The new decade brings the sport of barrel racing a new organization – Elite Barrel Racing Productions – that at its very first event is offering $107,000 guaranteed cash and prizes, including seven Crown C. Martin Saddles.
This new organization isn’t just about the pros, although they are lining up to come to the new events as well, it’s about bringing together barrel racers from across the country to run with the best ground and in some of the best pens in the industry, for some of the top prizes that money can buy. The first event – the Classic Equine Big Cash Getaway – boasts sponsors like Classic Equine, Martin Saddlery, Corral Boots, OXY-GEN, Intervet, Cruel Girl, Cinch and Rockies and will pay 15 holes in each of its 6Ds. While 15 holes will get cash, holes 16-20 will receive a voucher for a pair of Corral Boots. In just the Cans of Cash Warm-Up Race alone, the Classic Equine Big Cash Getaway will give out $12,000 between 5Ds. The show will even be giving away a cruise to one lucky competitor who participates in the opening ceremonies. It will run in Waco, Texas, in the Heart O’ Texas Show Pavilion May 14-16.
“We’re doing this so Betty Barrel Racer can have her NFR,” said Sheridan Cummings, general manager of Elite Barrel Racing Productions. “Amateurs can come and run against pros like Kay Blanford. It’s really exciting.”
Elite Barrel Racing Productions LLC is looking to fill the void left by World Barrel Racing when it ceased to exist in December 2009 following the death of Booger Barter, but is in no way connected to the WBR, although it is based in the same town (Athens, Texas) and now employs most of the WBR staff, according to Cummings. The best parts of the WBR will be carried over to Elite Barrel Racing Productions.
After the WBR shut down this past December, Ronald Wells of Alma Lee Land & Cattle Co. realized he wanted to step up and create an organization that would give barrel racers some of the same opportunities as the WBR. Wells, a barrel racing enthusiast that had attended some WBR events, felt the industry itself would suffer as a whole if the WBR format and style of barrel racing didn’t continue, Cummings said. So, Wells and Alma Lee Land & Cattle Co. stepped up by hiring the WBR employees to put on three barrel races this year, the first of which is the Classic Equine Big Cash Getaway.
“We realized how unique the things we were doing were,” Cummings said. “We just think this is how you should put on a barrel race.”
Chuck Dunn and Phil Goostree, ground gurus and super show pioneers, will work the ground to insure the best possible conditions, TC Long will MC the show and Traylor Lenz will serve as the traffic controller at the gate. One of the biggest draws, Cummings said, will be that barrel racers will know when they’ll run, as Elite Barrel Racing Productions will stick with the WBR format of running 60-65 horses an hour. That format helps barrel racers to not have to sit around all day to wait to run. They will be able to plan, down to the exact hour, when they run, Cummings said.
The organization has set a goal of 1,200 entries in its first ever event. As the organization grows, it will be adding a few more events to its schedule and adding more and more money and sponsors. Hopefully, Elite Barrel Racing Productions will grow enough to put on events on the East Coast. (Editor’s note: I hope so too! It would be amazing to have a super show with this much added money in the Northeast.)
To enter the Classic Equine Big Cash Getaway, click here and fill out the online form!