ROCK SPRINGS — The final overall winners of 10 of the 19 racing categories for the Summer Barrel Racing Series came from Rock Springs, with some local riders winning more than one category.
Vicky Taylor came out on top of the 1D Open Division Barrel Racing standings, while Margie Allen finished atop the 2D Open standings for Barrels along with finishing first in the 1D senior standings. Stephanie McCann ended atop the 2D senior standings. Bailey Denison, 13, finished first overall in youth 4D Open Barrels.
Tenlee Maycock (2D 10 & under), Kennedy Kleinlein (3D 10 & under), and Karter Parker (4D 10 & under) finished in first place in their respective categories for Barrels. Makenzi Scott finished first in youth 1D Barrels and in 1D Pole Bending.
Chris Thomas was the lone overall winner from Green River, topping the overall Open 4D standings and the 4D Poles standings.
McKinnon’s Kashlee Hill, 7, came out the overall winner in two categories, 3D youth Barrels and 1D 10 & under Barrels. Charly Potter, 11, also from McKinnon, finished first overall in 3D Poles. Other overall winners were Oaklee Hoffman from Lonetree, first in 2D Poles and youth 2D Barrels, and Anne Terri Ezel, Rawlins, in senior 4D Barrels.
The last competition for 2021 in the Summer Barrel Racing Series took place at the Sweetwater Events Complex on Saturday, September 18. The fastest Barrel Racng time at the final 2021 competition was turned in by Jerrie Slagle on her horse “Slim”, clocking in at 15.897 seconds in the 1D Placings, good for a $176 payout.
Julie Haskins on “LCB Famous Fortunes” also clocked a sub-16 second speed, at 15.925 seconds in the 1D Barrels competition, with her second-place finish earning her a $118 payout. The fastest Pole Bending time was a 21.856 timing by Oaklee Otis on an unnamed horse.
Winning strategies in the different categories came down to having a close relationship between a rider and her well-trained horse.
“You need a talented horse with natural ability,” Margie Allen said. “Focus and practice,” Charly Potter gave as her formula for winning.
Serious training commitment required
The September 18 Summer Barrel Racing Series faced stiff competition for contestants from other rodeos being held the same day, in Evanston, Jackson, Torrington and Heber City, Utah. However, one of the
“regulars” who was at the September 18 SBRS event was Kent McCann, who not only participated in the
SBRS, but who also trained some of the other riders and their horses who participated in one or more of
the summer series rodeos. McCann shared some of the important considerations for anyone thinking
about getting into barrel racing and pole bending.
“Most barrel and pole horses probably have about 1-1 1⁄2 years of training,” McCann said in an email interview. “A lot of it depends on the particular horse.”
Horse age matters. “Most horses are not raced until 4 or 5 years old,” McCann explained. “Some horses can race well into their twenties.”
One of the youngest horses at the rodeo belonged to Stephanie Root from Pinedale, who finished second in the overall Open 4D Barrels category.
“My horse, Sailor, is just a baby. He’s four years old,” Root said.
Quarter horses appear to be the best fit for the barrels and poles events.
“Quarter horses are definitely my preference,” Green River’s Thomas McCann concurred, declaring, “Quarter horses would be by far the most dominant breed. There are many other breeds but the main criterion is for horses that are fast in a short distance.”
Different riders have different racing strategies, but there is no one formula for success. “There are so many variables,” McCann said, “as to ground conditions, type of horse, better indoors versus outdoors,
big pattern versus small pattern, etc.”
After every fifth rider, at the Events Complex the drag tractor comes out to scrape the dirt surface of the barrel racing arena, and a rider’s success can even depend in part on how soon after the drag a horse runs the pattern.
“It’s best to go right after the drag,” Rock Springs’ Allen said. Once several riders have gone, the ground gets too cut up, she added.
“If you’re the first racer after a drag, this is called having the top of the ground,” McCann said. “Likewise, if you’re number 5 out, this is commonly referred to as the bottom of the ground. Most barrel racers would prefer to be closer to the top of the ground, because of less tracks. The more tracks the horse runs on, the times tend to get slower, thus the reasoning for dragging after every five racers.”
Although the Summer Barrel Racing Series has concluded for 2021, interested riders can still participate in upcoming gymkhana days. The next gymkhana is scheduled for Saturday, October 23. Further information is available on the Sweetwater Events Complex website.
September 18 Summer Barrel Series Results (1-2-3)
Name Amt. Won Horse/Time
ACBRA 4D Jackpot in Open 4 D Barrel Race
Jerrie Slagle $176 Slim/15.897
Julie Haskins $119 LCB Famous Fortunes/15.925
Vicky Taylor Edith16.065
Margie Allen $151 Roanie/16.473
Lana Cwach $101 Sure Livin’ Right/16.545
Colleen Moorman To B Smooth/16.592
Oakley Otis $101 Horse unnamed/16.906
Kent McCann $67 Chasin’ Dennis/16.988
Missy Muellerleile Oso/17.407
Katie Gibson $76 Snazzy/17.935
Marley Hammer $50 JS Sugar Cartel/17.976
Chris Thomas Nibbles/18.879
ACBRA 4D Jackpot in Senior 4 D Barrel Race
Vicky Taylor $68 Edith/16.065
Margie Allen Lulu/16.342
Vicky Taylor Tuesday/16.378
Anne Terri Ezell $45 Dixie/19.595
ACBRA 4D Jackpot in Youth 4 D Barrel Race
Kashlee Hill $47 Hollywood/16.999
Tenlee Maycock Bunny/17.328
Madalyn Moorman $41 Stony/17.737
Oakley Otis Horse unnamed/17.781
Bailey Denison $24 Buffalo/19.218
ACBRA 4D Jackpot in Pee Wee 10 & Under Barrel Race
Kashlee Hill $54 Hollywood/16.999
Charly Potter Studley/17.224
Tenlee Maycock Bunny/17.368
Kelsey Rheaume $36 Juice/23.598
Hawkins Hoffman Grave Digger/33.960
Kaisley Kennedy Hank/55.408
ACBRA 4D Jackpot in Open 4 D Pole Bending
Oakley Otis $110 Horse unnamed/21.856
Chris Thomas Nibbles/32.252