The Cowgirl Tuff Barrel Bash returned to Columbia, Mo., for the first time in eight months Nov. 27-29 for the 15th and final race of the season. Boone County Fairgrounds was packed with more than 1,100 entries each racing for a share of the more than $63,000 purse. With big cash prizes on the line in the Open, as well as an $18,500 slot race purse, and year-end bonuses for the top money winners in each D during the season, tension was high, but so were the competitor’s spirits.
The Big Winner
Wendy Chambers proved that you don’t have to win a championship to have a great time at a barrel race. The Fort Lupton, Colo., resident and 16-year-old Twice The Lace lived at the top of the Open 1D standings all weekend. She and her chestnut mare by Twice As Strong and out of Easy Lace got faster as they ran, placing fifth in the 1D on Friday with a 14.745, taking Saturday’s reserve title with a 14.455, and placing third in the 1D on Sunday with a time of 14.447. The only team to place in the 1D in all three rounds, the duo earned an impressive $2,197. Chambers earned an additional $1,188 for a 2D championship win on Sunday with MP Bugs Of Hay and an eighth place 1D finish on Saturday aboard WK Frenchmans Mocha.
The Slot Pays Off
The only team to win more money in Columbia than Chambers and Twice The Lace was Stefanie Frei and All Legs N Diamonds. The duo outran 19 other teams in the $18,500 Sho Me Futurity Slot Race, to win the $7,000 top prize.
Frei and her 4-year-old chestnut gelding by Nik Dell and out of One Dancing Diamond ran the pattern in 14.462 seconds, topping reserve champions Chris Coffey and Streaking Mighty Six by more than seven hundredths of a second.
Coffey and his horse earned $4,000 for their 14.534-second run, while third place finishers Johna Ryan and Bad Moon Rison took home $3,500 for their run of 14.679. Three Smashed Bugs carried Kim Ferguson to a $2,500 payday in just 14.780 seconds, and Amy Schimke piloted Firewater Finale to a $1,500 fifth place finish of 14.866.
The Open Races
Madison Montchal and Playing With Effort lead the way in Friday’s Open race. Montchal and her 9-year-old bay gelding by Special Effort and out of Playing With Cash outran reserve champions Leeanna Meador and Ice Native by two hundredths of a second to win the 1D championship and a check for $723. Chloe Fruth and Cashyerchexatthebar took third place with a run of 14.700 seconds, while Caitlin Benjamin and Frenchmans Lil Lady came in fourth with a 14.735. Chambers and Twice The Lace rounded out the top five.
Chelsea Buckingham and Stylen With Ease won a close race for the 2D championship, edging reserve champions Aaron Calvert and Colorado Stray by just one thousandth of a second. Eddie W Goldseeker carried Kevin Hebenstreit to the 3D title with a run of 15.656 seconds, and Katie Soukup-Shen jockeyed her unregistered horse, Jakers, to the 4D title.
Saturday saw more than two full tenths shaved off the top Open time from Friday, as Ty Marks and Passem Up Bubblin rocketed to the top of the 1D standings. The 4-year-old sorrel gelding ran the pattern in 14.413 seconds to top reserve winners Chambers and Twice The lace by four hundredths of a second and earn the $1,312 first-place prize. Youth rider CeCe Chapman and Going In The Red placed third in the 1D with a run of 14.524, with Coffey and Streaking Mighty Six taking fourth with a 14.534 and Pete Oen and Flitter On Fire claiming fifth place with a time of 14.541.
Bailey Fugate and her unregistered horse, Revenue, won the 2D, and a $1,124 check, with a 14.947-second run, while Stacy Eaker and No Ordinary Tiser claimed the 3D crown with a 15.413. MM Gunslinger fired around the barrels in 15.923 seconds to give Charles Reynolds the 4D championship.
It took the fastest time of the weekend to win Sunday’s 1D championship, and Centerville, Iowa’s, Jordon Talbot and Kitaman Sam proved they had what it took to secure the win. Talbot and her 13-year-old chestnut gelding by Sail Win Sam and out of the Kitaman mare, Kitatwist Miss, laid down a smoking run of 14.401 to best reserve winners Robin Beck and Teeitupintheshade by almost three hundredths of a second. Chambers and Twice The Lace finished in third, with Rachael Reichenberg and Real Special Dash taking fourth with a 14.524 and Caitlin Benjamin guiding Frenchmans Lil Lady to fifth place in 14.552 seconds.
Chambers and MP Bugs Of Hay won the 2D title, while Cassidy Webster and Rick Rack Hancock grabbed the 3D win with a run of 15.418. Cathy Pepper and Dinky Honor claimed the final Open championship of the weekend, with a run of 15.901 to take the 4D championship.
Cowgirl Tuff Barrel Bash Finals
When: Nov. 27-29, 2009
Where: Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia, Mo.
Total Payout: $63,146
Winners: Friday: 1D) Madison Montchal/ Playing With Effort/ 14.648/ $723; 2D) Chelsea Buckingham/ Stylen With Ease/ 15.172/ $620; 3D) Kevin Hebenstreit/ Eddie W Goldseeker/ 15.656/ $413; 4D) Katie Soukup-Shen/ Jakers (NR)/ 16.155/ $310.
Saturday: 1D) Ty Marks/ Passem Up Bubblin/ 14.413/ $1,312; 2D) Bailey Fugate/ Revenue (NR)/ 14.947/ $1,124; 3D) Stacy Eaker/ No Ordinary Tiser/ 15.413/ $749; 4D) Charles Reynolds/ MM Gunslinger/ 15.923/ $562.
Sunday: 1D) Jordon Talbot/ Kitaman Sam/ 14.401/ $1,080; 2D) Wendy Chambers/ MP Bugs Of Hay/ Cassidy Webster/ Rick Rack Hancock/ 15.418/ $617; 4D) Cathy Pepper/ Dinky Honor/ 15.901/ $463.
Youth: 1D) CeCe Chapman/ Going In The Red/ 14.524/ $205; 2D) MacKenzie Buechter/ Brak (NR)/ 15.538/ $123; 3D) Jennifer Mudd/ Reed (NR)/ 16.526/ $82.
Slot Race: 1) Stefanie Frei/ All Legs N Diamonds/ 14.462/ $7,000; 2) Chris Coffey/ Streaking Mighty Six/ 14.534/ $4,000; 30 Johna Ryan/ Bad Moon Rison/ 14.679/ $3,500; 4) Kim Ferguson/ Three Smashed Bugs/ 14.780/ $2,500; 5) Amy Schimke/ Firewater Finale/ 14.866/ $1,500.
Big Winners Get Richer
Double B Productions presented $1,000 bonus checks to the top money winners in the each division of the final standings of the Cowgirl Tuff Barrel Bash season.
Division/Name Division Earnings
1D—Wendy Chambers $8,900
2D—Chelsea Buckingham $4,073
3D—Kaylee Menn $2,431
4D—Charles Reynolds $892
Michael Mahaffey is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. E-mail comments on this article to [email protected].