On the Road with Dawn and Clea from NBHA Supershow in Gifford, Ill.

May  26 – 29, 2011 Gifford Illinois NBHA SUPERSHOW

Well Chels,Thursday morning and we are ready to roll. I was in the
 office a lot this week so Clea got the majority of things gathered
 and ready to go. We are all packed. The horses and the little tramp 
Kisses and her man Cletus along with the one-eyed-wonder Stuckaroo are 

So we roll on out the drive trying to think if we forgot anything all
 is good and we are off.  We actually leave on time this trip, not the
 norm, we are on the 270 loop in Columbus and all of a sudden this
crazy lady comes up beside the drivers side of the truck then gets in
 front of us waving her arm out the window like a loon. We were both
like what the &@$!  Then she gets to the passengers side and gives us
 the hang-10 Hawaii sign….. Low and behold it is Terri Phillips.
 Betty lays on the horn and I hang 10 her back.  Good way to start the

Scott and Renae are checking in on us from time to time to give us a traffic update.  We hit Indianapolis knowing we want to get from 70 to 465 north to 65 north to 74 west then we are home free for traffic. Yeahhhh not so much. You can take 70 to 465 no problem but 65 north can not be entered directly from 465.  Now if you follow the directions you were given by Google Maps and get off of 465 take 38th Street to then you can get 65 north.

Yep you guest it. We did not take 38th street the thought process was, “Hell No we are not taking this big rig on a side street.” So assessing the situation CB Sally I used a southern voice too…takes over grabs the mike and breaker 19 the good buddies and found out …. maybe it would have been OK to take the side street but we did find another way around with the help of a very nice driver.  Thank you Subaru driver.

So we are on 74 west hauling butt to Gifford by way of state route 32.  If you ever find yourself in the area SR 32 is a nice road for a big rig.

So we make it to the show (in the middle of no where) and step out of
the truck in our short sleeve shirts and it is freezing – of course we
 knew this as we watched the temperature drop 16 degrees during the trip
but yet acted like we were totally surprised as we climbed out of the
truck…..Hello Frisco!!

Stalls are gotten, horses unloaded, water, and hayed and we look for a 
place to park. Our initial thought is up on the hill out of all the 
traffic as the kiddos would be happier, however we take a tour around
 to see if there are any better spots and end up back where we were.
 No Baby Jesus Prayer needed for this parking job. We square up unhook
and are set for the show. Exhibition awaits. We give the horses a 
break after a long trip and then to the exbo pen we go.

Along the way to the exbo pen we see Ellen McKee.  She is looking so
great.  We have not seen her for about a year and although we stay in
touch via Facebook and email here and there it is always a blessing to
see her. Max was not with her this trip he was a little under the
 weather – We missed him greatly – Cara Kaufman was Ellen’s sidekick 
for this weekend. Cara was riding her new horse Stroker, which happens 
to be Max’s old horse that Cara now has the privilege of owning. Let 
us tell you Max would have been proud of Cara. She had 2 smokin runs.
 Her first one was her FIRST one on Stroker since she bought him. Her 
second one was even faster and man she was flyin’ and she will only get 
faster. CONGRATS CARA!!  Now don’t think for one minute Ellen was 
left in the dust – her Playgirl horse was just as impressive. Every run
 she made was impressive and always a memory for people to smile about.
 Max would have been proud to see it all but we are sure that he was 
smiling when Ellen called to tell him about the great runs.

We also loved to see Ellen helping Mary Francis Gorsuch with the Big
Grey Boy that she bought off the McKees last year. You could hear 
Ellen yelling as Mary Francis came in to run her run. I always knew 
the type of person Ellen was and personally think that if you know her
 you know someone special. We could hear the “want to” in her voice
for Mary she just wanted her to do great. By the end of the weekend
 she did just that! Mary Francis and the grey will be names for the
record books in the future.  You better look out though Mary Francis 
Gorsuch as Cara Kaufman will be right on your tail with another 
phenomenal horse that the McKee’s put out!

We head out to dinner with Robbin Selway and the Hefners. We went to
 the Longbranch – good food great juke box and a nice place. Then we head
 back to the trailer as there is an early start on Saturday at 8 a.m.! 
Clea is up early on Shawnee and I am right behind her on Chili so we 
hit the hay early and get ready for what we hope will be great runs
 and some money to take home. So we had really nice 
runs……………….enough on that subject!

Speaking of Robbin Selway – Let us tell you a story… Ok
 so we are in the alley way of our stalls, which is where Robbin 
happened to be stalled as well, and Clea is at the end of the isle way 
looking at the runs on the iPad2. Robbin walks over and starts to chit
chat about the iPad and about when she is up. (She says number 33)
 Clea is 30 so all is good they are on draw 99 (reverse order) and I am
 getting legs wrapped on Chili when Robbin walks by and says I better
 get my boots on my horse. I say, “Ride hard woman!  Keep em up.”

