All posts by Kristi Schiller

$10,000 added OPEN 5D BARRELS

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CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE ENTRY FORM ***will add once approved***

$10,000 Added to Open 5D – $1,500 Added to each Youth Classic Incentive.

  • 75% payback of entry fees and 100% of added money.
  • $2,500 Select Stallions Stakes Incentive to be paid out based on final results.
  • AQHA classes on ALL THREE DAYS.
  • WPRA APPROVED
  • BBR APPROVED

OPEN 5D General Rules

  • Entries for each section are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Contestants will be notified if the section is full.
  • A horse/rider combination may enter up to two sections of the Open 5D race
    Section 1: Friday, Mar 9th – 300 entries max
    Section 2: Saturday, Mar 10th – 200 entries max
    Section 3: Sunday, Mar 11th – 500 entries max
  • $10,000 Added to Open 5D – $1500 Added to each Youth Classic Incentive
  • $2,500 Select Stallions Stakes Incentive to be paid out based on final results.
  • 75% payback of entry fees and 100% of added money.
  • BBR, WPRA, and AQHA APPROVED.
  • Entry fee does NOT include stall fees.
  • No refunds will be given for any reason.
  • No entry that has not been paid in full will be allowed to run.
  • No check or credit cards will be accepted at the show office.
  • Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic reserves the right to refuse entry for any reason.

Diamond Jubilee Futurity Slot Race

Entries for the 2018 Diamond Jubilee Futurity Slot Race are open to the public. There will be NO CAP on entries and an unlimited number of horses per rider may enter. This race paid out $180,000 in 2017 and had a maximum of 40 slots. We hope that by removing the cap on entries and opening this race to the public, the 2018 Slot Race will be our biggest payout to date! Check out last years results here.

CLICK HERE to access the entry form.

Payment Schedule

  • 1st payment due January 1, 2018
  • 2nd payment due February 1, 2018

NO FAXED OR EMAILED ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Slot Race Rules

  • Slot Race open to 4 and 5 year old horses who have not competed in any type of barrel race competition prior to December 1, 2017.
  • Slot Race open to all breeds.
  • No refunds will be given for any reason.
  • Stall is included in Slot Race entry fee.
  • No entry that has not been paid in full will be allowed to run.
  • No checks or credit cards will be accepted at the show office.
  • Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic reserves the right to refuse entry for any reason.
  • Rider and horse substitution may be made up until March 6, 2018.
  • Horse names must be submitted by March 6, 2018.
  • No payments will be awarded without a current W9 form on file.

$15,000 added Derby, $10,000 added Sweepstakes

CLICK HERE to access entry form.

Derby entry fee: $420

Sweepstakes entry fee: $320

Payment schedule for Derby AND Sweepstakes:

  • 1st payment due: Jan. 1
  • 2nd payment due: Feb. 1

All payments must be postmarked by the above dates to avoid a $50 late fee.  NO PAYMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER FEBRUARY 15, 2018. NO FAXED OR EMAILED ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

DERBY RULES

• The Derby will be two Long Go Rounds and a Short Go Round. Short Go will be determined by fastest qualifying times. Short Go time will be added to qualifying time to determine event champion..
• If a horse competed in futurities at age 4, it is eligible for the Derby at ages 5 & 6. Otherwise, the horse will be eligible for the Derby at ages 6 & 7.
• A copy of the horse registration papers must be submitted with entry form and original registration papers must be presented at check- in.
• WPRA APPROVED. Eligibility: All cards/Permits/Juniors

SWEEPSTAKES RULES

• Sweepstakes is one race with fastest time guaranteed $10,000.
• Any horse/rider may enter and there is no limit to the number of horses a rider may enter.

GENERAL RULES

• 75% payback of entry fees and 100% of added money.
• Entry fee does NOT include stall fees.
• Entry fee includes “Night of Diamonds” pass for Saturday night following Dufur Quarter Horses Futurity Finals.
• No refunds will be given for any reason.
• No entry that has not been paid in full will be allowed to run.
No check or credit cards will be accepted at the show office.

