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Kelli Tolbert and RF Firefly Move Into WNFR Contention

Kelli Tolbert and RF Firefly Move Into WNFR Contention

Kelli Tolbert and RF Firefly Move Into WNFR

fast horses, fast news Published Weekly Online at www.BarrelRacingReport.com - Since 2007 By Tanya Randall Kelli Tolbert took a lot of pressure off of herself by moving into contention for her second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification with dual wins this past weekend. Tolbert and her talented mare RF Firefly (“Cleo”) won $11,184 over their four-rodeo run that took them from Idaho Falls to Strathmore, Alberta. The duo scored victories at the $16,000-added, one-run Strathmore Stampede in Alberta and the $8,200-added, one-run Big Sky Roundup in Great Falls, Mont. They also placed fourth at the Mountain Valley Stampede in Heber City, Utah. The only rodeo where Tolbert and Cleo struck out was the War Bonnet Roundup in Idaho Falls. “I actually hit two barrels in Idaho Falls, so it didn’t start out great, but it ended up okay,” said Tolbert, who hails from Hooper, Utah. “It took a lot of pressure off me for sure.” After the poor performance at Idaho Falls, Tolbert decided to give Cleo the benefit of the doubt. “The ground in Idaho Falls was a little slick, so she turned a little bit stiffer,” she said. “I was kind of mad at her after I ran, but the more I thought about it—maybe it was the ground; let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. The next run was Heber (City), and Heber is notorious for their great ground, so I thought I’d just send her in there and see how she did. She turned great. She turned like her normal self.” Their fourth-place finish was worth $1,207. From Heber City, it was on to Great Falls, Mont., for that rodeo’s final performance. “We had heard the ground conditions there were great,” said Tolbert who is hauling with (or on some occasions following behind) Sue Smith. “It’s kind of different set up. It’s like a perfectly square arena, and it actually might be wider than it is long. It’s a blind run to the first barrel. In those kinds of situations, she seems to excel. I just went and checked out where the timers were set before the rodeo started and picked out what point to start from, and it was quite a ways back because it’s a squatty little arena. She rolled in there and turned the first barrel perfect.” The Great Falls victory was worth $3,209. In Strathmore, Tolbert found more favorable conditions. “It’s a really good arena,” she said. “It’s the kind of setup you want to go to all the time. The ground was good. There were no tricks to the pattern. It was a center alley where you could run in and out. She just had a great run. The ball just kept rolling from Heber and Great Falls, and she made an outstanding run there too.” Tolbert, who is sponsored by Equine Pride Feeds, Tony Llama and Roper Apparel, believes her decision to save Cleo for the big rodeos has provided her with a healthy, fresh horse for the remainder of the rodeo season. AUGUST 7, 2012 Volume 7 : Issue 31 In this issue... • Big J Barrel Blast, page 17 • Run For the Pearl, page 19 • UBRA Finals & JJ Classic, page 21 • National Little Britches Finals Rodeo, page 30 Kelli Tolbert and RF Firefly Move Into WNFR Contention THE RUNDOWN: KELLI TOLBERT HORSE: RF Firefly “Cleo” 2003 Sorrel Mare BIT: Carol Goostree Simplicity with the three-links of chain in the middle HEADGEAR: None SADDLE: Caldwell PAD: 5-Star GRAIN: Equine Pride HAY: All the alfalfa she can eat and grass pasture when available ADDITIONAL CARE: Polyglycan and Adequan Dash For Perks si 93 Smoke N Sparks si 97 Crazy Daisy RF Firefly 2003 Sorrel Mare Dot’s Jessie Dots Scooterette Skipem Scooterette Dash For Cash si 114 Perks si 87 Shawne Bug si 101 Savannah Lynn si 86 Collins James Poco Bubble Skip Em Bar Scoot’s Miss Rider/Owner: Kelli Tolbert; Breeder: Wind Drift Investments “I just got it in my mind just to hit the bigger rodeos,” she said. Cleo, a 9-year-old daughter of Smoke N Sparks out of Dots Scooterette, by Dots Jessie, is her only rodeo horse. “I haven’t really hauled her all that hard and I think it’s paid off. I think I entered four rodeos over the Fourth and I actually turned out of one of them. My Fourth of July was very non-hectic, and I think that played a big role in how she’s working now.” Pro Rodeos Continued on Page 5

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