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Kudzu Klassic


Article & photos by Nicki Storey

On Saturday, February 20, 2016, over 400 riders lined up at the Marshall County Fairgrounds in Holly Springs, Mississippi, for their chance to race in the sun. After weeks of chilly temperatures, the weather finally brought warmth and clear skies, just in time for the sixth show of the Kudzu Klassic 4-D Barrel Race Series. The show, presented by Coldwater Cross Farm, had a total payout of $4,500.

The race kicked off with a Poles class, which has grown more popular with each show. Levi Daughtry, a familiar face to the series, ran the fastest time at 20.010 seconds. Ashlyn Plumlee placed first in the 2D after running the poles in 22.365 seconds, while Lainey Hutcherson won the 3D with a time of 23.096.

The Buckaroo class, by far the audience’s favorite, included 22 riders and a lot of “awes.” Lexie Tweddell did not let her young age stop her; she ran the fastest time at 15.021 seconds. Caitlin Crowson took first place in the 2D with a 16.437 run. Ana Claire Johnson placed first in the 3D, running 17.331 seconds.

In the Youth class, 59 racers competed for the cash. Sisters Mollie and Grayce Carter ran the two fastest times. Mollie Carter won with a 14.225-second run, the fastest of all the classes. Grayce Carter trailed close behind in 14.579 seconds. Levi Daughtry placed again, this time winning the 2D in 14.803 seconds. Sarah Raziano won first place in 3D, running at 15.271, and Madison Motley took first place in 4D with a time of 16.535.

The Adult class drew 53 riders. Heather O’Brien’s time of 14.375 seconds won her the fastest time in the class. Sierra Waldrop placed first in 2D with a 14.866 run. Ashley Lowe won the 3D in 15.388 seconds, while Rayanna Devore took first in the 4D with a time of 16.644.

In the Masters class, Janice Hayes beat 30 other riders with a time of 14.304. Rhonda Guess took the 2D win in 14.869 seconds. Leanne Haley won the 3D with a 15.308, and Bonita Chenault took the 4D win with a 16.352.

The Open class, the biggest and most competitive class, came last. Competing against 86 riders, Janice Hayes won with a time of 14.304 seconds. Mary Pilgrim won the 2D in 14.841 seconds. Allison Cratin and Blair Roy tied for the 3D win, running a time of 15.314. Ashley Pilgrim took first in the 4D with a 16.404 run.

The Kudzu Klassic series is sponsored by Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Southaven, Ryan England of State Farm, Full Circle Equine, Barton Heat and Air, and Wade, Inc. John Deere of Hernando. For more information on the barrel race series and Coldwater Cross, visit and follow Coldwater Cross on Facebook.

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