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May 26, 2010

Exceeding Expectations

Elite Barrel Racing awards more than $128,000 at its inaugural event.

By Tanya Randall
Special for Elite Productions

Elite Barrel Racing’s debut event, the Classic Equine Big Cash Getaway, held May 14-16 Angel Kuroskyin the Show Pavilion at the Heart O’ Texas Complex in Waco, Texas, exceeded all expectations, awarding more than $128,000 in cash and prizes. Of that total, $96,558 in cold, hard cash found its way into the hands of many appreciative barrel racers.
The big winner on the weekend was Kay Lynn Schulz. The mother of two from San Antonio, Texas, rode her homegrown gelding KS Dox Cajun Bug to the 1D Championship in the $75,000 Guaranteed 6D Race. For a time of 15.111, Schulz pocketed $4,000, plus two incentive checks totaling $261, and picked the Sherry Cervi Crown C Martin Saddle with the lime green gator seat and accents
Lone Star High School Rodeo Association Barrel Racing Champion Shelby Surls of Athens, Texas, rode her Paint gelding Ima Dancin Fantasy to a $2,000 2D Championship in a time of 15.622. Having run on Sunday, the 16-year-old high school junior was the highest-placing winner present and picked the Sherry Cervi Crown C Martin Saddle with the black gator seat and accents.

Decatur, Texas, hairstylist Angel Kurosky posted a 16.113 aboard TNT Eternal Moon to win the turquoise embellished Cervi saddle, her first trophy saddle, for the 3D Championship. A newcomer to the sport of barrel racing, Kurosky also picked up $2,000 check.

Breast cancer survivor Ladonna Kline and her mare Ruano Josephine turned in a 16.611 to win the $1,600 4D Championship. Kline, who has only been barrel racing a few years, picked out the tan accented saddle.

Ashley PhillipsAshley Phillips, Corsicana, Texas, found out how fickle lady luck can be when she won the 5D Championship and the teal saddle on Ketch A Little Cash, a.k.a. “Jet.” While running her good horse, Oh Hook, her girth broke turning the first barrel. Luckily she and Hook both came away unscathed. 

Animal control officer Ethel Spence and her foundation-bred gelding Mr Bailey Dude posted a 17.613 to win the 6D and $1,500. Spence took the red accented Crown C home to Lewisville, Texas.

Checks were awarded through 15th-place in each division with prizes through fifth, including Hy-O-Silver Buckles, painted bronc halters from Dueces Wild, Classic Equine bag sets and Classic Equine saddle pads. A new phrase was also added to barrel racer lingo  – “I’m in the boots,” referring to the gift certificates for Corral Boots, awarded to the top five finishers just out of the money in each division.

Award winners in the Young Champions for 8-and-under contestants include Champion Lucchesse Tobias, Mckenna Davis, Jayci Byler and Andee Shae Nored, who double-dipped for awards, taking third and fifth.

In the $12,000 Guaranteed Corral Boots Cans-Of-Cash Warm-up Race, Tammy Fischer and her NFR horse MP Quick Money turned in the fastest time of the event, a 15.069 run on the bottom of the ground, to win the $1,120 first-place check. Other winners in the Warm-Up Race include Pam Underwood and Drifts Pistol Bar, $840, 2D; Michelle McDonald and Watch Double Doc, $560, 3D; Laurna Bacon and KN Let A Paint Do It and Kim Kennedy and Diamond, $340 each, 4D; and Tara Bearden and Perks Native Victory, $420, 5D.

Fun and games were also a big hit with many contestants staying the entire weekend to take in the festivities. Not only were the games entertaining, the prizes for such shenanigans were exceptional. For a Safe-Guard Power Dose, many people were willing take on any challenge that master of ceremonies TC Long threw at them, including 2007 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Kay Blandford, who won the stick horse race.

School bus driver Jo Ellen Cowan of Alvin, Texas, who said she admits to being afraid of water won the drawing for a cruise for two, courtesy of the performance supplement Oxy-Gen.

All contestants were also eligible for a drawing for a Sherry Cervi Crown C Martin Saddle. Sixth grade school teacher Rexanne Weeks of Joaquin, Texas, didn’t win a dime, but took home the saddle.

On Saturday, two-time Nationals Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifier and NFR Average Champion Liz Pinkston enlightened barrel racers with her training and conditioning techniques. She brought her champion Speedy Doc Holiday to the arena to show how swimming helped his recovery from torn rear suspensory ligaments and show his winning physique at the age of 21.

Safe-Guard rep Molly Johnson hosted a free seminar on the ever-confusing subject of planning a de-worming program. Door prizes of Safe-Guard Power Doses were also presented to all that attended.

Ron Wells, president and owner of Elite Barrel Racing Productions, was pleased with the turnout.

“We had a great turnout, and everyone was happy,” said Wells, who also operates Industrial Plant and Pipeline Supply. “The guaranteed payout brought in a lot of people, and I got to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in years. I was very, very pleased.”
Wells also watched two of his own horses compete over the weekend. It was his love and passion for the industry and barrel horses that spurred him to pick up the guaranteed race banner as a producer.

“I love the industry,” he said. “I love the horseflesh. I wanted to provide a professionally run barrel race that catered to the professionals and beginners alike. My formula for success in business has always been to act quickly when I see an opportunity and to hire the best people to get it done. It’s come together perfectly. With my wife and me sitting in the stands, we probably had 100 people come up and thank us personally, from a little bitty 6-year-old girl to an 80-year-old woman. It really brought a tear to my eye.”
Sponsors for the event included Classic Equine, Corral Boots, Oxy-Gen, Safe-Guard, Rockies, Cruel Girls and Cinch Jeans as well as Industrial Plant and Pipeline Supply. The next Big Cash Getaway will be Sept. 4-6, Labor Day weekend, at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Okla.