For questions, email info@diamondsanddirt.com.

Diamonds & Dirt™ is excited to be hosting the 7th annual Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic™ event at the beautiful Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. We continue to attract elite competitors from across the nation to the sport of barrel racing. Proceeds of Diamonds & Dirt™ benefits the 501(C)3 Non-Profit, K9s4COPs & K9s4KIDs.

$75,000 added Dufur Quarter Horses Futurity

Click here to access entry form.

  • Entry fee: $785
  • Stall and Night of Diamonds ticket included
  • Each futurity horse is guaranteed 1 exhibition on Tuesday, March 6th
  • $7,500 added Select Stallion Stakes incentive (50% to the 1st go, 50% to the 2nd go). Visit the Select Stallion Stakes website for a complete list of participating stallions.
  • $7,500 added Triple Crown 100 incentive. Eligible entries will need to fill out THIS FORM and send to jnelson@triplecrown100.com.
  • BBR APPROVED
  • WPRA APPROVED. Eligibility: All cards/Permits/Juniors

Payment schedule:

  • 1st payment due: Nov. 15
  • 2nd payment due: Dec. 15
  • 3rd payment due: Jan. 15
  • 4th payment due: Feb. 15

All payments must be postmarked by the above dates to avoid a $50 late fee.  No entries will be accepted after February 15, 2018. NO FAXED OR EMAILED ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

2018 Futurity Rules

  • Futurity will be 2 Long Go Rounds and a Short Go Round. Short Go will be determined by fastest qualifying times. Short Go time will be added to qualifying time to determine event champion.
  • 40 fastest qualifying times will advance to the Short Round.
    If there are more than 350 entries, more finalists will be taken.
  • Futurity open to horses foaled 2013 or later.
  • Horses must not have competed in any type of barrel race competition prior to December 1, 2017.
  • 75% payback of entry fees, 100% of added money.
  • Futurity open to all breeds.
  • To request Futurity substitutions, contact Secretary@DiamondsandDirt.com.
  • No refunds will be given for any reason.
  • Stall is included in Futurity entry fee.
  • Amateur contestants MUST include a current copy of AQHA or APHA amateur card and meet all Diamonds & Dirt™ requirements.
  • No entry that has not been paid in full by February 15, 2018 will be allowed to run.
  • No checks or credit cards will be accepted at the show office.

For questions, please email Info@DiamondsandDirt.com.

Diamonds & Dirt™ is excited to be hosting the 7th annual Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic™ event at the beautiful Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. We continue to attract elite competitors from across the nation to the sport of barrel racing. Proceeds of Diamonds & Dirt™ benefits the 501(C)3 Non-Profit, K9s4COPs & K9s4KIDs.

Diamonds & Dirt™ Removes Cap on Slot Race Entries

Oct. 18, 2018 

In previous years the infamous Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic™ Slot Race put a cap on the number of slots that could be purchased. This rule limited the number of futurity-eligible horses allowed to compete for a $100,000 credential to add to their resume. Once the slots were full, owners had the option to add their horse’s name to a waiting list, but were not guaranteed an entry unless a previously purchased slot was given up.

Things are changing in 2018: The cap on Slot Race entries has been removed, meaning an unlimited amount of slots can be purchased for futurity-eligible horses, and an unlimited number of horses per rider can be entered.

2018 Slot Race entry form → CLICK HERE

Any member of the general public can purchase a slot for a futurity-eligible horse(s). The Slot Race will commence on Friday, March 9th at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. Added money will be based upon the number of slots  purchased.

The first Slot Race payment is due on December 15th, 2017 and can be mailed to Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic™, P.O. Box 724, Millican, Texas 77842. If you have questions please email Info@DiamondsandDirt.com.

 

The First Family of Futurities

The Youree-Ward family from Addington, Okla., has shaped the sport of the barrel racing and futurity industries for three generations.

 

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By Tanya Randall

Dale Youree led his 3-year-old colt around the makeshift auction ring for the calcutta of the 1971 Texas Barrel Racing Association Futurity.

