SAN ANTONIO – For the first time in over two decades, a barrel racer has won consecutive titles at the San Antonio Rodeo, and she just happens to live a couple of hours away from the arena.
Hailey Kinsel from Cotulla, Texas, qualified for the San Antonio Rodeo for the first time in 2018 and earned the championship. She went on to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) where she again left in the top spot. The newly crowned world champion barrel racer made her second appearance at the 70th annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and again won a title.
Riding her great mare DM Sissy Hayday that she calls “Sister,” she stopped the clock in 14.02 seconds on Saturday night, just two-one hundredths of a second faster than Shali Lord of Lamar, Colorado. Kinsel added $15,000 to her previous earnings and left the Alamo City with $29,500. She earned the championship at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo two weeks ago and is becoming the one to beat everywhere she goes. Coming into San Antonio’s rodeo, Kinsel was fourth in the world standings, but with her earnings here, she will get a big boost.
Another contestant that got the same boost is Miles City’s Haven Meged. The 20-year-old didn’t win the tie-down roping crown, but he did finish third with a 7.8-second run in the finale to earn $7,500 on top of the $10,000 he made earlier in the rodeo. Meged goes to college at Tarlteon State in Stephenville, Texas, about 200 miles north of San Antonio.
Shane Hanchey from Sulphur, Louisiana, won the title, and he can take San Antonio off of his bucket list now. The 2013 world champion has won nearly every rodeo in North America and has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo nine times. Hanchey had a 7.2-second run and earned $23,500.
Orin Larsen from Inglis, Manitoba won the bareback title. Larsen also earned a championship here in 2016. He competed at the NFR last December and injured his knee. San Antonio’s rodeo was his first one back. In the first-ever draft for the finals, Larsen got to choose the horse he would ride. He picked Frontier Rodeo’s Full Baggage and had an outstanding effort that led to a 92.5-point ride. Larsen’s total earnings were $29,500.
Four-time world champion J.W. Harris was the first bull rider to pick in the draft. There was no hesitation about the bull that he wanted to get on in the finals. Harris picked the notorious Sweet Pro’s Bruiser from Powder River Rodeo. The bull has been at the top of his game and was chosen the best bull of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2017. It was the right pick for Harris. He scored 92.5 points, won $15,000 and had total earnings of $25,250.
Reigning world champion saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell picked a horse that he was familiar with, had been over 90 points on previously and couldn’t wait to get on again. It panned out just the way he had hoped. Sundell got on Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine woman and when the judges added up their scores, he had a 92 by his name. That effort got the Boxholm, Iowa, native $15,000 and total earnings of $26,500.
Team ropers Tate Kirchenschlager of Yuma, Colo., and Ross Ashford, of Lott, Texas, had the biggest win of their career in the AT&T Center. They stopped the clock in 4.7 seconds Saturday night. The $15,000 that they earned their brought the total money up to $25,750 each.
Tyler Waguespack has won two world titles and had some success here in the past, but never earned the title. He changed that this year with a 3.5 second run. The Gonzales, Louisiana resident earned $22,750. Along with their earnings, each of the champions got a new San Antonio Rodeo trophy buckle and a $5,000 gas card.
This year’s rodeo and Xtreme Bulls competition paid over $1.6 million to contestants. Plans are already being made for next year’s events which are expected to again attract the top rodeo athletes in the country.
2019 San Antonio Rodeo Champions
Bareback Riding – Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, $29,500
Steer Wrestling – Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, Louisiana, $22,750
Team Roping – Tate Kirchenshlager, Yuma, Colorado and
Ross Ashford, Lott, Texas, $25,750 each
Saddle Bronc Riding – Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, $26,500
Tie-Down Roping – Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, Louisiana, $23,500
Barrel Racing – Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, $29,500
Bull Riding – J.W. Harris, Goldthwaite, Texas, $25,250
Finals followed by total money —
Bareback Riding: 1, Orin Larsen, Inglis, Manitoba, 92.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Full Baggage, $15,000. 2, Richmond Champion, The Woodlands, Texas, 92, $12,000. 3, Connor Hamilton, Calgary, Alberta, 90, $7,500. 4, Tilden Hooper, Carthage, Texas, 88.5, $4,500. (total money) 1, Larsen, $29,500. 2, Champion, $22,875. 3, Hooper, $15,417. 4, Hamilton, $12,750.
Steer Wrestling: 1, Tyler Waguespack, Gonzales, La., 3.5 seconds, $15,000. 2, Chason Floyd, Buffalo, S.D., 3.6, $12,000. 3, Tanner Milan, Cochrane, Alberta, 4.2, $7,500. 4, (tie) Scott Guenthner, Provost, Alberta, and Justin Shaffer, Hallsville, Texas, 4.4 and $2,250 each. (total money) 1, Waguespack, $22,750. 2, Floyd, $20,875. 3, Milan, $16,500. 4, Shaffer, $10,750.
Team Roping: 1, Tate Kirchenschlager, Yuma, Colo., and Ross Ashford, Lott, Texas, 4.7 seconds, $15,000. 2, Luke Brown, Rock Hill, S.C., and Paul Eaves, Lonedell, Mo., 5.4, $12,000. 3, Riley Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., and Brady Minor, Ellensburg, Wash., 6.3, $7,500. 4, Tyler Wade, Terrell, Texas, and Billie Jack Saebens Nowata, Okla., 9.9, $4,500. (total money) 1, Kirchenschlager and Ashford, $25,750. 2, Brown and Eaves, $19,750. 3, Minor and Minor, $14,250. 4, Wade and Saebens, $12,750.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1, Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 92 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine Woman, $15,000. 2, Ryder Wright, Milford, Utah, 91, $12,000. 3, (tie) Rusty Wright, Milford, Utah, and Zeke Thurston, Big Valley, Alberta, 90 points and $6,000 each. (total money) 1, Sundell, $26,500. 2, Ryder Wright, $21,083. 3, Thurston, $18,250. 4, Bradley Harter, Loranger, La., $14,500.
Tie-Down Roping: 1, Shane Hanchey, Sulphur, La., 7.2 seconds, $15,000. 2, Tyson Durfey, Brock, Texas, 7.5, $12,000. 3, Haven Meged, Miles City, Mont., 7.8, $7,500. 4, Taylor Santos, Creston, Calif., 8.2, $4,500. (total money) 1, Hanchey, $23,500. 2, Durfey, $20,000. 3, Meged, $17,500. 4, Santos, $11,250.
Women’s Barrel Race: 1, Hailey Kinsel, Cotulla, Texas, 14.02 seconds, $15,000. 2, Shali Lord, 14.04, $12,000. 3, Kathy Grimes, Medical Lake, Wash., 14.07, $7,500. 4, Dona Kay Rule, Minco, Okla., 14.10, $4,500. (total money) 1, Kinsel, $29,500. 2, Lord, $20,500. 3, Grimes, $14,375. 4, Rule, $14,250.
Bull Riding: 1, J.W. Harris, Goldthwaite, Texas, 92.5 points on Sweet Pro’s Bruiser, $15,000. 2, Roscoe Jarboe, New Plymouth, Idaho, 90, $12,000. 3, Josh Frost, Randlett, Utah, 89, $7,500. 4, Jeff Askey, Athens, Texas, 88, $4,500. (total money) 1, Harris $25,250. 2, Frost, $22,500. 3, Jarboe, $19,750. 4, Joseph McConnel, Bloomfield, N.M., $14,500.