I walk down to talk to Clea and I see Robin get her boots out of her
bag as I hear, “And on deck we have a rider all the way from New
 Philadelphia Not Old Philadelphia Robbin Selway.” 
I raise my eyebrow at Clea and say, “Did they just say Robbins name?” She says, “I think so we better check.” 
I fly by her stall and say “What number are you?” She says, “I thought 
33 but I don’t know this whole reverse order confuses me.” 
We hear her name again, 
Clea helps Robbin, grabs her bridle. which is tied with binder twine so 
Clea can not get it untied quick and Robbin finishes putting on the 
boots. I scale the warm up pen running (not pretty I might add) to the
 holding pen where you HAVE to check in (they call you 3 times in about 
10 sec then you are a scratch).

I say – out of breath – “When is Robbin Selway in?” He says, “NEXT,”  as
the horse in front of her just ran up the shoot. 
I say “She is here she is coming!!” Again out of breath!
 He says, “Where is she?” 
I say “Right around the corner she will be here!”  Yeah ok “Right
around the corner” my arse she is a football field away.
 I run out back to the warm up pen fence climb it and yell “Get on 
woman you are next!”
 Clea is putting the bridle on walking down the alley way while Robbin is 
getting on her horse. Clea throws the reins to her as she turns into 
the warm up pen which you have to go through to get to the holding
I run back to the holding pen as they say “Next to Run Robbin Selway.”
 I say “She is here she is here!!!” Clea meets up with me
, Robbin comes running through the warm up pen (that was her warm up for
 her horse) and hits the alley way running. 
Clea and I are yelling and out of breath at the same time……
Robbin comes out smiling she has a clean run and one that got her back
to the finals!!  WAY TO GO ROBBIN
! Clea and I have to get Oxygen!

Word for the weekend

Snake Nuts.  Yes that is right Snake Nuts.  This was something new to 
the two of us…. we did learn alot however.

So after a long day of runs, a great afternoon nap – you know when the
 air is cool, the windows are open, the tv is going with a movie you 
have seen a million times and can resight every line in the movie (10
10 I give that a 10) and you have a little polar fleece blanket 
wrapped around you… ooooo I dozed off a little…. – and watching all the 
gang from Ohio and a few new ones we met there make their runs we
 were hungry and headed out to get a bite to eat at the local 
establishment.  That was called “The Oasis” Scotty Too Hotty our food
 critic said that they had an awesome breakfast and of course we always 
know he would not steer us wrong.

So about 5 miles from the show that was in the middle nowhere there was the
 Oasis yet again in the middle of nowhere. We pull in driving the 
Pete and park right out front.  Clea and I look at each other and 
think… Is this a Strip Club??  Not knowing for sure of course we g o
right in. Not a strip club, but it was an educational place of 

5 Top Things We Learned at the Oasis:

1. They stop serving food at 9 p.m. and if you think that you were going 
to ask the cook to whip something up once you saw him you would only 
be thinking of the cook in “Road Trip” and the french toast scene. Then
you would think, “Hell I ain’t that hungry.”

2. They have a Karaoke DJ on Friday night and there only has to be 5 
people in the bar for it to be a crowd

3. The bartender who’s name is Mandy just got a divorce and she has 
some money from a settlement (I needed her attorney.) and she though t
maybe she would buy the Oasis and turn it in a Strip Club. (See that is 
what it looked like!)

4. When the clock strikes 10 p.m. the place starts to fill up with the 
locals and they are not shy!

5. When the DJ places SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS you better get your drink on 
because Mandy is gonna serve you Snake Nuts. Yes again that is right
 “Snake Nuts.”

Snake nuts is a mix of Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, 
Triple Sec, Grenadine and Orange Juice.  Mix in a shaker cup with ice
and pour the shots!  Oh my are they good.  After about the 6th one you
are thinking “Do snakes even have nuts?” (Editor’s note: Chelsea is gagging while reading this after a rough night of drinking a few weeks ago.)

Our new found friends at The Oasis in Gifford, Ill. were Marcy, her 
daughter Hannah her fiance Ryan. Marcy’s best friend Gina (who could
 whoooop someone’s ass – any one’s ass) her husband Jerry (who Gina
 offered out for the evening to anyone who would take him – 
unfortunately for Gina no one did!) and then there was Brittney. 
Brittney said to Clea as she takes a long drawn hit from her cigarette
blows the smoke in the air “You look like Gretchen Wilson.” Clea 
replies, “I get that all the time.” –  Of course no one has ever told her 
that – Brittney laughs, “Really Ooooh man that’s cool, what are you two 
doing here?” Clea replys, “I’m here for the party!” We laugh hysterically
, Brittney does not get the reference to the song. Hello Brittney have
 another snake nut!

