Racing the barrels - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Racing the barrels

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

By Marsha Thompson - bio | email

Six hundred young barrel racers from as far away as Australia are in town. They brought their finest horses for this competition. Friday afternoon I had an opportunity to talk with the current leader, 14-year-old from Bryan Wheeler from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, "I'm a barrel racer".

There's nothing slow about this type of racing. It's fast and furious. "What's it take? What kind of horse?" Bryan's response, "A lot of heart, a lot of speed and some long legs."

Each teenager hopes for the ride of their life in the All American Youth barrel Racing competition. We asked Fran Smith of Puckett what's the scariest part of it? Her reply, "Probably going in because once you get past the first barrel everything is good after." It's about the hardest competition show you'll come to. It's in the top.

The racers hit the chute, hold on for dear life and let her run Fran told us, "You get a little nervous, but you just gotta remember all you practiced and ride hard."

It's a sport that requires a lot of concentration and a fast horse and a lot of moxie. "It all comes down to a few seconds and when you let her go?" Bryan used this description, "The adrenaline is pumping, let's run. Young Bryan watched the competition hoping his 13.9 second run on Peaches would keep him in the lead. "He's getting nervous, he's getting pumped up, he know he's about to run."

When it comes to barrel racing seconds count. "You can be 1,000th of a second slower and it will knock you out of a while lot of money too." For now Bryan and Peaches remain in the top spot with the fastest time. He's going for an 8 thousand dollar win Saturday in the finals.

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