The field of barrel racers who will compete at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo is filled with experienced cowgirls, those who have played on this stage before and those that have been part of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
From two-time world champion Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas, to regional standouts like Nancy Hunter of Neola, Utah, it's a solid list of veterans competing for ProRodeo's National Championship, set for 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4; 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
"I'm very excited to be able to compete in Oklahoma City," said Carlee Pierce, the 2012 reserve world champion from Stephenville, Texas. "This is a big deal for us, and I always love being able to compete inside that building."
Pierce is one of six NFR qualifiers who will race their talented horses around the cloverleaf pattern during the three days of outstanding competition. She will be joined by Pozzi; Christina Richman of Glendale, Ariz.; Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D.; Christy Loflin of Franktown, Colo.; and P.J. Burger of Pauls Valley, Okla.
Loflin earned her first trip to the NFR last year and qualified for the RNCFR by winning the Mountain States Circuit. She plans to ride her great horse, Movin', an 8-year-old sorrel mare that missed competing at the NFR while recovering from an injury – the horse is expected to be back to running by the end of this month.
"She loves the pen at Oklahoma City," Loflin said. "She's done well at the BFA derbies, and she was the AQHA reserve champion there.
"I'm really excited to run her there."
So are the other 23 cowgirls who will race for one of the most coveted titles in the sport.