Sherry Cervi

Sherry Cervi, of Marana, won the sixth round of barrel racing last week at the $6 million Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

courtesy of Susan Kanode

Defending world champion Sherry Cervi of Marana, raced around the pattern in 13.93 seconds on last week to win the sixth round of barrel racing at the $6 million Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

“It’s been a great week and my horse has been working really well,” said Cervi. “I’m excited, and I’m just enjoying the ride while it lasts.”

Cervi, who also won world titles in 1995 and 1999, is the only barrel racer of the field of 15 to have placed in each of six rounds.

She earned nearly $60,000 last week with four rounds remaining, and has a great shot to win her fourth world title.

Cervi is competing on the same palomino mare, Stingray, that carried her to last year’s world title

“She’s a lot more confident this year than last,” said Cervi of the 9-year-old horse. “And that gives me confidence, so it works out well.”

The horse was raised by Cervi’s parents, Mel and Wendy Potter, also of Marana, who each competed at the Wrangler NFR in roping and barrel racing more than 40 years ago, and who grow cranberries at a family farm in Wisconsin for Ocean Spray.

While Cervi was readying to make her sixth run at UNLV’s Thomas and Mack Center, 76-year-old Mel was also in Las Vegas at the South Point Hotel and Casino, roping competitively on a horse that Cervi previously used for barrel racing at the prestigious Pendleton.

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