By Blanche Schaefer

April 30, 2017 Molly Childers webMolly Childers and Just My Choice win the 2017 Better Barrel Races World Finals. Photo by Pixelworx

Oklahoma City — Despite city-wide power outages after a storm rampaged Oklahoma City on April 28, delaying competition at the BBR World Finals by a whole day, Molly Childers and Just My Choice couldn’t be stopped in their quest for the BBR world title. Childers and Just My Choice (SR Instant Choice x Rose Red 072, Justa Swinging Peppy) clocked a 15.529 in Race 1 for 15th in the 1D, worth $1,419. The duo’s 15.385 in Race 2 earned second place in the 1D for $5,394. The times added for a winning aggregate of 30.914.

“We’ve struggled with being inconsistent the last year, and I’ve been working on getting him more consistent,” Childers said. “[In Race 1], he came off the top of the hill, and I thought we were going a tick too fast. I thought he was going to get by the first, but it was really smooth. I was surprised we ran the 15.3, because it didn’t feel that fast. He was efficient and didn’t waste time. He loves the Coliseum so [in Race 2], I was just trying to stay clean. I got by the first barrel a little bit and got behind, because he snapped back really hard and took off. When he came off the second barrel, I was literally kissing his neck I was so far behind. I ran the 15.5 and thought that was pretty solid. I was happy with the consistency.”

With no electricity at the fairgrounds all day April 29 following damaging winds and severe thunderstorms, BBR competition was delayed a full 24 hours, forcing the BBR producers to alter the way champions are determined. Rather than running a short go Sunday to determine the BBR world champions, the BBR used an aggregate format. The fastest times run in Race 1 and Race 2 were combined to form the ‘ideal’ division-setting time. Whichever barrel racer’s actual aggregate time fell closest to the ideal won the division and the world championship. The money originally destined for the short-go payout was re-allocated 50/50 to Races 1 and 2.

Childers says “Ozzy’s” experience as a rodeo horse had him well-prepared for unexpected circumstances in Oklahoma City.

“That’s an advantage we had rodeoing—we just take it as it comes,” Childers said. “I’m thankful and grateful to have the opportunity. The BBR is a great organization for the opportunities they give all levels of riders, and especially for someone like myself who works full time. I thank my family and friends for all their support, always encouraging and pushing to keep going and reassure you that you’re doing a good job. Thanks to Erica Hanna, DVM, at Hanna Equine in Atoka, Oklahoma. She goes above and beyond to make sure my horses are feeling their best.”

KarlieHerron2D IMG 46462017 BBR 2D World Finals Champion Karlie Herron. BHN file photoIn the 2D, 15-year-old Karlie Herron of Brandon, Mississippi, and Shootntothemoon (Manetspeedntothemoon x Miss Merry Bar Cash, Country Farmer) claimed the world title with an aggregate of 31.623. Herron says her week at the BBR was the first time she truly clicked with 9-year-old “Shooter” on the barrel pattern after difficulty getting with him after purchasing him a year ago.

“This is the first time we really clicked on all of our turns. You’ve got to get your hands right, and you can’t get in his mouth. He’s been at my trainer Ronny Craig’s for the past two weeks, so this is only my third time on him since then,” Herron said. “We did really good on our turns, and he came in and got the 2D. We were actually at Old Chicago eating pizza, so I really didn’t know until we got back. I didn’t think he’d be the first horse to win me a saddle, by any means. It wasn’t easy. It just goes to show my hard work has finally paid off.”MargoThomas4D IMG 46452017 BBR 4D World Finals Champion Margo Thomas. BHN file photo

Third division champion Barbara Boyer of Purcell, Oklahoma, and Here Comes Da Sun posted a division-winning aggregate of 32.617. The 2011 mare is by MP Jet To The Sun and out of Sugar Da Fame by Dash Ta Fame.

“She’s running to get confidence, and we were really proud of her,” Boyer said. “She made two very confident and solid runs, and she’s improving all the time. She’s been pretty easy. I just fell in love with her the minute I got on her.”

Margo Thomas of Bogue Chitto, Mississippi, earned the 4D world championship with an aggregate of 33.615 aboard JW Panama Bug (Panama Edition x A Lady On Deck, Sword Packer). Though Thomas says she would change some little things about her runs that cost some time, she says she couldn’t be more pleased with her 8-year-old gelding’s efforts at the BBR, especially after struggling with the first turn at last year’s BBR World Finals.

“He’s very strong and hard to ride, but everything seemed to come out right this weekend,” Thomas said. “We stayed safe, we kept barrels up, and that’s all I can ask for. I had no idea I even placed in this. [The announcer] said my name, and I was in total shock. Even though it’s the 4D, this is probably the biggest race I’ve ever been and placed in and won a division. It all happens for a reason.”

Ladies Bird carried Durant, Oklahoma, barrel racer Marci Jackson to the 5D title with an aggregate of 34.621, totaling $3,643 in earnings for winning the 5D in Race 1 and placing third in the division in Race 2. The BBR World Finals was the first major race for the 6-year-old mare by Laicos Ladiesman.

