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Barrel racer leads at National Finals Rodeo with $400 feed lot horse

December 14, 1996

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Barrel racer Kristie Peterson competes on a former $400 feed lot horse named Bozo. But when it comes to money, she certainly isn’t clowning around.

Through eight go-rounds of the $3.2 million National Finals Rodeo in the Thomas & Mack Center, Peterson and Bozo have earned $48,384.

Peterson won Friday night’s go-round with a time of 14.10 seconds and has finished no worse than fourth every night. She has three firsts, three seconds and two fourths.

``I had (Bozo) for sale when he was 3 years old for $2,500,″ said Peterson, of Elbert, Colo. ``Someone even came out to look at him but his feet were in pretty bad shape and they decided not to buy him.

``Now he’s not for sale. Never will be.″

Peterson, who has $140,384 in total earnings this year, won the world championship on Bozo in 1994 and finished second last year. To win a second title, they’ll have to stay ahead of second-place Kay Blandford, of Stockdale, Texas, who has won $49,121 at the NFR.

Blandford trails Peterson in the world standings by $17,155 with two go-rounds remaining.

``My goal is to not beat myself,″ said Blandford, who finished second in Friday’s go-round with a 14.24-second run. ``I’m just going to try to do the best I can and whatever happens, happens.″

David Fournier, of Poolville, Texas, and Royd Doyl, of Pittsburg, Texas, split first place in bull riding, both scoring 89s. In third place was Jerome Davis, of Archdale, N.C., with an 86.

In bareback riding, Mark Garrett, of Speafish, S.D., scored an 81 for first place. Ken Lensegrav, of Piedmont, S.D., and Lance Crump, of Cooper, Texas, tied for second at 80.

Jess Martin, of Dillon, Mont., won the saddle bronc riding go-round with an 84. Dan Etbauer, of Goodwell, Okla., was second at 82 and Robert Etbauer, of Goodwell, Okla., was third at 81.

In calf roping, Blair Burk, of Durant, Okla., tied the arena record set the night before by Cody Ohl with a first-place 7.3-second run. Three ropers tied for second at 7.9 seconds: Ohl, of Orchard, Texas; Mike Johnson, of Henryetta, Okla.; and Brent Lewis, of Eloy, Ariz.

In steer wrestling, Ote Berry, of Checotah, Okla., had a 3.3-second run for first place. Rope Myers, of Van, Texas, was second at 3.9 seconds and Todd Suhn, of Laramie, Wyo., and Brian Fulton, of Valentine, Neb., split third at 4.0 seconds.

Doyle Gellerman, of Nampa, Idaho, and Britt Bockius, of Claremore, Okla., won the team roping go-round with a 4.5-second run. Charles Pogue, of Ringling, Okla., and Allen Bach, of Toltec, Ariz., finished second in 4.7 seconds.

Two teams tied for third at 5 seconds: Daniel and Chris Green, both of Valley Springs, Calif.; and Randy Polich, of Aztec, N.M., and Nick Sarchett, of Scottsdale, Ariz.

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