Hailey Kinsel, who is from the South Texas town of Cotulla, clinched the barrel racing title at the RFD-TV’s The American with a time of 14.689 seconds in the final round on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Kinsel earned $433,333.
She clinched the title aboard her 6-year-old mare she calls Sister. She acquired Sister as a 2-year-old and she and her mother trained the horse to compete in rodeos.
Kinsel, 22, is a senior Texas A&M agriculture economics major. She is scheduled to graduate in May.
She has competed at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., the past two years (on a different horse). Two years ago, she finished sixth in the 2015 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s barrel racing title race at the Casper championships.
This year, Kinsel plans on taking Sister to the College National Finals. She currently is ranked No. 1 in the NIRA’s Southern Region barrel racing standings, which means she’s on pace to qualify for the June 11-17 CNFR in Casper.
Kinsel was among three competitors who earned $433,333 at The American. The other two were bull rider Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., and saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss of Heflin, La.
The American offered competitors $2 million, a record payoff for a single performance rodeo. Kimzey, DeMoss and Kinsel each were eligible for a share of a $1 million “side pot” within the $2 million purse.
The three riders split the $1 million. Each competitor earned $333,333, plus $100,000 that goes to the winner of every event.
All the other champions at The American each earned a $100,000 check
The $100,000 winners were bareback rider Tim O’Connell of Zwingle, Iowa (90.25 points in the finals); team ropers Riley Minor and Brady Minor, who both live in Ellensburg, Wash. (3.61 seconds); steer wrestler Clayton Hass of Weatherford (3.73 seconds); and tie-down roper Marty Yates of Stephenville (6.65 seconds).