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Battle in the Saddle


Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

The annual Battle in the Saddle barrel race came to the Show Place Arena in Cordova, Tenn. March 19-21, 2021 to raise funds for Safe Harbor of Memphis. The show offered $17,000 total added money, with $5,000 added daily to Open 4D, $1,000 added to Open Average, $500 added to Young Guns 3D Average, and $500 added to Open 3D Poles. The show had approval from BBR, WPRA Great Lakes & Southeastern, and NPBA.

Brad Bowie, President of Safe Harbor, was pleased with the turnout and support for Safe Harbor of Memphis and its mission to serve the homeless population and substance abuse clients. “We moved our show from Tunica to Memphis this year and we’re excited about being in Memphis for the show,” he said. There were nearly 470 Open and Young Gun entries combined on Saturday. Friday’s Open attracted 335 riders with 46 Young Gun entrants. And Sunday’s Open had 346 riders with 46 Young Guns.

The proceeds from this year’s show will go toward renovating the old Dunlap Orphanage, property in Tipton County, Tenn. that Safe Harbor recently purchased. “We are renovating the property and will get new mattresses, among other items. We hope to move in by June 2021. It was originally built to house orphan kids, and we will use it to shelter homeless men and women. We will have 74 men’s beds and 20 beds for women.” Bowie said there had been a huge spike in homelessness and substance abuse with the COVID pandemic. “All our locations have stayed at capacity,” he reported.

Bowie praised his staff, who came to help run the show, sell T-shirts, and do whatever was needed. “It’s good to see the staff give their whole weekend to raising funds for the organization. It’s about the only time they see horses,” he said.

“I want to give special thanks to show manager and announcer Kenny Lane and to our marketing director Melanie Lyell, who worked hard putting on the show. And we give thanks to all those who came out to support our show. It has grown every year.”

In addition to barrel racing, the show offered its traditional Kids’ Foot Race, with 15 youngsters participating, and a cake auction. The cake auction raised $1300, said Bowie, with the top seller, a red velvet cheesecake, going for $380. “Nothing sold for under $100,” Bowie said.

Brent Puhl was the official photographer for the show. See his photos at:

Weekend winners:
Friday’s Open 1D winner was Madison Shelton on Royal French Jet, with a time of 14.357. Friday’s Young Guns winner was Caroline Flynt on Dashing Scooter, dashing around the barrels in 14.976 seconds.

Saturday’s Open 1D winner was Elaina McKinney on Famous Rock Starr with a fast time of 14.371.

Saturday’s and Sunday’s Young Guns winner was Kaylee Childress on TKaylees Little Man, with a time of 14.825 on Saturday and 14.553 on Sunday.

Sunday’s Open 1D winner was Katie Jo Keller on Ima Fiddleplayer Too with a time of 14.386.

Full results of the show are posted at:

Find out more about Safe Harbor of Memphis at: and find out more about Battle in the Saddle at:

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