Quick Juan, a 3-year-old gelding, wasn’t the handsomest of horses and had stepped on himself during practice earlier. Dale had used tape to protect the laceration on the colt’s front heel. Between the colt’s looks and the bandage, they looked like long shots to win the futurity. So with no one bidding, Dale bought himself.

They were the best of the 40 entries that frigid November weekend at the Jack Taylor Arena in Blum, Texas, just south of Cleburne, and they took home top prize from the $5,315 purse.

“I never will forget that,” says Dale’s daughter Renee Ward, “I was at my grandparents’ house. He walked in with a grin on his face and laid 17 $100 bills on the counter. It wasn’t what he won in the futurity; it was from the calcutta. He said, ‘Look here Sister. We’re going to start riding these futurity colts.’”

That win was the beginning of three generations of futurity championships, passing from Dale to his son-in-law James Ward to granddaughters Janae Massey, Kylie Rodgers and Cassie Ward.

Pioneers

Dale and Florence Youree didn’t set out to be pioneers in the barrel racing industry; it just happened that way.

Dale grew up riding his father’s racehorses, but always wanted to be a calf roper. World Champion Clyde Burk gave Dale a saddle that he had won at Madison Square Garden and took him under his wing.

“He was a good roper,” recalled Florence. “He’d always catch, but then he would have a little trouble. The calves were really big back then.”

Although the two had met before the turning point came when a tenacious, young Florence walked up and asked Dale if she could ride his horse at rodeo—even though he had another girl with him at the time.

“I had gone to a rodeo and I wanted to ride in the grand entry. So, I asked him if I could ride his horse. It just went forward from there,” she laughed. The two were married on February 18, 1950.

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Florence had ridden all her life, working cattle with her father on their ranch. She started barrel racing as a teenager on ranch horses. As she and her sister Sherry (Johnson) refined their skills and became more competitive, people started to take notice.

“I had this palomino Billy Van horse, named Chubby,” she explained. “I trained him and my sister and I both ran him. We made two runs a night. We weren’t smart enough to know you weren’t supposed to do that, but we did. And, we won. He was just a natural, but people went to asking us if we’d train their horse or their kid.”

Dale, who was working for Florence’s father on the ranch at the time, thought it would be a great way to make more money, so they started taking in horses to train. Although he occasionally climbed aboard when Florence was having trouble with a barrel horse, Dale hadn’t yet hung up his rope – he never really has as he startled their ranch hand the other day by roping a sick calf – and hired out as a barrel horse trainer. It wasn’t until Florence had a talented, but lethal shoulder-dropping gelding, that Dale made the crossover.

“If I didn’t hit a barrel, I could win a barrel race,” said Florence. “We were at North Platt at the rodeo and Beverly Nutter gave Dale an English riding book. He said, ‘Florence, if this will work on an English horse, it’ll work on a barrel horse.’ That’s when he started using the inside rein to flex one away from a barrel to keep them from shouldering. After that it became a challenge to him.”

In the 1960s, the Yourees held some of the first barrel racing clinics or camps.

“We charged $100 week, and fed them and their horse and taught them,” Florence remembered. Their house was once the boys’ dormitory and the girls stayed in a remodeled school house. “You could send your kid up here for a month for $400. We did make money, but not a whole lot though it did send us customers for years.”

World Champions like Missy Long and Jackie Jo Perrin rode with the Yourees as did such great trainers as Martha Wright, who came back and helped teach at the camps.

Changing The Game

In the 1970s, the Yourees stared dabbling in a new type of barrel race that was popping up across the country—futurities. These events were limited to horses, ages 4-and-under, making their first competition runs. Winning the 1971 TBRA Futurity was a game changer for the family.

“We thought we’d never seen another poor day,” laughed Florence. She too competed in futurities until an accident at Trader’s Village in Grand Prairie, Texas, ended her career.

“I used to train horses and do everything just like he did,” she said. “I had gone over early that morning to a plowed up piece of ground to tune my horse. I started back up the hill and my horse started prancing. I snatched him and he slipped on the wet grass and flipped over on me.”

