FORT WORTH — The Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo finals is scheduled for Saturday night and fans can plan on watching many of the world’s top competitors during a sold out performance at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
One former Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier who has all but clinched a berth is barrel racer Benette Barrington Little, a former Lubbock resident who moved to Springer, Okla., within the past year after getting married.
Little earned $3,250 on Monday after finishing third in the first round with a time of 16.55 seconds. While competing in the second round on Tuesday, Little posted a blistering time of 16.44. After all that, she has an aggregate time of 32.99, which should catapult her into the finals.
The finals will feature the top 12 riders in each event, based on their aggregate times and scores from the preliminary rounds, following the Saturday afternoon performance.
Former National Finals Rodeo qualifier Wes Stevenson of Lubbock stands and excellent chance of qualifying for the Fort Worth bareback riding finals after turning in a three-ride score of 233 during the prelims. Stevenson, who won the National Western Stock Show Rodeo bareback riding title in Denver on Jan. 15, is ranked No. 1 in the 2012 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings with $22,305 in regular season earnings.
Another popular Texas cowboy who is expected to perform in the finals is three-time world bareback riding champion Will Lowe of Canyon. He has a three ride score of 240, meaning that he averaged 80 points per ride in the prelims.
Cutting horse update
Don’t Look Twice and rider Phil Rapp of Weatherford won the Mercuria World Series tour stop last weekend in Augusta, Ga., after turning in a 231. It was a record score at the renowned Augusta Futurity, a high-profile show that’s held annually by the city’s daily newspaper publisher, W.S. Morris III.
Dont Look Twice, the 2011 National Cutting Horse Association Horse of the Year who is owned by the Waco Bend Ranch of Weatherford, has a reputation for posting high marks. Last year, the mare set an NCHA record of 234 points at the Idaho Mercuria World Series of Cutting.
According to www.nchacutting.com, Dont Look Twice has more than $640,000 in career earnings and she’s on pace to become the NCHA’s all-time leading mare, a record held by Meradas Little Sue with official earnings of $670,098.
The Brazilians just keep popping up and dominating the Professional Bull Riders’ top tour.
The latest star from the South American country is Marco Eguche, who registered his first career PBR Built Ford Tough Series victory last weekend in Sacramento, Calif. The 22-year-old finished with a three-ride aggregate score of 267 and earned $38,750. After the first four events of the 2011 season, Eguche has $84,409.
Eguche’s Sacramento win moved him up from seventh to fourth in the Ford Series regular-season standings with 1,512 points. Valdiron de Oliveira, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, is ranked No. 1 with 1,959.25.
The Ford Series will stop on Feb. 25 at Reliant Stadium in Houston and March 3 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. For more information, visit www.pbr.com.
BRETT HOFFMAN, A TEXAS COWBOY HALL OF FAME MEMBER, HAS WRITTEN A RODEO COLUMN FOR THE FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM DURING THE PAST 25 YEARS. EMAIL HIM AT BRE...@MYRODEOINSIDER.COM.