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IBRA makes debut in Bonsall


Last updated 1/11/2007 at Noon

The International Barrel Racing Association made its Bonsall debut December 23 with a jackpot race at Stenerson Ranch.

Approximately 60 riders participated in the barrel race originally scheduled for December 17 but moved to the following weekend due to rain on the original date. “It was not as big a crowd as we expected,” said IBRA California state director Selena Roberts.

The International Barrel Racing Association was founded in Ohio in 1999 and now holds races in 27 states. In 2006 the IBRA sanctioned more than 600 barrel races. The IBRA’s strength has been in the mideast and south, but in 2006 Roberts agreed to become the California state director. The first IBRA race in California was held in April 2006.

“This thing has grown like crazy,” Roberts said. “The association’s just really taken off.”

The IBRA now has approximately 115 members in California. Advantages of the IBRA include local competition which reduces trailer hauling distances and a ten-race rule which only counts a contestant’s top ten races toward year-end points and thus allows for placement in the year-end standings without an extensive and expensive schedule. The membership growth rate has been such that Roberts, a Ramona resident well-known within the rodeo community for years, has seen names unfamiliar to her join the IBRA.

The IBRA consists of an Open Jackpot, in which riders of any age can enter, and a Youth Jackpot. A youth contestant may pay a single entry fee with his or her (the IBRA is open to male competitors, although horses fare better with lighter riders and thus most open-gender barrel racing associations are predominantly female) time being counted for both jackpots, or a youth contestant may pay separate entry fees and have separate runs for the Open Jackpot and Youth Jackpot. The Open Jackpot is in a 4-D format, or with four speed divisions, while the Youth Jackpot is a 3-D race.

The rescheduling placed the Bonsall race on Christmas Weekend, so the turnout was lower than was anticipated for the previous weekend but about what could be expected for a holiday weekend. “I actually wasn’t expecting too many more than that,” Roberts said.

A cancellation would also have cancelled the toy drive. “One of the primary purposes of this event was to collect toys,” Roberts said.

The IBRA provided an incentive to donate toys. In addition to jackpot events, IBRA races have time-only runs in which a rider can test a horse without competing against other racers. Normally time-only runs carry a small fee, but for the December race the time-only runs were free if the rider donated an unwrapped toy.

Roberts ended up with more

toys than expected. “We had to have had, I would say, probably sixty. It was a lot,” she said. “The horse trailer was full. There was a lot of stuff. Pretty nice things.”

Originally the toys were to have been donated to Camp Pendleton families, but the Marine Corps base contact could not be reached the day of the rescheduled race. “I said: ‘one way or another I will get these toys to children’,” Roberts said.

Roberts’ trip back to Ramona included driving by the Ramona Fire Department’s San Vicente station. Roberts was aware that the Ramona Fire Department had been collecting toys, so she stopped at the station. “We were met by two very enthusiastic firefighters,” she said. “Their eyes lit up when they saw the toys.”

The firefighters promised to deliver the toys to needy children. “We were pretty excited that it worked out that way,” Roberts said. “It just worked out great.”

Heidi Phillips, a 17-year-old from Hemet, utilized a single run to place first both in the Open 1-D and the Youth 1-D. Her time of 16.881 seconds earned her $181 for the Open 1-D win and $68 for the Youth 1-D win.

Murrieta’s Rachael Ross was second in the Open 1-D, earning $108 with a time of 16.992 seconds. Paige Connelly, a Ramona 14-year-old, had two separate runs; her time of 17.091 seconds placed third in the Open 1-D and earned her $72 while her run of 17.444 seconds in the Youth 1-D gave her second place and $45.

Rainbow’s Wendy Chowning placed sixth in the Open 1-D with a time of 17.263. Chowning rode Peppy, who was competing in only his third barrel race of 2006 and his first since August. “I was really tickled with how he ran,” Chowning said.

Jamul’s Jessica Halvorson had a single run of 17.663 seconds, giving her third in the Youth 1-D but first in the Open 2-D. Marissa Murphy was second in the Open 2-D with a time of 17.786 seconds.

Hemet’s Sandy Arave and Aguanga’s Lisa Marie Miller shared first place in the Open 3-D, as each had a time of 17.993 seconds. Linda Stenerson not only hosted the event but also won the Open 4-D with a time of 19.585 seconds on Leola.

Wildomar’s Janelle Turner won the Youth 2-D with a time of 17.892 seconds, while Lakeside’s Lindsay Kemmsies won the Youth 3-D with a time of 19.192 seconds.


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