The 58-year-old cattle rancher from Gillette, Wyo. won riding Mr Connerey, sired by Dual Rey
and produced by Cats Good Intentions. She is an 11-year-old mare Barlow and his wife Joy own. The winning rider and his gelding marked a 223 to earn $3,783, and they show again in Fort Worth during Friday’s Derby Limited Non-Pro finals.
Mr Connerey, whose barn name is “Sean,” carried Barlow to his first Fort Worth limited-age title Thursday night. This was the pair’s fifth Will Rogers Coliseum final. They’d earned $45,458 in the arena prior to the Derby Limited Non-Pro finals.
Hope & John Mitchell with Smooth Mitch
Reserve Champion rider Hope Mitchell and Smooth Mitch, a horse sired by Smooth As A Cat and out of the mare Wahine Dually, completed a nearly perfect day with a 222 to earn $3,592. They had led by five points until Barlow and Mr Connerey’s run. The Weatherford, Texas resident and Smooth Mitch topped Thursday’s Non-Pro semifinals with a 220 to easily secure a berth in Saturday’s Derby Non-Pro finals.
Hope is the wife of cutting horse trainer John Mitchell, and Smooth Mitch’s prior owners named the horse in honor of her husband. John Mitchell and the horse rewarded them by earning Derby Gelding Open and $10,000 Novice Open titles at spring’s NCHA Super Stakes in Fort Worth. John and Hope Mitchell then bought the horse so that Hope could compete with him the next time he headed to Cowtown.
John and Hope Mitchell have combined to earn more than $4.5 million as cutting riders. Barlow headed to Fort Worth with $190,000 in career cutting earnings. He will head back to Wyoming with at least one trophy, plus a few more cutting dollars.
Winning his first Fort Worth title “was a lot of fun,” Barlow said. “That’s what I do it for,” the fourth-generation cattle rancher and former rodeo steer roper added.
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