No one knew how badly she was injured until she and Dale had gone to New Orleans, La., for him to see a specialist, a few weeks later.

“I got to hurting so bad,” she recalled. “They took me to the hospital and I had a broken vertebra and a crushed vertebra. They did surgery on me right there. That doctor told me, ‘You can’t ride anymore. If this happens again, it could kill you.’ It put a fear in me that I had never had before.”

With her competitive career over and with her husband, and later on son-in-law, developing championship techniques in this growing facet of the barrel racing industry, Florence was changing the game outside of it.

Florence was one of the founding members of the Barrel Futurities of America.

“We formed it down at Trader’s Village. Sue Sistruck was president, I was vice-president and Pat Hutter was the secretary,” said Florence, chuckling about her and Pat’s continued involvement. Florence eventually became president and Pat was the secretary until Carol Arnold took it over a few years back. “Bless her heart, she hung tough. She’s like me. She’s a goer. She doesn’t want to miss a thing. I was visiting with her the other day and she said, ‘I guess, we’d have to pay them to let us work now!’”

On September 22, 1983, the up-start association was created to bring continuity to the futurity industry. With more and more events being held across the country, the BFA’s goal was to standardize the format.

“We wanted to have set rules and guidelines so everyone would know how to run a futurity,” said Florence. “Plus, we wanted to contestants to know what to expect when they got there—how to pay their fees, what the payout would be and all of that.”

It was a natural fit for Florence, who served in the Girls Rodeo Association—the precursor to today’s Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. She was instrumental in bringing the professional barrel race to the Fort Worth Stocks Show and having the barrels included with the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. Once the NFR moved to Las Vegas, she offered a BFA event to the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce to fill the void.

“To me that was the ultimate—to have a futurity that big with that much added money,” said Florence recalling the creation of the World Championship Barrel Racing Futurity.

It was first held in December 1986. “It gave everyone a goal to work for in the whole association. When I first went to Oklahoma City (with the idea), they were going to add $100,000. Then they backed down to $50,000 and were going to give a truck. Then they said ‘How about a trailer?’ Of course, I was begging and I agreed to whatever they wanted to do.”

Today, 28 years later, the BFA’s World Championships are still the richest event in barrel racing out paying even the NFR in Vegas.

“I marvel at the things I’ve done absolutely no education,” mused Florence. “I guess the ‘want to’ was just there.”

Evolution

The Youree’s daughter never knew anything different than training and competing. A talented competitor herself, she won state and national titles in high school before moving on to college, where she met and married her husband James Ward, an all-around hand and collegiate champion.

After making the NFR in 1985, Renee sold her rodeo horse and stayed closer to home with her daughter Janae, who was 3 at the time.

“I still rodeoed some, but not like I once did,” she said. “I had a little girl and I just felt better at home. I didn’t love the road like some do. I spent my time raising kids and getting her used to her horses and moving her up. That’s what I’ve done all my life—three girls.”

Although she still rode and trained, Renee’s job was training and tuning her daughters for junior rodeo competition. It was James, instead, that ended up following his father-in-law into the futurity game.

“I was going to go the NFR several times,” laughed James. “Bareback riding and bull riding is what I had planned on doing. Training barrel horses was the furthest thing from my mind.”

When a bronc at the pro rodeo in Red Lodge, Mont., bucked him off on his head, breaking his neck, James was forced to reevaluate his goals and found another calling as a champion barrel horse trainer.

“After I got over my broke neck, I started working with Dale,” he said. “He got me just riding colts and then he got me taking them around the barrels. He’d tell me what do and when to do it. I just wound up being a job.”

In the mid-1980s, partially due to events like the BFA World Championships, the barrel futurity industry had also changed where it was possible to make a living training winning futurity horses. They were even more valuable when their winning records career on throughout their careers.

Though his personal NFR dreams were over, James made horses that turned that dream into reality for several barrel racers, including his wife and oldest daughter. The first futurity horse James trained, Vaneagles Little Dude carried Renee to the NFR, even though an injury forced her to ride Patti Hoffman’s Killian Pacific.

