Jorianne Mirabal is excited about what the next two years of pole bending holds for her.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

Socorro County cowgirls Ashlynn Jones and Jorianne Mirabal returned from the 75th anniversary National High School Finals Rodeo with top 25 performances during their runs in Gillette, Wyoming, on July 16-23.

Jones came away with the best overall finish with a time of 18.176 seconds on her second barrel race for a 16th place finish which was almost a full second than her first run.

Mirabal’s performances were about consistency, but the Magdalena cowgirl had some problems with timing because her horse BB arrived at the NHSFR with extra pep and threw things off a little bit.

“I found some things I need to work on. My horse ran a lot harder at Nationals. She ran a lot harder than she has been, so it threw off our timing,” Mirabal said.

While her 2023 national finals may not have met her expectations, Mirabal does see the faster pace

Ashlynn Jones had a 16th place performance on her second barrel racing run.

working for her in the future.

“That’s exciting for next season. She’s running really well right now. It was just rider errors. She’s doing great. I need to get my timing back.”

The most significant difference between Jones’ two runs was the Wyoming weather which left her in a muddy arena.

“It was an awesome experience. I went in just wanting clean runs. The first run didn’t clock how we wanted, so on our second run, I just went in with a clear mind and rode her like I do at any other race. We didn’t change anything in our routine.” Jones said, “It was just the luck of the draw, and the ground was very muddy our first run, and by our second run, it had dried up.”

Jones only has a little summertime left as she prepares to rodeo at Oklahoma’s Panhandle State University.

“On the ride home, we were excited to be home after a long, busy 10 days in Gillette, Wyoming. I am excited for our next adventure, which is college rodeo starting in the fall,” Jones said.