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Safe Harbor Battle in the Saddle


Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

The final installments of Safe Harbor’s Battle in the Saddle Barrel Racing series were held August 1-3, 2014 at the Show Place Arena, Memphis, TN. In fact, of the three events across the mid-south this year, Searcy, AR, Murfreesboro and Memphis, TN, Memphis had the highest total payout of $38, 436! In total, Safe Harbor paid out $81,317 to barrel racers this year.

As of Saturday afternoon, Ashton Luck was atop the leader board with fastest time of 15.055, but that was soon to be beaten. Amy Martin clocked in at 15.035. Lesa Micci had them both, stopping the timer at 14.966. She held the lead until Quay Eaves beat her time, coming in at 14.851. Then Andy Wilkes became the new leader with 14.679. The big winner in the Final Open Go #3 was Jimmy Cagle with the fastest time of 14.634 seconds.

Full results of the show are available at this website: Find more at facebook/Battle-In-The-Saddle.

Kenny Lane called the shots from the announcer’s stand, and his signature “frowny face” on the bottom of the barrel said it all when the barrel went down. The audience saw nail-biting, fast-paced action – and that’s not all.

The Old West Special Trails Drill Team made their grand entry performance at noon on Saturday. Hanna James, also from Old West Special Trails, gave her debut “tackless” performance on her 11-year-old Paint horse Cowboy. She’s been training him “tackless’ for about three years, but mainly just performing it for friends at the barn. This was her first public appearance and her skilled riding had the audience jaw-dropping in amazement.

There were several opportunities to try winning the paper Airplane toss, and the kids could run the barrels on foot to get an idea of how the horse does the job. Vendors both inside and outside had plenty of saddles, bridles, leather goods, and all kinds of tack and barn supplies for sale. There were stylish bright colored and textured boots for the horses, clothing for the people, and bling for both. One vendor said, “We’ll put bling in anything that doesn’t move!”
Battle in the Saddle starts the New Year in Tunica, MS at the Expo Center January 16-18, 2015 with $7,000 added money. There will be four events next year; the second one is June 26-28 in Murfreesboro; the third, August 1-3 in Texarkana, AR; and the final one in Memphis, TN October 16-18, 2015.

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