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Battle in the Saddle


Photos by Gary Cox

Safe Harbor’s annual fundraiser barrel race, Battle in the Saddle, got underway at the Show Place Arena in Cordova, TN January 13-16, 2022. Photographer Gary Cox went by the Show Place Arena on Friday to capture some of this year’s action.

The show offered $20,000 total added money with: $250 added Young Guns and $500 added Young Guns Average; $5,000 added Open 4D; $1,000 added Open 3D Poles. New to this year’s event was pole bending competition, which saw 144 runs over two days.

The traditional Kids’ Foot Race (ages 10 & Under) was not held after the Big Drag 100 this year. But the cake auction did go on during the Big Drag.

The show had a good turnout, attracting 443 riders in Friday’s classes: poles: 69; young guns: 46; open 4D: 328. As expected, Saturday’s totals were higher with 505 runs: poles: 75; young guns: 45; open 4D: 385. All in all, there were a total of 971 entries in the Open.

Saturday was a typical mid-south winter day with 40 degrees and rain, which changed to a wintry mix Saturday night dumping a few inches of snow on the area. By Sunday morning the area had a light dusting of snow, with temperatures around or just above freezing and only about an inch accumulation. Thus, Sunday’s run numbers were lower: 295 total, with young guns: 37; open 4D: 258.

Pole Bending was a new division added to this year’s show. Denise Evans on Lightning Rollin Stone topped Friday’s 1D placings with a time of 21.322. Saturday’s Open Poles saw Angie Dowell and Cougars Twister topping the charts in a time of 19.808 seconds. In the Average, it was Josh Morton and Redneck Wheels winning 1D with a time of 20.422.

The Young Guns competition was fast and furious, with Darcy Dement setting the pace on Friday night (14.825). She and her horse Hel on Socks were also second in the Open with a time of 14.825. Saturday and Sunday’s (and Average) winner was Kanely Cooper on Red Native Dunit (14.619).

Darby Toole on Spit n Fire won Friday night’s Open in 14.758 seconds. Saturday’s Open win went to Billy Hatzman on Honor Bounds Ghost (14.557). On Sunday, the final runner of the weekend, Sierra Waldrep and Lordy Hez Dashin, clinched the win with a time of 14.443. In the Average, Kanely Cooper and Red Native Dunit topped the chart with a time of 14.619.

Weekend winners:
Young Guns: 1D Champion: Kanely Cooper on Red Native Dunit - 14.619
Pole Bending: 1D Josh Morton on Redneck Wheels - 20.422
Open 1D: Kanely Cooper on Red Native Dunit – 14.615
Saturday High Stakes: Billy Hatzman on Honor Bounds Ghost – 14.557

Find full results of all classes posted at:

Official photographer for this year’s event was Brent Puhl Photography. Please visit his website for photos of all the competitors:

Next year’s Battle in the Saddle is planned for January 13-15, 2023.

Safe Harbor of Memphis provides a variety of faith-based support services to help people recover from addiction, the homeless, ex-offenders, and the Fresh Start program for women who are experiencing problems in substance abuse disorders. Safe Harbor provides recovery skills and relapse prevention; employment skills and money management; pastoral support; anger management counseling; fatherhood development; and transportation services.

“Thank you to everyone who came out this weekend to help us raise money for Safe Harbor!” event organizers posted on facebook. Organizers also had many thanks for sponsors of the show, to the ground crew, to Brent Puhl photography, to vendors, and to the Show Place Arena staff.

Find more information at: www.safeharborevent.comand

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