By Con Marshall The Chadron Record
After not competing too often the first six months this year, Oelrichs barrel racer Lisa Lockhart is back on the rodeo trail again.
Lockhart and her faithful buckskin gelding, Louie, competed at Clear Lake, S.D., Granite Falls, Minn., and Dickinson, N.D., this past weekend and have a busy schedule lined up during the next two weeks as the Fourth of July approaches and it’s “Christmas in July” in the rodeo world.
Results indicate that Lisa and Louie earned $1,559 by placing second at Granite Falls, but did not place at Clear Lake or Dickinson.
Their itinerary will take them to rodeos in four more states—Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana—plus a return trip to North Dakota and to the Calgary Stampede in the next two weeks.
“After that we’ll see where we’re at and decide where to go from there,” Lockhart said late last week. “I’m sure we’ll also try to make it to Belle Fourche and Cheyenne.”
A qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas the last nine years in a row, Lockhart admittedly has quite ways to go to rank among the top 15 barrel racers at the end of the 2016 season in November.
The No. 15 cowgirl on the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association barrel racing standings entering last weekend had earned $32,383. Lockhart was 37th on the list with $15,626, but she’d entered just seven rodeos. Everyone in the top 30 had competed in at least 22 and most of them in more than 30.
At the top of the leader board was Mary Burger of Pauls Valley, Okla., with almost $88,000. Next was a newcomer to the elite ranks, Ivy Conrado of Hudson, Colo., with nearly $68,000.
“I’m sure I won’t catch them, but I hope to get back to Las Vegas. That’s the goal,” Lockhart said. “We’ll see how it works out.”
Much of her earnings so far this year came in Houston in March.
While Lockhart was in Texas, she also entered “The American,” the sport’s richest one-day rodeo, held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. She was the $100,000 barrel racing winner there in both 2014 and ’15, but had to settle for second this year because Sara Rose McDonald of Brunswick, Ga., nipped her by a couple of ticks on the automated timing device.
Second place was worth $25,000, but neither amount counts toward the WPRA standings.
Lockhart said Louie was slowed by a stifle injury after their trip to Texas so she gave him some time off. In addition, she wanted to be present to help with the numerous activities leading up to daughter Alyssa’s graduation from Hot Springs High School. She’s the oldest of the three children belonging to Lisa and her husband Grady.
Alyssa also is a barrel racer and recently won the South Dakota State High School Rodeo championship and will be competing at the National Rodeo in Gillette in mid-July. Last year, Alyssa won the National Little Britches Rodeo’s senior division barrel racing title the same week as her mom was the winner at Frontier Days in Cheyenne.