MR Productions’ very own Will Harrington and SR Epic Hail Mary cash out at the Fabulous $50,000 barrel race in Starkville, Mississippi. 


Composed of Wendy Reed and Andrew and Blair McClure, MR Productions originally began in 2019 with the intent to bring barrel races to the state of Georgia. As the industry evolved over the last several years, so has MR Productions — they expanded their scope to bring high-money events to barrel racers all over the Southeast region of the United States.

With four total races in 2023, the second stop of the The Fabulous $50,000 tour landed in Starkville, Mississippi, from March 10-11 and boasted an impressive $50,000 guaranteed payout to the Open. Alongside the sought-after high payout, the race also offered no late fees, no office fees, and no dress code — all components of a barrel race that MR Productions structured to accommodate contestants after competing at a high level of barrel racing themselves.

“As not only producers but also barrel racers ourselves, we wanted to create something that really makes it worth your while to come to one of our events,” Andrew McClure explained. 

The Vegas-themed barrel race represented an all-in, high-stakes race concept in which riders paid an affordable yet more expensive entry fee to run for the coveted guaranteed payout.

“Who doesn’t love Vegas?” Andrew remarked as he explained the races’ Vegas theme, which includes blackjack dealers at each race for organized card games with fake money, as barrel racers by nature seem to come by gambling not only entry fees, but chips, too.

Aside from being crucial members of MR Productions and producing the Fabulous

$50,000, the cards were in favor of Andrew and Blair McClure’s 14-year-old son, Will Harrington of Carrollton, Georgia. Harrington not only won the Youth and Open 1D on Saturday for $3,577 in just one run, but he also ran the fastest time of the weekend and left Starkville the highest-money earner of the event aboard his trustworthy mount SR Epic Hail Mary (Epic Leader x Insane For Fame  x Dash Ta Fame).

—> Read more: The Schiller Ranch and Insane For Fame Story

Will Harrington turns the first barrel on SR Epic Hail Mary at Starkville Fabulous $50000 barrel race
Will Harrington of Carrollton, Georgia, swept the Fabulous $50,000 barrel race in Starkville, Mississippi, aboard SR Epic Hail Mary (Epic Leader x Insane For Fame x Dash Ta Fame), bred by Schiller Ranch and owned by parents Andrew and Blair McClure. The duo turned in a 15.032 to run the fastest time of the weekend and win the Youth and Open 1D, leaving Starkville the richest barrel racer of the Fabulous $50,000. Photo by T&Z Photography

The 2015 mare, owned by his parents and bred by Schiller Ranch, was trained by Kelsey Treharne and seasoned by Chloe Gray before teaming up with Harrington in the arena.

—> Watch: Kelsey (Lutjen) Treharne Training Video Series

Harrington, who has only been barrel racing for two short years, is a testament of someone who has come a long way in a short amount of time. With multiple National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Championship Show 1D qualifications and numerous top-five placings at barrel races, Harrington has proven that at just 14 years old, he can compete with some of the best in the business.

“On Friday night, ‘Mary’ and Will actually turned the first barrel too sharp and ended up turning on the same side of the barrel, resulting in a no-time,” McClure said as he explained that as parents, they do not put pressure on Will in the arena. “Will had his head hung low after his run Friday night, because his grandparents had flown in from Wyoming to watch him run. He really wanted to win that barrel race so he could get a big check and have his win picture taken with his grandpa.”

However, the no-time proved to be no match for Will and Mary, who played their cards right and returned to the arena Saturday with a vengeance to redeem themselves by stopping the clock with the fastest time of the weekend, an 15.032.

“We call Will’s grandparents his good luck charm,” McClure said.

McClure feels one of the main reasons Harrington has had so much success at a young age in a short amount of time is the lack of pressure to perform to a certain standard in the arena. 

“It has to be his idea for him to perform to the best of his capability. We love to watch him win, but we really want this to be fun for him,” McClure said.

Harrington is home schooled, allowing him more time with the horses and on the road competing at the barrel races. 

“He has several friends we stall with the families of at the barrel races,” McClure said as he reiterated the importance of youth competitors having fun and enjoying their time at races. “Will also does all of the riding and tuning on his horses and a vast majority of the caretaking. He spends a lot of time with the horses that way.”

Aside from competing in the arena at the Fabulous $50,000, Harrington also helps out with any other tasks needed at the races. From taking times with the announcer to setting barrels, Harrington has proven his appreciation for the production of the barrel races. 

“Most of the time, he gets his horses ready to run himself. I don’t have to worry about him skipping any steps, because he never does,” McClure added.

—> Read more: Advice for Youth Barrel Racers and Parents of Youth Barrel Racers

Reflecting on the iconic weekend in Starkville, McClure showed utmost appreciation to contestants for supporting and attending the event.

“Not only was the Fabulous $50,000 show successful, but it was even more rewarding to watch Will be successful in the arena too,” McClure said.

Harrington thanks his sponsors, Master Saddles and Compete Equine Performance, for the products that help him and his horses perform to their very best.

Starkville Fabulous $50,000 Barrel Race Saturday Results:

1D: Will Harrington on SR Epic Hail Mary, 15.032, $3,185

2D: Cyrilla Jumper on Firen Frost, 15.537, $2,730

3D: Kaylin Stevens on PQH Peppy Parker, 16.032, $1,820

4D: Sandy Smith on Margie, 17.079, $1,365 Photo

Find more results and info here.

Author

Morgan Anderson is a professional futurity barrel horse trainer and contributor to Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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