MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

June 20, 2013

COLUMN: Local barrel racer headed to nationals

Leah Graber is headed to the National High School Rodeo Association Finals. Leah was born June, 1996 and at the ripe old age of 16 placed third in the barrel racing at the Oklahoma High School State Finals that were held June 5–9 in Woodward. This qualified her for her first NHSRA Finals to be held in Rock Springs, Wyo., July 14– 20.

This was Leah’s first year to compete in the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association and is the only person from this area to qualify. She will be competing in the barrel racing on one of two trusty mounts, Phoenix or Trouble, in hopes of capturing a National title. We wish our Okie from Muskogee the best of luck.

The Muskogee Round-Up Club was able to have their first barrel racing jackpot last Thursday night and it was a good one with 28 entries. The ground was great, Jessica White won it with a lightning fast 15.965. The second jackpot of the eight week series will be held on tonight. Exhibitions will begin at 6-6:30 p.m. and the Open 4D at 8 p.m.

The series will be awarding magnetic sheets as series end awards. For more information call Rhonda Stewart at (918) 869-1498 or go to the Muskogee RUC website at www.muskogeeroundupclub.com.

Rangeline Arena will have their usual Thursday night practice from 6-7:30 p.m. at $20, followed by a No. 12 slide jackpot, pick one draw two at $50 a roper. You can enter up to three times.

Jeffries Productions began a Tuesday and Thursday night series last week. Linda Jeffries reported that the ground was great Tuesday night at Hamilton’s Sports outdoor arena in Vian as well as at the new Diamond C Arena located just north of Eufaula, two miles east of highway 69 on Texanna Road.

Last Thursday, they awarded a Bob Berg trophy buckle to the fastest time of 14.661. Congratulations Kaylie Parker. For Vian and Eufaula, the exhibitions start at 6 p.m. and jackpot at 8 p.m. For more information contact Corkie or Linda Jeffries on Facebook or call Linda at (918) 329-6776.

Last Friday, Three Rivers Cowboy Church (TRCC) held the first monthly barrel race of its 2013 series. There was a small turnout but a lot of fun was had, Vicki Beene won it with a 16.677.

This series will have a jackpot once a month, to be held on Fridays on July 12, Aug. 9 with the September date and one rainout to be announced later. Exhibitions start at 6:30 p.m., classes begin at 8 p.m. with the pee wees, youth, then the open. For more information on the series, please contact me at (405) 826-5531.

Rick and Gail Ward have a great team sorting each Friday night. Gates open about 6 p.m. and sorting starts at 8 p.m. Go to Hillbilly Ranch & Arena and like their Facebook page. That way you can keep up with all that is going on. For more information, call Rick at (918) 684-7026 or Gail at (918) 682-2581.

Three Rivers Cowboy Church will have an arena sorting from 5-8 p.m. June 23. For more information please contact Pastor Tom Gragg at (918) 577-5190.

The Lightning B Arena will have their Tuesday night $100 added 4D barrel race again next week, rain or shine. They will run outdoors weather permitting and indoors if too wet. Exhibitions start at 6 p.m. and classes at 8 p.m. There will be pee wees, youth and open.

The arena is the one on the West side of Beggs, up on the hill. The crew had worked very hard on the ground and it was a very warm and welcoming atmosphere, everyone had a lot of fun and I hear Diane is baking a peanut butter sheet cake for this week. For more information go to Lightning B Arena on Facebook or call Diane at (319) 759-2382.

Finally, Saturday, a Sooner Barrel Race will be held at the Muskogee RUC. There has been a time change, exhibitions start at 6 p.m., classes start at 8 p.m. For more information contact Rhonda Stewart at (918) 869-1498 or go to the Sooner Barrel Race website at http://www.soonerbarrels.com/index.html .

I have been riding horses since I was knee high to a grass hopper. Horses have played a large role in my life. While I have mostly barrel raced, I have also competed in pole bending, goat tying, break-away roping, team sorting and dabbled in the show world some.

My husband rode bulls and broncs and my brother calf roped and team roped. So with all this said, I hope I am able to fulfill the needs of our local rodeo community and feel honored to be writing this column. I look forward to meeting a lot of new folks and hearing your stories you would like featured.

Reach Vicki Beene with rodeo news or comments at ridinhighsaddlery@yahoo.com or (405) 826-5531.

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