Hailey Kinsel

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Hailey Kinsel
OccupationRodeo competitor
DisciplineBarrel racing
Born (1994-10-03) October 3, 1994 (age 24)
Cotulla, Texas, US
Major wins/Championships2018 WPRA World Barrel Racing Championship
Significant horses
DM Sissy Hayday "Sister"
Thunder Stones "TJ"

Hailey Kinsel (born October 3, 1994) is an American World Barrel Racing Champion. In December 2018, she won the championship at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kinsel and her horse, Sister, have qualified for the NFR twice in her years in professional rodeo, in 2017 and 2018. Kinsel has been competing in rodeo since adolescence, winning awards through high school and college in both barrel racing and breakaway roping, as well as professional rodeo. Her horse, Sister, won the Women's Professional Rodeo Association/American Quarter Horse Association (WPRA/AQHA) Barrel Racing Horse of the Year Award in 2018.

Early life[edit]

Hailey Kinsel was born on October 3, 1994, in Cotulla, Texas, to Dan and Leslie Kinsel (née Walker). Her mother is a former Miss Rodeo Texas of 1980.[1] Her mother has an equestrian background. Her parents own a commercial beef cattle ranch,[2] and were instrumental in fostering her interest in rodeo and horses because they both had rodeo backgrounds. They encouraged her and her brother to compete. However, Kinsel initially preferred to compete as a gymnast. When she turned 11, she became interested in barrel racing and changed her focus.[2]


At 13, Kinsel received her first dedicated barrel horse, who "couldn't be used on the ranch". As Kinsel says, "Josey was off the track, and she was one that mom and I kind of brought along together." Kinsel competed with Josey in junior high school and high school, but stopped when the mare became injured. Kinsel then competed on a gelding named Thunder Stones, nicknamed TJ, throughout college rodeo. She also had TJ when she filled her professional permit for the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA).[3]

Kinsel and her mother bought her current barrel racing horse Sister as a filly. Sister was one of many horses they bought young and trained, while they used others to fill gaps. Sister was one they trained from the ground up. Sister was sired by Sherry Cervi's PC Frenchman's Hayday, nicknamed Dinero. "We bought her because we had an older half sister to her out of a Royal Shake Em mare that we just loved. We tried to find that lineage and follow that bloodline and thought, 'Well, if she's crossed with Dinero, this could be good.'", said Kinsel.[3]

Kinsel turned professional by joining the WPRA in 2015.[2] Barrel racing is sanctioned by the WPRA, while other rodeo events are sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). The barrel racing events, however, take place at PRCA rodeos, alongside events such as bull riding and tie-down roping. All of the championship rodeo events are held together (except steer roping which has its own finals event, the National Finals Steer Roping), at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) held at the Thomas & Mack Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada in December.[4][5] In July 2017 at the Days of '47 Rodeo she started winning major rodeos. She won the RFD-TV's The American Rodeo in 2017 and came in second in 2018.[2] She qualified for the NFR in 2017 and 2018.[2]

2015 and 2016 seasons[edit]

In 2015, Kinsel finished ranked 19th in the WPRA Rookie of the Year standings with $4,880.[2]

In 2016, Kinsel won the Elizabeth Stampede (Colorado), the Longview PRCA Rodeo (Texas), the Crockett Lions Club PRCA Rodeo (Texas), and the Hugo PRCA Rodeo (Oklahoma).[2]

2017 season[edit]

The Kinsel family bought Sister at age 2 while Kinsel was in her college freshman year; she and her mother took turns riding her. They experienced issues training Sister, but the mare also had some natural abilities. They waited until Sister was 5 years old to start her in the futurity. Her second year running barrels was 2017 and was Kinsel's first year qualifying for the NFR. In the mare's first 14 months of competition, she won $35,000. She was instrumental in Kinsel's first professional win in Elizabeth, Colorado, in 2016 and in her win in Denver, Colorado, in the 2017 season.[6]

