The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo is one of the biggest rodeos of the year. Many contestants spend season after season climbing the ranks in hopes of qualifying for a trip, and this year in Kissimmee, Florida, the best of the best from all over the nation gathered under one roof to compete.
Taci Bettis is no stranger to competition or the mental game it takes to win it, and her partner Smash has the talent and heart to compete with the best of the best. After an incredible start to their year winning RFDTV’s The American, it’s no wonder that they were crowned the 2018 RNCFR Barrel Racing Champions.
Going into a tough field of some of the top barrel racers in the nation, it takes a certain kind of unwavering courage and faith to stay level headed with such high stakes. Bettis is the best when it comes to focusing and zoning in on what she has to do to get the win, and in round one she guided Smash to a third place finish with a time of 15.72 seconds.
Though she’d be just out of placing in round two, consistency is key, and Bettis and Smash would advance to the semifinals on an aggregate of 31.33 seconds.
In the semifinals, Smash would continue to impress, hedging out the majority of the field for a second place finish with a 15.60 second run, just behind Nikki Hansen’s blazing 15.48 second run for first place.
Not to be out done, Smash brought his very best to the final round. Not only did Bettis and her 11 year old bay gelding win the RNCFR finals, they paced first in the final round with the fastest time of the entire weekend; a smoking fast 15.34 second run, totaling Bettis’ weekend money earnings at just over $20,000.
“Smash rocked all weekend! Making the finals run the best! Fastest time of the weekend for us to win the 2018 RNCFR! Thank you to my village, without you all this isn’t possible! Beyond blessed.” – Taci Bettis
Barrel racing: First round: 1. Shelly Anzick, 15.45 seconds, $6,254; 2. Teri Bangart, 15.53, $4,738; 3. Taci Bettis, 15.62, $3,412; 4. Jessica Routier, 15.72, $2,274; 5. Lori Todd, 15.75, $1,327; 6. Carley Richardson, 15.78, $948.
Second round: 1. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 15.46 seconds, $6,254; 2. Christina Mulford, 15.54, $4,738; 3. Alexis Baratka, 15.60, $3,412; 4. Shelly Anzick, 15.63, $2,274; 5. Jessica Routier, 15.65, $1,327; 6. Teri Bangart, 15.69, $948.
Average: 1. Shelly Anzick, 31.08 seconds on two runs, $6,254; 2. Teri Bangart, 31.22, $4,738; 3. Taci Bettis, 31.33, $3,412; 4. Jessica Routier, 31.37, $2,274; 5. Alexis Baratka, 31.48, $1,327; 6. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 31.52, $948.
Semifinal: 1. Nikki Hansen, 15.48 seconds, $7,581; 2. Taci Bettis, 15.60, $5,686; 3. Jessica Routier, 15.68, $3,791; 4. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 15.81, $1,895.
Finals: 1. Taci Bettis, 15.34 seconds, $7,581; 2. Jessica Routier, 15.44, $5,686; 3. Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, 15.56, $3,791; 4. Nikki Hansen, 15.85, $1,895.