Later on, James sent Janae to the NFR twice with his former futurity champion Cole And Cole, although she ended up riding Jud Little’s Dynas Plain Special in 2003 when Cole was injured.

“When I was training one, especially when we owned it, in my mind, I was training it for one of my kids,” James said. “That’s what I was training for more than the futurities. I knew they were going to futurities, but they were going to have to be good enough for my girls.”

Now, James has left the training up to his girls, and they may have an easier time of it than he and Dale did.

The game has changed a little bit, James noted, in that his daughters are training horses with better bloodlines. Unlike the ranch-bred horses they started with, Dale and James turned to ex-racehorses as the sport turned to more speed for a competitive edge. Now, the popular lines are often a marriage between the two.

The March of Time

“As my husband and dad got older, they quit going to the futurities,” said Renee. “We sat still here for a while. The girls were in college. I thought they need to go through that as a part of growing up. It wasn’t a stipulation, but they knew it was important to me. Yet, here we are, sitting on this old clay hill, training horses.”

After winning the 2003 WPRA World Championship, Janae, 32, rodeoed for Jud Little for another year before going to work for Halliburton for four years.

“I worked behind a desk in a cubical,” said Janae, whose daughter Chazli is continuing in the family tradition at age 4. “It made me realize how much I did love the horses.”

Janae, who lives in Comanche, Okla., with her husband, Ty, currently trains for Jud Little, and keeps her training horses at the Youree-Ward home place, eight miles away. Twins Kylie’s and Cassie’s training horses are there too.

The entire family meets at the Youree house every morning for breakfast.

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“That’s our family time,” said Janae. “That’s where we set down at the table and talk, and generally we’re talking about horses. You could ask any of us and that’s one part of the day none of us would dare miss.”

All three girls know what a blessing it is training with a family of champions.

“The biggest benefit is another set of eyes,” said Kylie, who lives in Addington with her husband, Travis, and trains exclusively for Stan Sigman’s Namgis Quarter Horses. “Because of the knowledge we have as a group and as a family, we can sit there and say “I think you’re doing this…’ or ‘I think you should try this…’. You get a different perspective and I think that’s the best thing you could ask for over here.”

They’re also not afraid to swap horses.

“I can put Janae or Kylie or my mom, or even my grandpa, on a horse, if I’m having trouble,” said Cassie, 25. “This is my comfort zone. There’s no other place I’d rather be training.”

In spite of all their collective knowledge, Dale has always encouraged the girls to never stop learnings and honing their craft.

“He’s taught us to never quit learning,” said Cassie, who worked at a bank for a year before turning to training barrel horses. “He’s sat us down many a time and asked us, ‘Did you read this?’ or ‘Did you watch this?’ ‘I think we need to try this.’ We try to incorporate other things that we see into our programs and see if they’ll work for us.”
Still, the best advice comes from the hill.

“It’s complete family involvement,” said Janae. “We’re not lacking help. My mom is usually horseback. She rides with us every day. My dad, all it takes is us asking, and he’ll go to a jackpot with us and watch.”

“When it warms up, Florence Youree is still in charge of the camera. She’s filmed me my entire life, and even at 80, she’ll come to the jackpots in the summer and film. That’s what we do, we all go to the jackpot, she films, we come home and all sit in the living room  and watch film on what we did that worked or didn’t work on colts.

“My grandfather can sit on his porch and watch where we ride. Now that we all have cell phones, you’ll be riding and you’ll get a call on your phone. You better stop and answer it. He’ll say, ‘Sister, I believe….’ He’ll tell us what he’d be trying or he’d be doing. That’s the best gift. I wish I could record those calls and save them. I know one day I’m going to wish I got that call.”

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Barrel Racing: Why Do We Do This?

No matter how you look at it or try to justify it, we do this because we love it. We barrel race on passion alone.

When you think about, we have to be crazy passionate about this sport. There are so many other sports and hobbies that are so much less time consuming, more financially favorable and less physically demanding. We could go hiking on predetermined trails, go boating, go fishing or relax on a lake or go shopping at the mall on weekends. I mean really! We climb on a 1,000 pound animal with a mind of its own and go blasting 40 mph into an arena and try not to shatter our shins on three 50 gallon drums while running faster than everyone else to win some money to pay for your expensive addiction.

