There's fresh dirt in the equine center arena and horses are getting their exercise. It's the calm before the week of activities start, the National Barrel Horse Youth Championships.
Fairgrounds Commission Director Billy Orr says the fairgrounds started filling up on Thursday.
"We have 1,556 entries and we had about 310 vehicles, campers are here, trailers come in," Orr said.
Everyone makes themselves at home for the events that stretch for an entire week.
Barrel horse racing takes a sharp eye, flexibility, bravery and a bond with your horse.
"You should ride every day so their legs get stretched and muscles are worked," said Madison Jones of Jupiter, FL.
Twelve-year-old Jones will ride her 11-year-old horse Mimby. It's Madison's first time to the championships.
"I'm excited but nervous. She's never been in this pen before, I don't know what she's gonna do," Jones said.
She's here with her friend, 14-year-old Channing Wiida.
"His name is fly and he's 18," Channing said.
Channing is riding a horse older than she is and that's strategy.
"The older horses know their job better, they've been doing it longer so the baby horses could do something wrong. He kinda knows his job. He's harder to take care of because he's old, but he's worth it," Channing added.
The barrel horse championship contestants are roughly 90% girls, who don't mind getting their boots dirty in pursuit of the title youth world champion.
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