Two celebrities in the world of professional barrel racing put the APHA World Championship Show on their dance cards this year, giving the APHA community a chance to see their talented National Finals Rodeo-qualifying Paints in action. Jimmie Smith of Mc Dade, Texas, rode her 2010 palomino solid mare Lever Action to a world championship in Solid Paint-Bred Barrel Racing. Brittany Barnett of Stephenville, Texas, piloted Chicks Keen O Pocopoo, her 2007 sorrel overo mare, to a world championship in Stakes Race and fourth overall in Senior Barrels. Both pairs are also set to compete in the PBRIP Barrel Racing Sweepstakes tomorrow.
For Brittany, qualifying for the NFR is something she’s dreamed about since she was a child. This year’s NFR takes place in Arlington, Texas.
“It is literally every little girl’s dream, and it’s my dream come true to finally get there,” Brittany said. “The thing that makes this horse special is the size of her heart; she gives me her all every single time. She means the world to me. I’m going to start out on her on the finals. My other mare might get used a little bit, but she got me there this year, so I’m definitely going to run her.”
Stakes race was new for the team here at the World Show, and after getting a primer for the class last night from a friend and practicing the pattern a few times at home, Brittany and “Pocopoo” laid down a smoking run to take the win.
Jimmie and “Mini” posted a 16.613 to claim the Solid Barrel Racing world championship earlier today—a preview of how the team might do at the NFR. Though Jimmie has several horses she’ll take to the NFR, she expects to use Mini during the competition.
“She is little but she is powerful,” Jimmie said. “I know on deep ground or trashy ground, she’s going to stand up and tippy toe around the barrels. So we will strategically place her and my Lena and Pixie in different spots each round. We’ve always dreamed of the Thomas & Mack experience in Vegas, but we are just thankful they are having an NFR this year.”
Bred by Everett and Karen Witt of Asher, Oklahoma, Pocopoo is by Mr Dominator and Stylish Chick Olean (QH). Mini is by Another Hero (QH) and out of Katys Luck; she was bred by David Chapman of Kiowa, Oklahoma.
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.