Wrangler NFR 2019: Rookie Emily Miller takes Round 1 of barrel racing

Screenshot via Youtube/PRCA Pro Rodeo

Emily Miller made the most of her first career ride at National Finals Rodeo as the Oklahoma native came out of the gate with a blistering 13.63 seconds to win Round 1.

“I’m about to cry, I’m so excited, honestly. It’s a dream come true,” Miller said. “Any time you get to run with this caliber of women and this much horsepower, it’s surreal.....You know it is going be amazing but to experience it is unbelievable.”

Miller was quick to credit her 9-year-old horse Chongo. She estimated in late October that she had won about 80 percent of her money riding Chong.

“He’s spectacular. That horse is such an athlete,” the Kansas native said.

With the help of Chongo, Miller moved from No. 9 up to No. 4 in the world standings.

Lisa Lockhart turned in a 13.70 second ride to take second and jump from third to first in the world standings, overtaking Nellie Miller who finished fourth in Round 1. Stevi Hillman’s third place finish in Round 1 was good enough to move her from No. 6 to No. 5 in the world standings.

Hailey Kinsel, who entered the day No. 2 in the standings, finished 13th to drop to No. 3 behind Lockhart and Miller.

Barrel Racing World Standings (NFR money in parentheses)

1. Lisa Lockhart $177,082 ($30,730)

2. Nellie Miller $175,610 ($21,000)

3. Hailey Kinsel $158,866 ($10,000)

4. Emily Miller $134,375 ($36,230)

5. Stevi Hillman $130,988 ($25,653)