Lead horse puts Texan into barrel race finale

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:44 PM ET

Sure, I Gotta Lead is a young and inexperienced horse, and you'd think would be overwhelmed by the Calgary Stampede.

But Jackie Jatzlau figured it was worth taking a chance on the five-year old in barrel racing action.

It worked out like a dream in yesterday's wildcard round.

Jatzlau, from Giddings, Texas, and I Gotta Lead crossed the line in a fantastic time of 17.44 seconds to take one of the two spots in Showdown Sunday.

The horse had only been in three rodeos before arriving in Calgary, and Jatzlau ran the first day of Pool B action with it before turning to her more trusted mount, Princess, the next few days.

However, Princess was a bit sore, so she decided to go back to the youngster.

"I told my mother I'm gonna give him a shot because he feels like the real deal and wants to run barrels. He did great (Friday), and I was worried about him being a little rattled after running in this field with this crowd, but he really proved to me he's got what it takes deep down inside, and that's not something you can train into them.

"He's ready for the big city, ready for the big show."

Danyelle Campbell, who lives in Beaumont, Texas, but hails originally from Edmonton, was second yesterday with a clocking of 17.56s aboard Repeat and fills out the 10 who'll compete for $100,000.

Her horse, Repete Fame, is only six years old, the baby of Petey.

"In 2001, (Petey) got injured that fall and this is the result of her injury. This is the baby," she said.

Her baby can run and has a chance to make her mark today. The young horse has handled the crowds and excitement very well.

"She seems to run harder. Her turns aren't quite as controlled with a lot of excitement and she gets pretty nervous, but she'll get over that," Campbell said. "She was fourth the first day but seemed to get scared after. I think she's been trying to build her confidence ever since."

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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