By Bonnie Wheatley

In the interest of leveling the playing field, so to speak, this year, we decided it would be appropriate to add another twist to this youth spotlight section by breaking out the Top 5 Under 10.

It goes without saying that some of the younger children nominated haven’t run barrels for nearly as many years as some of the seasoned teen competitors, so this year, the 10 and unders have their own category. That said, meet this year’s Top 5 Under 10! We expect to watch their talent soar for many years to come.

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Kylar Terlip and Fire Powered Jet. (photo by Pixel Worx)

NAME: Kylar Terlip
AGE: 10
HOMETOWN: Frontenac, Kan.
MAIN HORSE: Fire Powered Jet
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Kylar’s resume rivals that of many barrel racers two and three times her age—Junior division average champion at the WPRA World Finals, currently third in the 2011 WPRA Junior Division Standings, Open 1D Reserve Champion 2010 OKC Summer Shootout, third 2011 Champion of Champions Open Slot Race.
WINNING TRAITS: Kylar’s dream horse, Fire Powered Jet, was purchased on July 25, 2010, so all of their accomplishments have been since August of that year. The dynamic pair are always a threat at the Open 1D level at local and regional races. Not only is Kylar’s name consistently seen in BHN, the BHN Rodeo Insider, and BarrelHorseNews.com, she has appeared on RFD TV’s “Women’s Pro Rodeo Today” show.

NAME: Lucchesse Tobias
AGE: 8
HOMETOWN: Nacogdoches, Texas
MAIN HORSE: Watch Texas
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 2010 Elite Productions 2x Young Gun champion, 2010 NBHA Holiday Classic Youth 2D and Open 2D, 2010 Josey Jr. World Finalist, 2010 in her Texas NBHA district finished in the Top 5 of the Youth and the Open 1D.
WINNING TRAITS:  In 2008, Luccesse won her NBHA district’s 4D Youth championship at age 5. At 6, she qualified for the NBHA Youth World Show in Jackson, Miss. When her number one horse “Charo,” suffered a severe bout of colic, and the vets advised putting her down, Lucchesse helped nurse her back to health. Following months of painstaking rehab, Lucchesse and Charo placed ninth in the 1D at the 2010 NBHA Youth World Championship Show in Jackson.  At 8 years old and 55 pounds, she is a great sportsman who tries her best every run.

NAME: Hayley McNeil
AGE: 10
HOMETOWN: Peralta, N.M.

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Hayley and Payton McNeil. (photo courtesy the McNeil family)

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Consistent wins in the Youth 1D and Open 1D at the NBHA New Mexico state and district level. NBHA District 2 year end Youth 1D title in 2010, San Juan County Jr/Sr Rodeo Association Series All Around Champion in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Numerous All Around titles in several New Mexico youth associations.
WINNING TRAITS: In 2010, at the age of 9, this 4th grader became the youngest person to win the New Mexico Rodeo Association Rookie of the Year title in barrel racing, competing against adults. She also won the Incentive Year End saddle. The 2011 rodeo season has just begun for Hayley. She had attended one rodeo as of press time, where she placed third in NMRA competition.

NAME: Payton McNeil
AGE: 8
HOMETOWN: Peralta, N.M.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In 2010 Payton, won the Youth 2D year end title in NBHA District 2 and also won the All Around saddle in for her age group in the San Juan Country Jr/Sr Rodeo Association. She won the All Around saddle in the Alamogordo Jr. Rodeo Association series, and in 2009, she earned the All Around for her age group in the Cibola County Jr. Rodeo Association series and earned the Grants Wild West Days Jr. Rodeo All Around saddle.
WINNING TRAITS: Payton kicked off the 2011 NMRA season by finishing second in the Incentive barrels competing against adults. Payton has won many buckles and individual all-around and event titles at numerous youth rodeos throughout New Mexico. She and her sister, Hayley, were nominated by their grandmother who says, “I have been blessed with wonderful granddaughters, and I am probably the most excited for the weekends to arrive, so we can all go to another rodeo or barrel race.”

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Regan Henning and Story Tellen Flower. (photo by Kirkbride Photography)

NAME: Regan Henning
AGE: 9
HOMETOWN: Roseville, Ohio
MAIN HORSES: Vote For Chicks and Story Tellen Flower
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 2010 Congress Sweepstakes Champion and Youth Barrels 13 & under Champion.
WINNING TRAITS: A typical week for Regan includes riding Monday through Thursday, taking Friday off, competing on Saturday and resting on Sunday. She and her sister ride two to three times a week all winter. When Regan steps on her mounts, there is no mistaking this girl is ready to win. The night before winning the 2010 Congress Sweepstakes Regan stated, “I’m going to run a 14, and as a matter-of-fact, a 14 lower than my round time.” And that she did. She may be small, but she is mighty! Prior to the 2010 Congress, Regan battled some very costly hit barrels at the NBHA Colonial National, All American Youth and NBHA Youth World. Regan stepped up to the plate and fixed the problem and has had it fixed ever since.

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