Pennsylvania’s own Shanna Simmons, the teenage cowgirl from West Sunbury, went to the International Finals Rodeo with just over $8,000 in earnings on the year and left Oklahoma City $5,000 richer after placing in three out of the four rounds of the rodeo.
The only rider to out-pace Simmons in the average the IFR is three-time IFR Champion and fellow teenage-cowgirl Mesa Leavitt, whose average win hoisted her to another come-from-behind world championship.
Simmons entered the finals 8th in the World Standings, but after placing fourth in Round 1 with a 15.146 and winning $520, she moved up to 7th. Though she ran a faster time in Round 2, she didn’t get a check. But Rounds 3 and 4 brought in over $1,500 for Simmons as she placed fourth and third, respectively.
After all the rounds were done, the average winners were announced and Simmons took home an extra $3,125 for second place, just behind Leavitt.
This year has been a breakthrough year for Simmons, who made her mark when she placed third in the first go of the Wenger Barrel Racing Sweepstakes at the Congress and qualified for the Sweepstakes Finals aboard Tag Em Easter Jared, owned by her mother Tammy. In 2008, Simmons won the Youth 13&Under at the Congress on the same horse. The Barrel Racing Blog can not yet confirm what horse Simmons ran at the IFR.