By Shelby McCamey Photos by Fessler Photography
The Lucky Dog Productions paid out over $160,000 between the futurity, derby, averages, high money champions, fast time, side pots, and other payouts. In Texarkana, Arkansas, the conditions were a little less than desirable for the contestants, but that didn’t slow anyone down. Even though it was raining that weekend, one of the winners, Ari-Anna Flynn and her equine teammate, Tobys Poco Misterio, pulled through to place in both rounds and claim the 1D average with a 14.6495.
Flynn says her dad always told her, “You take advantage of the harsh weather, because everyone else’s mindset is going to be negative and then you can go in and beat them.”
“So that is what I have done ever since I was little,” Flynn said. “I put my happy face on and go on with my runs, and didn’t let it effect me.”
The last minute decision to haul “Toby” to the Lucky Dog paid off for Flynn. The plan was to run him there before she started hauling him to some of the upcoming rodeos to help gain confidence, as well as try a new hackamore and an OE Nutraceuticals supplement. Flynn came out of the arena with clean runs, which placed her in both rounds. She had no idea she was in the average nonetheless winning it.
“The average at first did not come to mind, I was just excited we had made two clean runs. I knew we were going to place and he did good,” Flynn said. “I looked back and someone else had outran me both days, so I was like OK. I was just happy that he had made two awesome, clean runs.”
Another person who didn’t let the weather stop him from bringing his A-game was James Barnes. Barnes aboard his 4-year-old mare, Wheres My Soxx, claimed the Barrel Futurities of America Futurity win. This was a memorable win for Barnes, because he had never won a futurity, “I have placed and been reserve before, but never a win.”
Just like Flynn, Barnes had no idea he was leading the average until he asked his friends who was leading the average. Their reply triggered Barnes’ anxiety and after every run he watched he became a little bit more nervous than before, but after the last horse crossed the timer’s line he could finally breath a sigh of relief.
“For the first time I became a champion at a futurity,” Barnes said.
Other winners include:
BFA Derby Champion: Marne Loosenort, VF A Famous Duck, $980
Overall High Money Champion: Marne Loosenort, $5,856
Youth High Money Champion: Julie Hill, $377
Adult High Money Champion: Kendal Owen, $567
Senior High Money Champion: Liz Hays, $335
5-Star Equine Fast Time: MaKenzie Mayes, Iceman, 14.601
Shelby McCamey is a senior at Tarleton State University and avid barrel racer. Email comments on this article to bhneditorial.com.