CASPER, Wyo. – Abigail Knight will be the first UGF cowboy or cowgirls to qualify for the short round finals of the College National Rodeo Finals since the modern era program began six years ago. Knight finished the qualifying rounds ranked 11th in the barrel race. UGF’s other competitor, sophomore Cache Hill finished just outside the Top-12 cut, placing 15th with a final average of 203.5.
Knight improved from being T-13 after Go 1, with times of 14.13 in Go 2 and 14.26 in Go 3. Those three times combined for an average of 42.89 which, at the time of her last run on Tuesday, June 14, put her well above the 12-cowgirl cut, but would have to stand the test of three more sections of riders trying to best that score.
This left Knight waiting for three days’ worth of performances to see if she would make UGF history. While she dropped a few spaces by the end Go 3, the sophomore finished in 11th place, .46 seconds ahead of the 13th place finisher and .42 seconds over 12th place. Last year Knight missed the cut by .3 seconds.
Next for Knight will be the short round finals on Saturday, June 18th. The performance will start at 7 p.m. MT in Casper, with each of the 12 qualifying contestants completing one more run which will be added to their previous three to determine the event champion. The CNRF finals can be watched live online on ESPN3 or through the WatchESPN App.