It was a big day for the progeny of the Potter Ranch. Mel Potter’s daughter, Sherry Cervi, won the $50,000 jackpot on a half sister to Daisy that she calls Stingray—both mares are by Dinero.
“They’re both eight years old,” she said. “It’s really cool. I guess that was a good year. I’m happy for my dad being the breeder.”
But Stingray didn’t just burst on the scene. Cervi won the average title at the Wrangler NFR last year riding the horse.
“I gave her a rest after the Finals, and Fort Worth was my first rodeo back,” she said. “This year, they changed the pattern here at Houston. In the years past, I have the record on that pattern. This year, they changed the pattern, so I guess I have the record on both. It was a 15 flat on the old pattern and 14.59 on this new pattern.”
Cervi almost didn’t have the opportunity to run in the Championship round, however, barely squeaking in as the last-place qualifier with a 14.81. Brittany Pozzi, Christina Richman and Jill Moody all ran faster than her in the semifinal round.
However, that meant Cervi would run on the top of the ground in the final round. The RodeoHouston staff did barrel racers an unusual favor by raking the ground before the semifinal and final round runs.
“I don’t think it mattered here,” Cervi said of the draw advantage. “Fortunately, my horse really handles different types of ground. I think Houston tried to keep the ground good. A big rodeo like this, tractoring twice in the rodeo is big, we really appreciate that. They really tried to help us out.”
In the end, Cervi ran the fastest time of the day, a 14.63, to win $61,500.
“It’s unbelievable,” Petska said. “For both of us to be riding Dineros and do something like that is unbelievable.”
Cervi, however, is always looking ahead. With Stingray becoming such a threat, she wants to be in the thick of things when December rolls around and this win allows her to do that without rodeoing too hard.
“I kind of want to go up to Wisconsin and try to learn the family business a little bit more and this is going to make it a little easier,” she said. “My goal this year was to make it to the Finals in a better position.”