Where’s Ward? On the Road with Loralee (5)


Loralee Ward, Staff Writer

I concluded my last travel blog with a hint of what November/December would bring. I missed out on Thanksgiving festivities as I tested positive for Influenza A. I spent the majority of Thanksgiving conditioning horses for my two weeks in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas hosts the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) during the first ten days of December. The NFR is the equivalent to the Super Bowl of rodeo. The top fifteen in the world qualify for the NFR. However, a plethora of events coincide with the NFR, giving the rest of rodeo fans and contestants something to look forward to each year.

My dad and I left for Vegas on Tuesday (11/29), driving through the night for check in at The Orleans for the All In Barrel Race. Before check in, we dropped five of nine horses off in Pahrump, one and a half hours to the west of Vegas. The four remaining horses (my barrel horses) went to compete at The Orleans. I qualified two horses back to the Short Go out of 634 horses. After the Short Go on Saturday (12/3), I won just shy of 10K.

We left Sunday morning for Pahrump. I drew up Tuesday and Thursday morning at the Junior World Finals. I placed fifth in the first go, picking up another thousand dollar check. After my run on Thursday morning, I was sitting fourth place prior to the finals on Saturday (12/10).

I made another mediocre run on Saturday. I came in fourth place and stayed there, enough to earn another two thousand. Although I am not pleased with this outcome, as I know that I have the horsepower to win, I learned a lot from this experience. The Junior World Finals gives youth contestants a glimpse of the pressure NFR contestants feel.

I will attend school for another three days and attempt to take all my final exams. I fly out on Wednesday (12/14) to meet my dad and brother in Arizona. I will run at a barrel race in Queen Creek on December 17 and 18. We then drive home so I can run at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo qualifier on December 20 and 21.

This story concludes Semester 1 for Newspaper. PowerSchool shows a grand total of 115 absences. Stay tuned for Semester 2 and more chaos!