The song “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green came on and the place went crazy
 and needless to say it was not the clean version. We of course never
heard the clean song or the “bad” version, we do however know it now.
And let us tell you when Gina from Illinois says, “Girls sing with us!” You sing with Gina!

So we sing and dance a little and we get out of The Oasis with out any
 issue and back to the trailer for another round of barrel racing in 
hopes to make the finals with our Saturday runs!  Again there is that 
HOPE word!

We did end up going back Saturday night for dinner with The Hefners,
Robbin and Becky Dixon.  Those gals are a hoot!  We had a great time
and the BEST PRIME RIB we have every had. Hats off to The Oasis!

Eye Catcher of the Week

Boy there were so many.  We would have to say Mary Francis Gorsuch 
would be the one to watch on her grey horse.  We all know that they 
both have the ability to win and once they come together as a
 team… We think that they will be the ones that will definitely 
catch your eye.

The Review

Competition was amazing!  Lord there were a ton of talented riders 
there. There were a lot of talented tough Ohioians there. All of us 
ran very well. Hannah Shirey made her Dad and Jenna proud as 
well as Regan and Morgan Henning brought smiles to Joel and Bobbies’ 
faces.  Renee Hefner was winning the Open on Saturday with a smokin’
run on Obie.  She came out of the arena with a tear in her eye a high-
five from me, and Scott couldn’t stop hugging Clea!  Good Lord it was
 exciting. Robbin and Becky had some fantastic runs that got both of
 them into the finals. Everyone knows when you go to the BIG show you
 better bring your best and give it your all! I think everyone did
just that.

Trevor Pruitt was the top dog for the weekend. He jetted in there
like a rocket on every run with his family cheering him on and coming 
out a winner each time. It was fantastic to watch. We had the chance 
to meet his family and they are wonderful people. His little sister 
is a hoot and his grandmother, well you just have to hug her when you
 meet her. Congrats to the Pruitt family on a very successful weekend.

With 489 entries in the Open the Winners of the big money can be found
 at http://nbha.com/shows/national/2011_shows/greatlakes/results/openfinals.shtml

The ground was safe and very consistent.  The NBHA boys know who to
 work the ground and keep if fast and safe.

The show moved along quickly and was well organized. Lord they roll
 through the horses.  They had 3 tractors, ran the drags every 5 horses
 and big drag every 50 horses.  The big drags took maybe 10 mins – 
Like the Stanley Steamer commercial guy says……”It was awesome”

The food – They had 3 ladies in the kitchen cooking up hamburgers that
were to die for…. and fries that would beat McDonald’s hands down.
But The Oasis is where the food was great!

Lots of vendors and good things to look at. They had giveaways and
 over all a variety of great items.

Gordyville is an awesome place for a show all stalls are under one 
roof – like Cloverdale – the only thing we did not care for is that 
you stall on concrete but with enough shavings there is not a problem.
 Our horses did well. Large inside warm up pen, lot of places to ride
, good parking. All in all a great place to run cans. More info go to 

We had 8 runs 3 knocks KC Jane was 4 out of the finals. She had room 
for improvement and had I checked her at the first on that run 
probably would have been in but that is how it rolls sometimes. We
 can not fault any of the horses they were all working great and did
 their job! Clea and Shawnee had beautiful runs. I knocked on Chili 
both goes – I was at least consistent. Channing was all jacked up on
 Mt. Dew but worked good.  No money no checks :(((  But a heck of alot
of fun!


This was a great weekend to remember all who have served our country
and we are so proud to be living in the USA. Please remember not just 
on Memorial Day but everyday we are blessed. Remember Thank A Vet!

If you need a little reminder about this holiday read on at 

Now for Your Input

What are your thoughts on the question below?  Please comment on the 
blog below.  Your input is important to us!

When you have to stall concrete floors to stall how many bags of
shavings would you use? Do you do anything special for your horse if
stalled on concrete?

We are off to 4T in Ashville, Ohio to run against that Justin T…  See ya down the road. (We’ll post the show bill for that later today!!)

Until then “Get your pet Spayed or Neutered”
 Clea & Dawn


8 thoughts on “On the Road with Dawn and Clea from NBHA Supershow in Gifford, Ill.

  1. Whenever we went there, I think we used four bags or so unless you got lucky and got a stall in the warmmup arena on the sand.

  2. WOW Def LAUGHING OUT LOUD AT THIS ONE!!! Clea & Dawn you two are great!! NExt show i best be getting a taste of “snake nuts” =)

  3. Snake nuts, I’m gonna have to you that one as a special next week at work!! Sounds great!! Love reading your blog!!

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  6. Pingback: The McKee’s: Barrel Racing’s Super Couple | The Barrel Racing Blog

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