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Lucky Dog Barrel Race


Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

Lucky Dog Productions brought their fifth in the series of nine barrel races across the mid-south to the Show Place Arena in Memphis, Tenn. on August 3-5, 2018. This is a new show date for Lucky Dog, the first time they have added this date and location to their series. And, apparently, it was an outstanding success, with 1,926 total runs over the weekend.

Elaina McKinney of Carbondale, IL, won multiple races and was the high money winner at the weekend’s barrel races. Elaina wrote: “We have had an awesome weekend at the Lucky Dog at Memphis! Cool [WRS Kool Memories] won the Open all three days with 379 entries Saturday and Fame placed in the top four all three days and won the derby side pot each day! Thank you to the whole Lucky Dog crew for always putting on the best shows! Thank you to all my family, friends, and sponsors for everything! Give God all the glory for all He blesses me with!”

Elaina is now number one in the 2018 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) Junior World Standings. As of August 6, 2018, she has earned $25,406.98 in barrel racing winnings this year. She is currently number three in the Better Barrel Races Eastern 1D Standings.

At the WBR League Youth World Finals, held in Memphis, TN, July 4-7, Elaina was 2018 WBRL Youth World Champion and won the Jr. NFR qualifier. “So proud of both horses,” she wrote. Cool ran the fastest time of the weekend and won the Average! Fame placed 5th in the 1D in the Finals!”

On Saturday, June 30, Elaina competed at the 7th annual Independence Barrel Bash in Lebanon, Tennessee, where she placed first and second in the Youth and placed second in the Open, with more than 300 entries, and over 150 entries in the Youth.

She is also a Troxel Ambassador and sported a Spirit Black Duratec helmet on the cover of Barrel Horse News, July 2018 edition, riding WRS Kool Memories. Elaina posted the cover photo on her facebook page, as did Troxel on their facebook page.

Lucky Dog owner Christy Lewis had this to say about her: “Elaina is leading the Lucky Dog High Money standings for the year with over $28,000 in earnings, attending just 4 of the 5 events we’ve held so far. Those standings don’t include any futurity, derby, or rodeo sidepot earnings. She has earned over $30,000 including earnings in those sidepots. Over $9,000 of that was earned at the Memphis event. 

“Elaina is a very remarkable young lady with a bright future in our industry. You can tell she has her priorities in order and she has always been a very humble winner. She is always quick to give God the glory for her success.” 

Following is a summary of the weekend’s winners:

Open Average Champions:
1D Elaina McKinney/WRS Kool Memories
2D Watkins Rye/Aint No Crazy Lady
3D Stephanie Lynn/Trace Me A Doc
4D Lucy Carver/Chica Got It Going On

Pony Champions:
1D Sage Scaranto/Shortcake
2D River Weldon/Prissy
3D River Weldon/Short Go
4D Mia Lewis/Mater

Runnin’ With the Pack Average Champions:
1D Elaina McKinney/WRS Kool Memories
2D Angela Festervan/Wedding Crasher
3D Stephanie Lynn/Trace Me a Doc
4D Anita Brown/Macs Native Dash
5D Lisa Bledsoe/Cheyennes Honor

Overall High Money Champion: Elaina McKinney $7,796.01
Youth High Money Champion: Elaina McKinney $824.22
Adult High Money Champion: John Ressler $380.80
Senior High Money Champion: Jennifer Barron $281.04
5-Star Fast Time: Elaina McKinney/WRS Kool Memories 14.390
Daily runs:

On Friday, McKinney, riding WRS Kool Memories, won the Open 1D and the Youth Sidepot with a fast time of 14.451. She won the Futurity Sidepot 1D on Daddys Dollar with a time of 15.247. And she won the Derby Sidepot on One Hot Stinson with a fast time of 14.803.

Hannah Grimwood, of Bismarck, MO, riding Runaway Dinky won Friday’s Adult Sidepot 1D, with a time of 14.783.

Cheryl Ziegler of Coal Hill, AR, and Go Risky Frenchman won Friday’s Senior Sidepot 1D, with a time of 15.165.

Saturday’s Pony1D winner was Shortcake, ridden by Sage Scarato of High Ridge, MO, rounding the barrels in a time of 16.494. River Weldon of Bruce, MS won the 2D on Prissy (17.104) and the 3D on Short Go (17.509).

Elaina McKinney was back to win multiple races on Saturday, taking the Open 1D and the Youth Sidepot 1D on Kool with a time of 14.568. She also placed second in the Youth Sidepot 1D on One Hot Stinson, with a time of 14.717. She took her second win of the Futurity Sidepot 1D with Daddys Dollar on Saturday with 15.161 seconds on the clock, as well as, again, winning the Derby 1D on One Hot Stinson (14.717). She took the number one and two prizes in the Rodeo Sidepot 1D on WRS Kool Memories (14.568) and One Hot Stinson (14.717).

Elizabeth Holloway of Valley Park, MS rode Frenchbug On Fire to win Saturday’s Adult Sidepot 1D in a time of 14.714.
Cheryle Laws, of Forrest City, AR, and Jade Ta Fame took the top prize in the Saturday’s Senior Sidepot 1D in a time of 14.968.

In Saturday’s Running With The Pack series, Elaina took another 1D win on WRS Kool Memories (14.568). Elizabeth Holloway was second with Frenchbug On Fire (14.714) and Elaina also took third on One Hot Stinson (14.717).


Elaina continued “cleaning up” on Sunday in the Open 1D and the Youth Sidepot with the fastest time on WRS Kool Memories (14.390). She won the Derby Sidepot again on One Hot Stinson (14.672). She took first and second in the Rodeo Sidepot 1D on WRS Kool Memories (14.390) and One Hot Stinson (14.672). And she won the Running With The Pack 1D on WRS Kool Memories (14.390).

Alexandra Skipworth, of Florence, AL, won Sunday’s Adult Sidepot 1D and the Running With The Pack 1D on Perfect Definition (14.550). The pair were third in the weekend’s Open Average 1D and Pack Average 1D.

Sunday’s Senior Sidepot 1D winner was Cheryle Laws and Jade Ta Fame, with a time of 15.068.

Angela Festervan of Benton, LA took Sunday’s Futurity on Dark Side of Fame (15.121). That time gave her third place in Sunday’s Rodeo Sidepot 1D, and she placed fourth on Wedding Crasher (15.146).

John Ressler was the Adult High Money weekend winner, taking home $380.80 and a buckle. Jennifer Barron was the Senior High Money winner, taking home $281.04 and a buckle.

In the weekend’s totals, Elaina McKinney took home first and a buckle in the Open Average 1D and the Running With The Pack 1D Average with WRS Kool Memories and second with One Hot Stinson. She was the Youth High Money winner for the weekend, taking home $842.22 and a buckle, and she was also the Overall High Money winner, taking home $7,796.01 and a buckle for her weekend’s work.

Elaina comes by her barrel racing talent honestly, as her granddad, Bob McKinney, made a career in barrel racing for about 50 years. Her dad Rick also barrel raced, and Elaina is the third generation to keep the family tradition. The family owns McKinney’s Western Store in Marion, Illinois, and Elaina’s parents are the second generation of McKinneys to own/operate the store.

Full results of all classes and information about upcoming shows is available at:
The next stop for the big Lucky Dog semi-trailer will be Tunica, Miss. on September 7-9, 2018 for the eighth annual Tyler Parten Memorial and Tunica Triple The Luck Saddle Series.

The grand finale of the series will be back in Memphis November 30-December 2, 2018 for the BBR Mid-South X-Tra Tour Finale with $5,000 Added and $10,000 Select Stallion Stakes Bonus Money.

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