The Kimes Ranch $100k Runaway Slot Race — proudly dubbed Canada’s richest barrel race — kicked off its annual event at Calnash Ag Event Center in Ponoka, Alberta, Canada, from July 20–24. Known for drawing its share of tough competitors, the Open slot race follows a unique equal payout formula, awarding $20,000 to the winner of each of the three divisions.
This year, 18-year-old Taylor Manning found herself in the top spot aboard her futurity mare, Bringin The Bling. While Manning has had success in futurities with “Bling,” she says taking the win amongst such tough competition was shocking.
“This slot race is always so tough,” Manning confided. “Before we ran, I thought to myself, ‘She’s already done so much for me — if it doesn’t go well, that’s OK. She’s young and she’s still learning.’ When I came out of the arena after my run, I couldn’t’ believe it. I almost cried.”
Despite having no opportunity to exhibition, Manning says Bling handled her run like a seasoned veteran.
“With my younger horses, I really like to do a time-only before I run,” Manning shared. “We were just coming back from a rodeo — we had driven 15 hours and just didn’t have the opportunity. I was amazed how she handled herself for only being 5 years old.”
Manning says although she tries not to take Bling for granted, she’s not surprised the mare handled herself so well.
“I’ve never had a horse this young be this good to me. She hauls by herself and is really confident. Honestly, I feel like she’s a bit of a freak,” Manning said with a laugh.
Manning, who has been barrel racing since early childhood, hopes to make a career training futurity horses.
“I absolutely love the futurities and derbies,” Manning shared. “I especially love being around the futurity riders in the [United States] — I learn so much by watching them.”
Manning thanks her mom and Rayel Little for helping her with her riding and always supporting her.
Kimes Ranch $100k Runaway Slot Race Divisional Results
- 1D—Taylor Manning on Bringin The Bling, 17.236, $20,000
- 2D—Bailee Stanton on Fabulous Deb, 17.940, $20,000
- 3D—Shalayne Lewis on Shake Out The Frost, 18.669, $20,000
For complete results, visit facebook.com/groups/1118503121503082.