Featured on the cover of Barrel Horse News’ December 1996 issue, the NBHA Open World Championships was recorded as the biggest barrel race in history (up to that point) with 2,221 entries and paying out $183,985.70. Prior to the championships, the record for the largest barrel race was set in June 1996 at the Drysdales Super Series, held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which boasted 2,148 entries.
Gina Young, Haughton, Louisiana, took the big money and the World Championship Open 1D title, setting an arena record along the way. The open 2D champion was Donnie Smith, Swords Creek, Virginia, while the 3D championship went to Charles Clark, Ochlockee, Georgia. Steve Truax, Egg Harbor, New Jersey, ran the fastest time in the youth, Jennifer Nelson, Alta, Iowa, took 2D, Kyla Craven topped the 3D. Arsene Tanguy topped the Senior 1D and became the first Canadian world champ in the NBHA. Butch Snyder took home the Senior 2D, and Matthews Lenox topped the 3D.The 1D Sweepstakes winner was Brett Monroe. Gwenn Wilds took home the Sweepstakes 2D title and Greg Adkins topped the 3D Sweepstakes.