Kinsel won a gold medal at the Days of '47 Rodeo (Salt Lake City, Utah), and won the West of the Pecos Rodeo (Texas). She finished in second place at the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo (Amarillo, Texas), the Dinosaur Days Rodeo (Vernal, Utah), the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo (Oklahoma), and the San Patricio County PRCA Rodeo (Sinton, Texas), and tied for second place at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo (Denver). Other than barrel racing, she also competed at the 2017 WPRA World Finals in Breakaway Roping.[2]

Starting with the Semi-Finals on Wednesday, February 15, Kinsel competed at the "world's richest one-day rodeo", The American Rodeo, for the first time.[7][6] The rodeo is held in Arlington, Texas, at the AT&T Stadium. That day of semi-finals, Kinsel and Sister scored a time of 14.08 seconds to win against a total of 30 barrel racers to move on to the second round of semi-finals on Thursday.[6]

Kinsel and Sister won the Semi-Finals and advanced to the Finals on Sunday, February 19, where the ultimate possible prize was $1 million. Kinsel just needed a clean run to take second place, but she and Sister went all out and won first, despite taking risks.[8] Two other barrel racers knocked over their barrels in the short round, aiding Kinsel's win. Kinsel won her event with a time of 14.4 seconds in the long round, and moved in the top four to the short round. She and Sister scored a time of 14.689 in the short round to win the event and also the top time of the event.[8] Three competitors from three different events split a million-dollar prize. Kinsel, Cody DeMoss, and Sage Kimzey each received $333,333.33 from what is called the side pot, as well as $100,000 for winning their respective events.[8] The three participants each won $433,333.33 that day.[8][9][10]

Kinsel had qualified for The American Rodeo at the Better Barrel Races Regional (BBR) Qualifier in Glen Rose in November 2016. Due to that qualification, Kinsel became the first BBR/The American Qualifier to split the $1 million payout. Because Kinsel holds a BBR membership, her total winnings for $433,333.33 is a world record for members.[8] "I didn't wear the right mascara for this," said Kinsel after her win. "God is good, and my horse is awesome." Sister helped Kinsel win almost $500,000 in the last couple of months leading up to and including The American.[8]

National Finals Rodeo[edit]

Kinsel qualified for the NFR at the 7th position in the World Standings to make the top 15 competitors who qualify for the trip to the finals in December at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. She finished 2nd in the World Standings to become the Reserve World Barrel Racing Champion after 10 days of 10 go-rounds in the finals. Kinsel set a new arena record for the third go-round with a time of 13.11 seconds. She set a new earnings record for the NFR by winning $189,385 in barrel racing over the entire 10 days of competition. She placed sixth in the NFR Average by winning 4 rounds out of 10 total and placing 8 out of the 10 total rounds.[2] For 2 of the 10 rounds, Kinsel finished just short of winning money due to knocking over a barrel. However, this did not stop her from being the high-money earner with $189,385.[11]

2018 season[edit]

In February, Kinsel competed at the AT&T Center, in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in Texas. Kinsel and Sister swept Bracket 1 to start the Semifinals as the high money winners and finish as the same. They won $7,134 in their bracket. The first round of the SemiFinals won her $2,230. When they competed on Wednesday night, their run was almost perfect, garnering them a time of 13.60 seconds. They broke the arena record of 13.67 seconds set by Sydni Blanchard in 2013. Kinsel said it was special because she grew up attending this rodeo, which was nearby her childhood home.[12]

She won the Sanders County Fair and PRCA Rodeo (Plains, Montana), the Fallon County Fair and Rodeo (Baker, Montana), the That Famous Preston Night Rodeo (Idaho), the Home of Champions Rodeo (Red Lodge, Montana), the Black Hills Roundup (Belle Fourche, South Dakota), the West of the Pecos Rodeo (Texas), and the Clovis Rodeo (California). She finished second at the RodeoHouston and the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.[2][11] She had a big win at Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, of $121,000, for which $71,000 does not count towards the World Standings. She also won a large prize at the Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo in Salt Lake City, Utah, totaling $53,200.[13]

This season, Sister earned more than $1 million in her career, including significant money for winning both the Calgary Stampede and the Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo. Kinsel says "She really is that fast and that athletic, and I can't take credit for that. Some horses just have it, and she has that 'it' factor."[3]

