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Buckle Series Underway At MS Horse Park by Justin Rhea The first of three "Buckle Barrel Bash" series took place on February 16 at the MS Horse Park AgriCenter and Fairgrounds in Starkville, Mississippi. The NBHA sanctioned barrel race drew contestants from four states hustling for money in their respective class with total payoff reaching $3,400. Past MS 02 District Directors Carol Bright and Kinta Atkins made sure to have at least $500 added money at each of the three series runs. Being barrel racers, Carol and Kinta know the power that added money can have to a shows attendance and wanted to give everyone a chance to run for great prize money. The Open 4-D had 174 entries competing for a total payoff of $2,866 and points in the NBHA as well as the Buckle Series. Speaking of the cash, Quay Eaves took home $572 for the day by placing 1st in the Open 1-D for $261, 3rd in the Open 2-D for $129, 1st and 2nd in the Youth 1-D for $76 and $57 respectively and 2nd in the Youth 2-D for $49. An accomplished rider in the barrel racing arena, Quay rode four horses to earn his days pay. Former qualifier for the United States Cowboy Tour Finals in barrel racing and USCT Finals round one winner, Hunter Shipp traveled from her home state of Alabama to take second place in the 1-D for $201. Shipp told Bricklee Miller of the MS Horse Park that she chose to drive a little farther to run in Starkville because she knew the ground would be superb. Of course the ground can make or break a barrel race but Hunter and other fellow barrel racers enjoyed nothing but excellent ground at the Horse Park. Taking third place in the Open 1-D was Jayma Shomaker who ran a time of 14.751 to the tune of $150. Becky Wood took the win in the Open 2-D with a time of 15.100 and pocketed $224 for her efforts. Second went to Nina Hester and Handsome; the pair garnered $172 for their work in Starkville followed by Quay Eaves in third on one of four mounts with a time of 15.153. Kinta Atkins, co-promoter of the series, placed fourth in the Open 2-D running a 15.156 aboard Yella for $103. Cruising to the first place check in the Open 3-D, Stacy Harriman made no appointments with her horse "Doc" to quickly run a 15.586 and earn $149. Earning her second check of the day, Jayma Shomaker banked $115 and Lila Singleton took third place earning $86 with a time of 15.592. MSU photography student Lana Lancaster rode Cajun to the Open 4-D victory with a time of 16.629 worth $112. Second in the Open 4-D went to one half of the Thompson sister Duo as Kaci Thompson rode Gray around the cloverleaf pattern to stop the clock at 16.654 and a check for $86. Following in the footsteps of her brother and father, Katie Collum had her turn in the spotlight riding Twinkie. The pair earned $65 for their third place finish. I spoke with Joan Kuykendall, current MS02 District Director, regarding the event and her thoughts. "The event went really well and I was amazed at the great attendance. Four states were represented at our barrel race and that is great for a district show. The event would not have been possible without the help of Kinta, Carol and the staff at the MS Horse Park. Their efforts made the event run smoothly and efficiently." Not only a director but also a competitor, Kuykendall placed fifth in the Open 4-D riding Hermanos Foxy San and picked up a $43 check. The Youth took to the arena running for a total payoff of $546 with 62 entries. Quay Eaves dominated the Youth 1-D by placing first and second running phenomenal times of 14.699 and 14.725. Haley Thompson, the second half of the Thompson Sister duo, rode GQ swiftly through the pattern finishing with a 14.845 and picking $38 for a third place finish. Following alongside his mother, Kyle Harriman rode Doc to a first place finish in the Youth 2-D. Kyle won $66 for his time of 15.220. Second went to Quay Eaves with a 15.265 for $49, third went to Brooke Harriman riding Buckshot with a 15.609 for $33 and fourth went to Elise Waldrop riding Reckless for $16. Striking again was the pair of Katie Collum and Twinkie. With a time of 15.994, Katie won first place in the Youth 3-D worth $44. Second place went to Carson Bright riding Jill who posted a time of 16.009 worth $33. Heather Thompson rode Little Red to a $22 payday by posting a 16.091 for a third place finish in the Youth 3-D. The Youth 4-D had Whitney Dedom and Star running a 16.782 for first place and $33. Kellie Hailey rode a four-legged Harley to her second place win of 16.891 and drove off with $25. Once again, the Thompson duo had a showing in the Youth 4-D as Kaci Thompson posted a 16.963 and deposited $16 to her account. Rounding out the Youth race is the great upcoming cowboy, Justin Reese. Reese traveled from Tennessee to complete on his current mount, Babe. Justin posted a 17.224 and won $8 to take home to Tennessee. Not a stranger to the winner's circle, Harriet Riley won the Senior 1-D with a time of 15.695 and Teresa Butler, traveling from Alabama, took the Senior 3-D title with a time of 17.003. This run was just the first of the Horse Park's string of great paying barrel races for 2002. On June 1, 2002, the Horse Park will host its Second Annual June Jam Barrel Race with $5,750 added money and on April 19-21, the EBFA/IBRA barrel racing association will host a $15,000 Total Prize Money run. "We are working with excellent promoters and sponsors to host barrel races that have great added money. Starkville has never seen a barrel race with the magnitude of $15,000 added money and we intend to make it worth the contestants expectations," said Bricklee Miller of the MS Horse Park. For further information regarding these barrel races please contact the MS Horse Park at 662-325-9350 [] In regards to the MS02 barrel racing schedule, please contact Joan Kuykendall at 662-767-3303. The future NBHA barrel races will begin with training at 9 a.m. on August 31 and December 7 due to the large turnout.

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