Courtney Duncan, international barrel racer

“The real reason why I do this is my love of horses. I love getting inside a horse’s head and really feeling what they are thinking and sensing. In barrel racing more than other equine sports, you have to be so in tune with your partner in order to win. This connection with horses is what drives me to continue chasing cans.”

Heath Boucher, competitor, breeder and owner

“I do this because I love the sport and have a passion for horses. As a little boy my grandfather bought me a pony which sparked my lifelong horse addiction. And, of course, because I still get goose bumps every time one of my horses runs down the alley!”

Bo Hill, barrel horse trainer, breeder and stallion owner

“All I’ve really wanted to do all my life is to ride a better horse than the one I was currently riding … that is truly why I keep training horses.”

Bendi Dunn, competitor, breeder and owner

“Because we are crazy to the core! Seriously, who pays a huge embryo fee, pays a huge stud fee, stresses out for a year for it to be born, takes care of it for four years and prays to God it runs fast? We do! Life would be boring and without risk if not for horses. It’s just money and you can’t take it with you!”

Lyndee Stairs, barrel horse trainer, breeder and stallion owner

“I have a degree in business from Fresno State. I tried working in an office and it felt like going to jail! I love to help people with their horses. I love it when they get back to me and tell me that I made it simpler for them. I love the ‘ah ha’ moments you see in a young horse. When they start to get it and make THAT move leaving a barrel. When the barely 2-year-olds come in from the pasture for training, it’s like Christmas.”

Marcheta Garrett, barrel horse trainer, breeder and stallion owner

“I’m an adrenalin freak. I like the thrill and excitement. I like raising horses. I like when they’re born and cute, but I hate to wait until they’re old enough to ride. It’s so discouraging to wait so long. I’m impatient that way. I like what I raise because I know the quality, but usually end up selling most of them and buying something old enough to ride and train. I like the progression of colts. I like making horses because it’s something that a lot of people can’t do.”

Pete Oen, barrel horse trainer

“I do this because horses are much easier to deal with than other humans! LOL! I do this because I love horses and animals in general. I enjoy trying to teach each one the same thing … to be a champion!”

Jordon Briggs, barrel horse trainer, stallion owner

“It’s the only thing I know, and I’ve never worked a day in my life because I love what I do! If I could anything in the world, I would be doing this! … And I also like animals a lot more than people!” –

Suzanne Moseley, barrel horse owner

“I think anyone in the horse industry—whether they’re in barrel horses, race horses or Tennessee Walking Horses—is in it because they love it. I just do it because I love it, and I love barrel racing over other events like cutting, because the best horse wins. I’ll get worn out and back off for a while, and the next thing I know I’m looking at colts! I don’t have to do it for a living. I do it for fun; it’s not like I have to make money at it. I do sell them and make money, but I can pick their home. I can be choosey that way. I like to place my horses so I can watch them go on and do great things.”

Molli Montgomery, barrel horse trainer

 “I love it, and there aren’t many occupations that you can make $100,000 in 15 seconds!”

Love of the sport isn’t limited to those inside the arena. It takes a special kind of person (i.e. “crazy”) to spend hours making things happen outside the arena. They too have a passion for the sport and its participants.

Melanie Cloward, Videographer, 3-2-1 Action Video

“We do it in hopes of helping barrel racers better themselves and their horses. We started this for our daughters that barrel race. I did it because I was tired of hearing them say, ‘I do have my heels down’ or ‘I am lifting their shoulders.’ Videos never lie. Every barrel racer is trying to get the upper edge on the next horse, so if watching themselves helps them do that then we’ve done our job.”