National Finals Rodeo[edit]

At the 60th NFR on Saturday, December 15th, Kinsel won her first World Barrel Racing Champion title. She and NFR Average winner Carman Pozzobon accepted their gold buckles and saddles in front of an audience of 17,150 in the stadium that evening. Kinsel finished the 10-day competition with a WPRA record $350,700 in season earnings. "Oh man, it was amazing", she said. "Everyone up there is so deserving, and they're heroes of mine. It was definitely surreal and was pretty awesome".[14]

Kinsel had the title locked up after 9 rounds, so she gave her primary horse Sister a rest by riding her older backup horse TJ in round 10 on Saturday, who kept her in the Average. She passed on going for the (RAM) Top Gun Award because she said Sister owes her nothing. Kinsel's seventh place finish in the NFR Average earned her $11,423. Kinsel's total winnings of $350,699.83 also outdistanced second place finisher Jessica Routier's total winnings of $251,704.23 for the championship by $98,996 for the win.[14][15][16]


DM Sissy Hayday "Sister", is registered to Dan and Leslie Kinsel. Sister is 7 years old as of 2018. She is a Palomino American Quarter Horse mare born in 2011. She is by PC Frenchmans Hayday and out of Royal Sissy Irish,[2] who is a daughter of Royal Shakem.[6]

  • 2017 Scoti Flit Bar Award
  • 2018 Horse with the Most Heart
  • 2018 PRCA/WPRA AQHA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year[17]


Thunder Stones "TJ" is a 14-year-old gelding as of 2018, by Sticks and Stones and out of See F Jets Candy.[2]




Kinsel still lives in the town where she grew up, Cotulla. Kinsel graduated in 2017 from Texas A&M University with a BA in Agriculture Economics.[2] Kinsel competed on the Fightin' Aggie Rodeo team as a breakaway roper. While Kinsel was attending university, she maintained a packed schedule that included classwork, taking care of three horses, leading a bible study, and competing in PRCA rodeos.[6] In April 2018, Kinsel and 2017 Professional Bull Riders World Champion Bull Rider Jess Lockwood started a relationship. As of December 31, 2018, they were still together.[18][3]


  1. ^ "Former Miss Rodeo Texas". Miss Rodeo Texas. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Kinsel, Hailey". Women's Professional Rodeo Association. wpra.com. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Amorosano, Ken (December 31, 2018). "Life In The Fast Lane With Hailey Kinsel". Cowgirl Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "National Finals Rodeo". Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. www.prorodeo.com. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "National Finals Steer Roping". Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. www.prorodeo.com. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Thurmond, Whitney. "Sister Takes Hailey Kinsel To The 2nd Round Of The Semis". FloRodeo. www.florodeo.com. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  7. ^ "The American". attstadium.com. RFD-TV. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Thurmond, Whitney. "Hailey Kinsel & DM Sissy Hayday Win RFD TV's The American". FloRodeo. www.florodeo.com. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "Three rodeo competitors split $1 million side pot at The American". Star-Telegram. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Winners". 2017 THE AMERICAN. www.rfdtv.com. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "Hailey Kinsel". Wrangler Network. 29 October 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Kinsel sets arena record at San Antonio; Parker Breding wins bull riding round". Montana Sports. February 22, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Twisting Sister". Texas Monthly. August 22, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Reid, Neal. "Kinsel honored with gold buckle, Pozzobon wins average title at 60th Wrangler NFR". Women's Professional Rodeo Association. www.wpra.com. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "Season Standings". Women's Professional Rodeo Association. www.wpra.com. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  16. ^ "Aggie Hailey Kinsel cruises to PRCA barrel racing title". KBTX. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  17. ^ PRCA Awards, Stock of the Year – AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year, pp. 569–571.
  18. ^ Cowgirl Social Team (April 12, 2018). "Jess Lockwood and Hailey Kinsel Are Everyone's Favorite New Rodeo Couple". Cowgirl Magazine. Retrieved January 18, 2019.


  • PRCA Awards. Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Retrieved January 9, 2019.

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