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On a roll: District finals show increasing popularity of barrel horse racing

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The district finals for the National Barrel Horse Association showed just how popular the sport has become on the Kenai Peninsula.

The finals, held Wednesday at the Soldotna Equestrian Arena on Kalifornsky Beach Road, continued the trend of getting about 42 entries for each Wednesday night event.

"It's better than ever, but I can only say that within the last five years, since that's been my history," said Karen Jensen, the AK 01 district director and also the state director.

The National Barrel Horse Association is the largest barrel racing organization in the world. There has been a local district for 11 years.

Jensen sees a couple reasons that barrel racing has become so popular.

"We've had a lot of quality horses come up from the Lower 48," she said. "The 4D division format has really helped other people get involved with the district.

"You can be a beginner, intermediate or advanced, and you've still got a chance to win an event."

The National Barrel Horse Association pioneered the division format in 1992. The association has three classes: youth for 18 and under, open for anybody, and senior for 50 and older.

Within each class, there are four divisions. The standards for the division are set by the top finisher. The second division starts a half second behind the leader, the third starts a second behind the leader and the fourth starts two seconds behind the leader.

Within each district, the top five in season points in each division qualify to go to worlds in Augusta, Ga., which will be held this year from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1.

There will no be any riders from the local district that will be able to attend worlds this year, but Jensen said a few are planning to make the trip next year.

District finals - 1st Go

Open barrels

1D -- 1. Mellissa Fowler, 16.043 seconds; 2. Jake Fowler, 16.051; 3. Chelsey Hackett, 16.449.

2D -- 1. Ciarra McKenzie, 16.652; 2. Beth Fowler, 16.726; 3. Teresa Bitterich, 16.779; 4. Jill Alvey on Bobbie, 16.979.

3D -- 1. Alexis Sorrels, 17.229; 2. Laura McKenna, 17.429; 3. Garnet Sarks, 17.445; 4. Jill Alvey on Sadie, 17.937.

4D -- 1. Tina Williamson, 18.079; 2. Ange Jones, 18.400; 3. Corey Wilkinson, 18.594; 4. Tereza Brooks, 19.110.

Youth barrels

1D -- 1. Jake Fowler, 16.051; 2. Shelbylyn Rogde, 16.423.

2D -- 1. Tori Sipes, 16.575; 2. Ciarra McKenzie, 16.652; 3. Cassie McKenzie, 16.656; 4. Teresa Bitterich, 16.779; 5. Alexis Sorrels, 16.831.

3D -- 1. Cheyenne McGrane, 17.266; 2. Laura McKenna, 17.429; 3. Cassy Dobson, 17.487; 4. Sara Williams, 17.860; 5. Megan Parham, 18.032.

4D -- 1. Bradyn Holly, 18.306; 2. Dalton McWhorter, 18.597; 3. Bill Ashwell, 19.161; 4. Dillon Jensen, 19.598; 5. McKenzie Schjoll, 22.756.

Senior barrels

1D -- 1. Walter Williamson, 19.204.

3D -- 1. Mike Ashwell, 20.466; 2. Carolann Barum, 20.521.

District Finals - 2nd Go

Open barrels

1D -- 1. Mellissa Fowler, 15.957; 2. Jake Fowler, 16.223; 3. Jenny Robertson, 16.437.

2D -- 1. Teresa Bitterich, 16.577; 2. Jill Alvey on Bobbie, 16.66.

3D -- 1. Jill Alvey on Sadie, 17.537; 2. Garnet Sarks, 17.694.

4D -- 1. Tina Williamson, 18.024; 2. Laura McKenna, 18.081; 3. Corey Wilkinson, 18.999; 4. Ange Jones, 19.301; 5. Tereza Brooks, 19.320.

Youth barrels

1D -- 1. Jake Fowler, 16.223; 2. Shelbylyn Rogde, 16.277; 3. Tori Sipes, 16.472; 4. Teresa Bitterich, 16.577.

2D -- 1. Cheyenne McGrane, 17.025; 2. Cassie McKenzie, 17.126.

3D -- 1. Cassy Dobson, 17.455; 2. Bradyn Holly, 17.861; 3. Megan Parham, 17.976; 4. Dalton McWhorter, 18.018; 5. Laura McKenna, 18.081.

4D -- 1. Luke Sarks, 19.160; 2. Bill Ashwell, 19.310; 3. Athena Glidewell, 22.616.

Senior barrels

1D -- 1. Walter Williamson, 20.301.

World qualifiers

Open barrels

1D -- Mellissa Fowler, 68 points; Jake Fowler, 28; Becky Dragseth, 23; Jenny Robertson, 13; Chelsey Hackett, 13.

2D -- Ciarra McKenzie, 25; Beth Fowler, 23; Jenny Robertson, 18; Samantha Jones, 10; Katie Schollenberg, 9.

3D -- Teresa Bitterich, 37; Samantha Jones, 29; Laura McKenna, 21; Jill Alvey, 20; Ciarra McKenzie, 17.

4D -- Jill Alvey, 29; Tereza Brooks, 27; Tina Williamson, 26; Garnet Sarks, 25; Corey Wilkinson, 25.

Youth barrels

1D -- Jake Fowler, 43; Shelby Rogde, 25; Tera Schnabl, 18; Laura McKenna, 11; Cheyenne McGrane, 9; Ciarra McKenzie, 9.

2D -- Teresa Bitterich, 25; Cheyenne McGrane, 25; Ciarra McKenzie, 22; Samantha Jones, 21; Sara Williams, 18; Shelby Rogde, 18.

3D -- Brittney Morris, 29; Cassy Dobson, 24; Tessa Groleske, 18; Laura McKenna, 17; Cheyenne McGrane, 15.

4D -- Bill Ashwell, 38; Dalton McWhorter, 27; Bradyn Holly, 26; Luke Sarks, 25; Megan Parham, 12; Dillon Jensen, 12.

Senior barrels

1D -- Walt Williamson, 48; Mike Ashwell, 31; Carolann Barum, 10.

2D -- Mike Ashwell, 10.

3D -- Carolann Barum, 23; Mike Ashwell, 15; Walt Williamson, 4.

4D -- Carolann Barum, 30; Gordon Alvey, 22; Lori Nelson, 21; Mike Ashwell, 5; Walt Williamson, 4.



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