The Better Barrel Races World Finals began April 20-24, 2016 with lots of fast pace action. A total of 1,788 contestants from across the nation met inside the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City for the World Finals Qualifying races and a shot at the $385,250 total payout. The qualifying rounds for the World Finals began Thursday, April 21, and have continued throughout the event until 300 of the fastest times meet, April 24 for the World Finals Short Go. From the field of 300 the top 50 will meet in the “Final Fifty” short round, which will determine the BBR World Finals champions. A champion in each of the five divisions will be crowned April 24 and the action promises to be top-notch.

            The qualifying rounds took place in two different arenas, Barn 6 and the Jim Norick Coliseum arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. After the qualifying rounds had concluded the leaders in each division from each race are listed below:

Race 1, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Coliseum:

1D: Rio Flaharty, The Wonder Bug, 15.209

2D: Mitzi Mayes, Fortunes Flame, 15.712

3D: Brandee Hawkins, Sundays First Bolt, 16.210

4D: Mary Grayson Martin, King Royal Jazamau, 16.709

5D: Lori Hearn, Frosted Champ, 17.213

Race 2, Barn 6:

1D: Marne Loosenort, Lovin Fame, 15.335

2D: Sissie Wherrell, Chasin Seattle Slew, 15.846

3D: Alexis Allen, Izzy, 16.337

4D: Stormie Shores, De Super Bug, 16.837

5D:Randelyn Roberts, Captain Blue Tilley, 17.336

BBR Futurity Slot Race and Futurity Champions

While champions still wait to be crowned, several have already been crowned this week. On April 22 the BBR World Finals Slot Race Champion was named after 30 barrel racers battled for their shot at the title. Chris Martin rode Jason Gunter’s 2012 buckskin stallion Frenchmans Perks to the title. Martin and the son of Frenchmans Guy out of Our Blue Velvet posted a smoking 15.646 to take the first place check, worth $15,050.

The duo qualified to the Futurity finals round, however had a little tough luck pulling down a barrel on the backside. Even though he’d wished for a better showing in the finals round, the Slot Race win is one for which the Brookston, Texas cowboy says he’s grateful and excited. Martin continued saying he felt “great” about the weekend and how Frenchmans Perks worked overall.

“I wish we could have won the round today (Futurity finals round),” Martin says with a laugh, “but he worked his butt off, he tried hard and I just rolled it over leaving it.”

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Chris Martin and Jason Gunter’s Frenchmans Perks. Photo by BHN Staff

Taking home the reserve title was Molli Montgomery aboard the 4-year-old sorrel stallion owned by Shoppa Ranch. Heavenly Firewater and Montgomery crossed the timer’s line in a 15.737 for reserve, worth $10,050. Bo Hill rode Buckwyld to the third place paycheck, worth $6,050. Marne Loosenort and VF Famous Duck earned $4,050 for their 15.761-second run. Filling the fifth place position was Janae Massey riding Famous Hayday to a 15.772 for $3,050.

The Futurity champion was determined after a clean-slate finals round held, April 23, when the top 30 were brought back from the original field of 122. Taking home the BBR Futurity Championship was Charlotte Edwards riding VF Famous Fooster for owners, Victory Farms. The 2012 bay gelding by Foose out of Victoria Hotpants, who is by Dash Ta Fame qualified for the finals with a solid run of 16.091. The duo from Santo, Texas however smoked the pattern in the finals round causing the crowd to join Edwards in cheers and applause when they turned in a 15.454. The fast time earned the championship title as well as the $6,242 first place paycheck.

“That horse is so fast, so smooth, so quick, he’s just a blessing,” Edwards says, going on to add that after a hiatus from barrel racing, the win is even more special. “Oh it’s just a blessing in disguise. My family’s here, my friends are here, everybody is behind me. It’s been so long since I’ve won anything or run I thought I was done. This is just crazy and amazing!”

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Charlotte Edwards took home the BBR Futurity Championship riding VF Famous Fooster. Photo by BHN Staff

Following in a tight second place was Kassie Mowry riding Epic Two KS with a 15.471, worth $5,086. Mowry also collected a fourth place win with So Epic when the Dublin, Texas cowgirl turned in a 15.562, worth $3,005. Marne Loosenort had another successful run aboard VF Famous Duck collecting the third place winnings worth $3,930 for a 15.538. Rounding out the top five was Molli Montgomery riding A Dash Ta Glamour with a 15.565 for $2,081.

Stay tuned for more highlights from the BBR World Finals Championships. For the full stories make sure to check out the June issue of Barrel Horse News.

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