Bonnie Wheatley, Barrel Horse News editor, futurity competitor

“I just think it’s really fun. Sounds silly, but it’s true. I love athletic horses. I love horsemanship, where you work to learn more and try to go after a goal in the performance arena. It’s a rush and that first great horse ruins you for life! I work as editor of Barrel Horse News because I really enjoy the industry. I think it’s an unpresumptuous group of people for the most part. I think most barrel racers genuinely love their horses, and I really like that aspect of many of the stories I hear. For the most part people are happy, not so much about the money they’re winning, but the bond they have with their horse, and that’s pretty cool. I like that it’s a young and growing sport and my goal is always to try through my work to bring more horsemanship knowledge to it and I feel like that’s really happening.”

Josh Welch, former lawyer, professional photographer

“The most fascinating part of photographing barrel races is not the actual race(s), but the stories of the people that love horses and the sacrifices they make in order to do what they love.  It’s apparent no one is going to get rich barrel racing, but in some ways it’s the same with photography, you do it because that’s where your heart is, and you are lucky enough to get to do what you love and there is no price tag you can put on that.”

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Save the Date: Diamonds & Dirt™ Returns to Waco in 2018

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Sept. 27, 2017

The Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic (DDBHC), one of the largest and most prestigious events in the barrel horse industry, will return to  Waco, Texas, March 5 – 11th, 2018. Following a dramatic increase in size and popularity, DDBHC relocated from its original venue in Bryan, Texas, to the home of the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Finals: The Extraco Events Center.

“Check-in at Waco was flawless,” said DDBHC Executive Director Shanna Brown. “We know first-hand what it’s like to roll up to a week-long show with four-plus horses and all their luggage; it shouldn’t be one of those things to dread the whole drive there.” Brown added, “The Extraco staff was on-point getting stalls unlocked, shavings delivered, and coordinating RV parking. They were there for us and our contestants at the drop of a hat, giving everyone the ability to focus on what they came there to do.”

2018 will be the seventh consecutive year DDBHC brings all levels of competitive barrel racing to the Texas spotlight, and its second year to bring the bling to Waco.

“This has always been a one-of-a-kind event that I look forward to attending every year,” said professional barrel horse trainer and world renowned jockey Pete Oen. “The venue has always been very inviting, user-friendly, and the ground is kept consistent!”

At its debut in Waco last March, DDBHC paid out nearly one million dollars in cash and prizes, including the $180,000 added Southwest Stallion Station Slot Race where professional barrel racer Kassie Mowry took home $100,000 in just one race.

“I’ve always really enjoyed Diamonds & Dirt,” said futurity trainer Ryann Pedone. “The move to Waco was good. I really like the facility.” Pedone and Sweet Choco Taco racked up $100,000 after a stellar performance in the 2016 DDBHC Slot Race. “You can count me in,” she continued,  “if there’s a Diamonds & Dirt futurity – I’ll be there.”

Mark the calendar now for the 7th annual DDBHC at the Extraco Events Center in Waco March 5 – 11th, 2018. Fans and contestants can expect several announcements in the coming months of exciting developments regarding the Slot Race, entries, race additions, and learning opportunities for students seeking professional experience.

For more information and to keep up with announcements: Follow DDBHC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  An official schedule for 2018 will be available on diamondsanddirt.com.

 

Hurricane Harvey Relief

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Following the “catastrophic” wrath of Hurricane Harvey, Texas has been knocked on its knees as historic flooding continues to impact Houston and surrounding areas.

Since making landfall late Friday evening as the first major hurricane to reach U.S. soils since 2005, Harvey has affected nearly 6.8 million Texans across 18 counties – but it’s not over. Experts say days of heavy rain are expected to pour down on already impacted areas.

As Houston and other parts of Texas remain under water, relief efforts are underway. There are several opportunities to extend a helping hand to Harvey victims. Below you’ll find organizations that are currently accepting donations and volunteers.

  1. United Way Relief Fund  Donations: https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood/flood-donation
  2. Humane Society of Houston – Donations:  http://www.houstonhumane.org/giving
  3. Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross  Donations:  http://www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast
  4. Trusted World  Donations and volunteers: https://trustedworld.org/hurricane-harvey-volunteers/
  5. Portlight Strategies  Donations for the disabled and senior citizens: http://www.portlight.org/get-involved.html

For more Harvey relief effort resources, click here.