NEW EXPERIENCE Lockhart Wins Oakdale on First Trip to the California

Town By Joe Kusek L ast year was not an easy one for Lisa Lockhart. Lockhart, of Oelrichs, South Dakota, even contemplated throwing in the reins and returning home as the end of July approached, putting her streak of a potential 15 consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications in jeopardy. Big checks at Cheyenne Frontier Days and Ogden, Utah got her within long reach of another NFR. Instead of returning home, Lockhart hit the road harder than ever before. In past seasons, she was back at the family ranch by the start of September. Lockhart competed at rodeos in the Northwest, Utah and Texas. Many of them for the first time. On the final day of the 2021 regular season, she qualified for another trip to the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Lockhart qualified 14th and finished 12th in the final WPRA world standings. A tough winter rodeo season, injuries to her horses … a long list of reasons, had her straining her neck to look up the WPRA world barrel racing standings. “I never want to do that again,” said Lockhart, who is the NFR’s all-time money winner for barrel racing. “But in this industry, never say never.”

building victory. Riding Rosa, her 12-year-old buckskin mare, Lockhart emerged from slack on April 8 to win with a time of 17.39 seconds for $2,378. Tarryn Lee, of St. David, Arizona was second in 17.53, while Stevi Hillman, of Weatherford, Texas, followed at 17.69. “She ran really well,” said Lockhart of Rosas Cantina CC, out of Dash Ta Vanila by Corona Cartel. “Never having been there, I was not sure what to expect. At Oakdale, you come out of a side gate instead of usually going right down the middle of an alley. I saw that and thought, ‘Uh oh.’ Rosa goes to the left. But we made it work.” Lockhart, who had been on the road since early February, made the rare trip to California at the urging of her husband Grady, a former circuit tie-down roping champion. “It was at Grady’s suggestion that I go, to make a big circle,” Lockhart said of her extended road trip. “I told him, ‘I’d rather not.’ He said, ‘You better.’ ” Both knew that Rosa would flourish in the big outdoor arena out West. “Getting outside fits her personality,” said Lockhart. “She works better in the big outdoor arenas. It helps free her up. Rosa anticipates the barrels. She likes to turn. You have to first try and get around them instead of going over the top of them. “When she’s working her best, you just let her do her thing. We try to put her in the best place she can succeed.” The Oakdale victory came after Lockhart and Rosa tipped a barrel at Logandale, Nevada. It was a problem that plagued the pair during the winter rodeos in Texas. continued on page 27 Lisa Lockhart decided in 2022 to try to avoid the chaotic finish to the year like she endured in 2021 trying to make her 15th consecutive Wrangler NFR. So she headed West in April for the California run of rodeos and she is glad she did. Riding her 12-year-old buckskin mare Rosas Cantina CC, she took home the win at the Oakdale (CA) Saddle Club Rodeo in a time of 17.39 seconds. Photo by Click Thompson

To prevent another frenetic scramble this fall, Lockhart added the California run to her schedule for 2022. Running at the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo for the first time in a WPRA career that began in 1993, Lockhart debuted with a confidence- Lisa Lockhart headed to California for the spring run of rodeos at the urging of her husband, Grady, and she is glad he pushed her to check out the California rodeos. She picked up the win in Oakdale, CA despite a little different set-up than she and Rosa are used to. Rosa handled it like a champion. Photo by Fernando Sam-Sin


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