By Michael Mahaffey

When the Valley Girls Barrel Racing Association puts on a barrel race, many of the best barrel racing teams in the Pacific Northwest are guaranteed to turn out to test their mettle against some of the best competition in the nation. The Walla Walla Fairgrounds in Washington was the center of activity Oct. 1-2 as 562 entries toured the cloverleaf in three go rounds during Autumn Daze in the quest to earn a share of the nearly $21,000 purse.

Youth barrel racer Tommie Hoyecki and her mount, Mr Sox Em Biankus, earned the 1D championship crown in Race 1, turning three barrels in 14.530 seconds. The duo’s time topped that of reserve champions, Kelli Currin and Snipper Biankus, by just 15 thousandths of a second and brought the Hoyecki a $529.78 payday. The pair also won the 1D Youth title for Race 1, which brought them another check for $51.41.

Karen Gleason and Bald Ridge claimed the 1D championship in Race 2, which was run in the evening on the same day as Race 1. Gleason and her mount posted a blistering time of 14.335 seconds to pace the field by more than five hundredths of a second and earn a $475.05 paycheck. The pair also placed in the 1D in Race 3, tying for sixth place to win another $60.51.

Sabrina Lay proved to be the big money winner in Walla Walla, earning $1,129.96 for standout 1D finishes at Autumn Daze aboard her top mounts, Stewie and Sammie. It was aboard Stewie that Lay won the Race 3 1D championship after scoring the fastest time of the weekend with a run of 14.272 seconds to beat reserve winners Michele Lyons and Ima Son Of Biankus by 79 thousandths of a second.

Valley Girls Barrel Racing Association Autumn Daze
When: Oct. 1-2
Where: Walla Walla Fairgrounds in Walla Walla, Wash.
Entries: 562
Total Payout: $20,862
Winners: Open Race 1: 1D) Tommie Hoyecki/ Mr Sox Em Biankus/ 14.530/ $529.78; 2D) Candice Osborne/ CSE Streak Of Gold/ 15.037/ $476.80; 3D) Ashley Picard/ Sis/ 15.532/ $406.17; 4D) Pat Smith/ Sumbunnysperky/ 16.030/ $353.19.
Open Race 2: 1D) Karen Gleason/ 14.335/ $475.05; 2D) Shannon Patterson/ 14.859/ $427.55; 3D) Stephanie Weber/ 15.375/ $364.21.
Open Race 3: 1D) Sabrina Lay/ Stewie/ 14.272/ $408.44; 2D) Sue Ruzicka/ Two Tru Rare Babe/ 14.814/ $367.60; 3D) Taylor Schneider/ Cubby/ 15.294/ $313.14; 4D) Rosie Gallaher/ Dash/ 15.838/ $272.30.
Michael Mahaffey is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. E-mail comments on this article to [email protected].

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