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2002/12/18

Tennessee Sisters Burn Barrels And Finish Tops At NBHA Youth Worlds by Tom Burriss There isn't a lot of room to win in barrels, especially with contests as large as an NBHA Youth World Competition. Hundreds of youth competing under one roof. To have a single winner in a household is a major accomplishment, but to have two put up big placings in a single household is amazing. Step sisters Brianna Donnell, 7, and Megan Jamerson,14, of Rosemark, Tenn. put up quite a barrel performance at the NBHA Youth Worlds in Jackson, Ms, July 29 - August 3, 2002. Both had to make extraordinary efforts to get to their top placings. Brianna Donnell was first to go. In the first round of the Youth she scored a no time. It was her second run that got her into the finals. A 16.791 on SASSY earned her fifth place in the 4D and $174.00. Then came the Finals night. One of the youngest in the arena, she captured the attention of many. Especially, when her final run came in at 16.864, a little slower than the previous run, but enough to put her in the lead. And enough to keep on top, earning her not only $832 in top prize money, but a buckle, saddle, and a years use of a trailer. Now it was Megan Jamerson's turn. She would help her chances by riding two qualified horses in the competition: HOWIES HICKORY and a TOUCH OF ROYALTY. Following in her sister's path, she too found herself among the masses at the end of the first go, placing deep in the 2D ranks. The second run would prove more fruitful as Megan split divisions. HOWIES HICKORY remained deep in the 2D, but her run on TOUCH OF ROYALTY put her in 232nd place with a 15.882... which translates to first in the 3D. When finals night arrived for Megan and the Donnell family, anticipation was high. Once the dust had cleared from the Youth Finals, and Brianna had won a trailer, the inkling that Megan could do the same, crept into their minds. Megan run was up, and the inkling became a distinct possibility when she turned the pattern in 15.769 seconds, once again placing her a top the 3D. Only time would tell at this point whether two trailers would go home with the same family. The irony of the whole matter was the Melinda and Bob Donnell have a family business....selling trailers. With the tension and hopes high, the family waited, but Megan's effort would fall just 11/100ths of a second short of the 3D number one ranking. Nonetheless, she returned to Rosemark, Tenn with a buckle and $1,279. It is no surprise the performance of the two girls. Melinda and Bob are avid barrels racers themselves, and the girls go where ever they do. Both have been on the back of a horse since an early age and Megan and Brianna just love to race barrels. You can tell they no passion for anything else but that.

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