s safe and I’m not putting him in danger, I’m going to go for it,” Herring said.

“I’ve had people wanting to buy him, but I raised him, and he’s my child that I’ve never had. So hyeah, there a connection between him and me. I respect him and he respects me. He’ll be with me forever.

Herring is supportive of The American rodeo, and she thinks the qualifying format was excellent .

“I love the format,” Herring said. “What I like most is that they gave everyone in the world the opportunity to qualify. That’s what I like most about it. Because that’s what we’re seeing so much in rodeo nowadays is that they’re limiting. I believe you had 50 of the toughest horses and jockeys here, outside of the 10 that will be competing against in the stadium (AT&T Stadium). That’s what I like most about it is that everybody had a chance to get here.”

When asked about the balance between barrel racing and her breeding business, Herring was clear about her priorities.

“Happy is my full-time job now. The breeding business is my full-time job. The breeding business comes first. The foals that have hit the ground come first. Then second is barrel racing and rodeo.

These are the 20 barrel racers that are in the semifinals after the slack this morning.

14.960 Robyn Herring- Firewaterontherocks

15.011 Katelyn McLeod – Kellies Chick

15.058 Tammy Fischer- MP Quick Money

15.241 – Gretchen Benbenek– Shot Of Firewater

15.251 – Shelly AnzickScooten Ta Fame

15.270 – June Holeman – Hopes Money Boy

15.284 – Erin Ricotti – Royal Star Commander

15.286 – Clint Sherlin – Bully Be Design

15.309 – Callie Rios – Blazin Baby J

15.333 –  Kenna Squires – Red Dasher

15.407 – Kelly Yates – Fiesta Dely Rey

15.428 – Tami Semas – Hot N Frosted

15.435 – Paige Conrado – Debs Sporty Win

15.455 – Morgann McDonald – Bullarkstic

15.456 – Kay BlandfordKN Red By Design

15.457 – Nicole Love – Jet O Red

15.482 – Kathy Grimes – KG Justiceweexpected

15.499 – Ninea Smith – Cloud Gray

15.550 – Jackie Gantor – Guys French Jet





1 15.499 Nina Smith Cloud Gray Pincher Creek AB

2 15.058 Tammy Fischer MP Quick Money Ledbetter TX

3 15.482 Kathy Grimes KG Justiceweexpected Medical Lake WA

4 15.284 Erin Ricotti Royal Star Commander Escalon CA

5 15.309 Callie Rios Blazin Baby J Boerne TX

6 15.286 Clint Sherlin Bully By Design Athens TN

7 15.456 Kay Blandford KN Red By Design Sutherland Springs TX

8 15.485 Jessica Eagleberger Breezin Flit Bar Stringtown OK

9 15.011 Katelyn McLeod Kellies Chick Whitesboro TX

10 15.270 June Holeman Hopes Money Boy Arcadia NE



1 15.428 Tami Semas Hot N Frosted Prineville OR

2 15.435 Paige Conrado Debs Sporty Win Hudson CO

3 15.241 Gretchen Benbenek Shot Of Firewater Aubrey TX

4 15.550 Jackie Ganter Guys French Jet Abilene TX

5 14.960 Robyn Herring Firewaterontherocks Huntington TX

6 15.407 Kelly Yates Fiesta Del Rey Pueblo CO

7 15.251 Shelly Anzick Scooten Ta Fame Livingston MT

8 15.457 Nicole Love Jet O Red Staley NC

9 15.333 Kenna Squires Red Dasher Fredonia TX

10 15.455 Morgann McDonald Bullarkstic Uvalde TX