Before the final show in the Buckin’ Ohio Bulls n’ Barrels series, the barrel racing summer standings still were not finalized. Jessica Cantrell sat one winning paycheck behind series leader Tami Sutton going into the event. In the end, Sutton left a barrel down and Cantrell took home the first place check, bumping her far enough ahead of Sutton to take home the buckle for the summer.
What: Buckin’ Ohio SEBRA event (Barrels not sanctioned by SEBRA, though)
Who: 13 Barrel racers – top 3 in Buckin’ Ohio Series, all Ohio cowgirls
Added Money: $300 added, $40 entry fees
The Ground: The footing was a sandy mix that dried out over the last few weeks without rain. It was very soft and it didn’t seem as if any horses hit hard ground as the ruts formed around the barrels. It wasn’t deep enough, though, for any horses to get stuck in it. The sand pushed away from some horses but nobody seemed to have any major trips. Those putting on the rodeo made a huge effort to make the ground as good as possible for the barrel racing. They even worked up the ground after intermission, directly before the barrel race. With only 13 girls, the ground never got too bad.
Overall: This was a great local rodeo that drew in some great local talent. The ground was not an issue, and the pen was almost a perfect size. A 14-second pattern, it wasn’t too long and narrow or too big. The biggest challenge for some contestants and some hotter horses is the lengthy alleyway. The alley was almost as long as the arena and was barely five feet wide at the base, so hotter horses had some serious issues with having to contain themselves. The timer was only a panel past the out gate, so horses had to come in running blind and run out through a tough gate into an even tougher alleyway. A horse needed to come through the gate hunting the first barrel hard.
While the crowd was loud and really into the bull riding, it seemed like a lot of the fans were MIA for the barrel race. The arena was practically silent until horses rounded the third, and even then the crowd didn’t seem nearly as into the barrel racing as it was for the bull riding.
Results: Jessica Cantrell won the rodeo with a 14.4, and it took a low 15.0 to be fourth.