“This was our first big event—she was insecure and didn’t run in there very hard. She’s got her barrels down, she just needs more confidence. I was tickled to death to win a saddle on a green horse,” Jackson said. “She’s never been anywhere, so she wouldn’t even step on the paint markers on the cement or the lines in the parking lot and curbs. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

BBR World Finals Futurity SharinHallfut IMG 4641Sharin Hall and Dreaming Of Foose win the 2017 Better Barrel Races World Finals Futurity. BHN file photo

Sharin Hall jockeyed standout futurity mount Dreaming Of Foose (Foose x Hawks Dream Girl, Hawkinson) to the BBR World Finals Futurity Championship with two ultra-consistent times of 15.704 and 15.708, averaging to 31.412. Hall earned $3,954 for the win, plus $2,341 for second place in the first go and $2,965 for winning the second go. Hall and “Cali” bagged their fourth futurity championship of the year with the BBR victory.

“The first run, I just wanted to be smooth and solid, and she just shut the clock off. My second run, I was focused on being clean. She was tighter on her barrels, and she came back and still ran a .70, so I’m just very blessed and thankful,” Hall said. “This is actually her fourth win for a title this year. I really feel like she’s a gift from God, and I’m lucky enough to own her and ride her. She’s really special and has a lot of heart.”

2017 Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic futurity champions Pete Oen and Guys Dashing Jet (Frenchmans Guy x Perks Dashing Jet, Dash For Perks), owned by Cathy Geary, took home the BBR reserve futurity title with an average of 31.553, worth $3,122. Oen attributes much of Guys Dashing Jet’s success to her consistency, quiet mind and desire to please.

“Besides the second go at the Diamonds and Dirt, [the second go of the BBR futurity] is probably the best or second-best run she’s ever made. She’s an honest mare that tries every time you run her,” Oen said. “I’m just proud of her more than anything. It’s really hard to get a solid, consistent, honest good one. It’s the elite 5 percent of horses that are barrel racing are those special horses, and I really believe she is a special horse.”

BBR World Finals Invitational Shootouts

In addition, the BBR crowned Invitational Shootout Champions in an exciting shootout-style race open to competitors who qualified for the short go last year at the BBR World Finals and posted a time within the division they qualified. Chayni Chamberlain and Dat Flowin Bunny utlimately walked away with the 1D Invitational Shootout title after besting friend and fellow competitor Dally Parker and SR My Lucky Charm by a mere thousandth of a second.

“It was ‘Flow Jo’s’ usual run he always makes, and he did his job and is just amazing to be on. He’s blessed me with all he’s got,” Chamberlain said. “I was just flattered [to hear my time]. Last year, he did a good job but didn’t fire as hard as he did tonight. I was so thankful for the run I had, and I’m just trying to keep this up.”

1D Invitational Shootout
Chaynisaddle IMG 4648Chayni Chamberlain of Stephenville, Texas, won the 2017 BBR 1D Invitational Shootout and Race 1. BHN file photo1. Chayni Chamberlain, Dat Flowin Bunny, 15.562, $3,400
2. Dally Parker, SR My Lucky Charm, 15.563, $2,100
3. Kyra Stierwalt, SO Perksamericanrose, 15.616, $1000.00
3 Marne Loosenort, Lovin Fame, 15.616, $1000.00

2D Invitational Shootout
1. Becki Mask, Little Power Proof, 15.418, $4500.00
2. Kathy Lisenbee, Perks Of Grace, 15.451, $2700.00
3. Jessica Wykert, Cinchy Frenchman, 15.489, $1800.00
4. Brade Rutledge, Miss Non Stop Fire, 15.506, $900.00
5. Jackie Jatzlau, Si Can Too, 15.567, $650.00
6. Patton Ann Lynch, Jackie Joe Wells, 15.693 $450.00

3D Invitational Shootout
1. Kathy Lisenbee, BF Lil Red Chigger, 15.526, $4500.00
2. Margo Smith, Hope To Fame, 15.766, $2700.00
3. Lesley Chester, Streakin Ta Blues, 15.917, $1800.00
4. Dawn Lamproe, Joya de Corona, 16.043, $900.00
5. Mika Drews, Aimless Eddie, 16.096, $650.00
6. Audrey Steward, Hollywood’s Pistol, 16.103, $450.00

4D Invitational Shootout
1. Cee Anna Munoz, Alive N Boot Leggin, 15.657, $4100.00
2. Casey Dove, DHR Genuine Light, 16.298, $2500.00
3. Hannah Cochran Suger Bully, 16.368, $1600.00
4. Kelly Davis, Dash For Nugget, 16.404, $800.00
5. Ashley Liston, Vegas, 16.423, $600.00
6. Mary Grayson Martin, King Royal Jazamau, 16.431, $400.00

5D Invitational Shootout
1. Jennifer Tuggle, Frenchman On The Rox, 16.327, $3400.00
2. Kendra Elliott, Drifting On A High, 16.354, $2100.00
3. Serena Jenkins, Keri Cats Dasher, 16.564, $1300.00
4. Lorie Naglestad, Sheza Smart Spook, 16.600, $700.00
5. Corene Muecke, Adalida, 16.782, $500.00 

For full results from the 2017 Better Barrel Races World Finals, visit

Blanche Schaefer is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected]


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