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PBRIP celebrates 2017’s top Paint barrel racers

APHA’s top barrel racers and their flashy mounts turned and burned their way into the Paint Barrel Racing Incentive Program 2017 year-end standings. Throughout the year, competitors accumulated points in PBRIP-approved barrel races around the country.

When Kelly Heaton started participating in APHA’s barrel incentive program, she thought it was a great way to earn some extra cash aboard Major Peppy Skip, her 2000 bay overo gelding by Major Peppy Royal (QH) and out of Alert Shannon Skip (QH). As the 2017 High-Point PBRIP 1D Champion, the Talala, Oklahoma, native knows her modest start on an unlikely barrel star is a blessing.

“We actually got ‘Major’ off the bucking string as a 4-year-old head horse prospect for my husband, Kenneth,” Kelly said. “We paid less for him than what most people pay for one month’s truck payment. Although he excelled at roping, Kenneth and he never really ‘clicked,’ so I got handed the reins.”

An experienced horsewoman, Kelly admits she struggled with Major around the barrels at first. She then decided to change routes and develop her young project into her next mount in the roping pen. It wasn’t long before the duo began to click on all cylinders and became a force to be reckoned. The bond they created ultimately led to the team finding success around the cloverleaf, too.

“I quickly learned the versatility of the Paint Horse. Somehow being able to rope off him made him the best barrel horse he could be for me,” she said. “His old-style conformation and breeding has kept his body and mind sound. I love being able to go from the barrel pen, to the roping arena, and then the pasture to enjoy a peaceful ride all in the same day.”

Throughout 2017, the speedy duo accumulated 249 points through PBRIP competition. After finishing second in the 2016 PBRIP 1D standings, she looked at the schedule for the upcoming season and crafted a plan in an effort to claim the top spot. Even though PBRIP races are plentiful in her area, she decided to travel longer distances to small, indoor arenas that Major prefers to up their chances.

“Achieving this goals took a lot of sacrifice from Kenneth to allow me to be able to travel long distances and compete as often as I did,” she said. “PBRIP has allowed us to be competitive with a horse we paid very little for and end at the top of the pack. I’m so honored and blessed to have ended 2017 where we did.”

Looking forward to 2018, Kelly plans to give Major a well-deserved break from chasing barrels and focus his talent toward the roping pen with her husband. With high hopes of trying their luck at the APHA World Show, Kelly says Major’s future is bright and the possibilities with her Paint are endless.

Congratulations to the following outstanding PBRIP competitors:

PBRIP High-Point Champion: Major Peppy Skip and Kelly Heaton—249 points

DIVISION Horse Rider   Points
1D – 1 Major Peppy Skip Kelly Heaton 249
1D – 2 Star Dude Blackie Randee Prindle 171
1D – 3 Whistlewhileyoustreak Lynsay North 120
1D – 4 Heros Midnight Moon Shannon Olson 119
1D – 5 Top Rainbow Jim Lewis 115
2D – 1 Top Rainbow Jim Lewis 89
2D – 2 Yogis Six Fols Julie Payne 86
2D – 3 Peppys Painted Dude Cathy Baker 67
2D – 4 Major Peppy Skip Kelly Heaton 66
2D – 5 Dalts Superman Design Karen Orman 50
3D – 1 Peppys Painted Dude Cathy Baker 74
3D – 2 Tazahero Melissa Whitfield 55
3D – 3 Tru Cover Girl Mary Luton 50
3D – 4 Yogis Six Fols Julie Payne 43
3D – 5 Top Rainbow Jim Lewis 42
4D – 1 Tazahero Melissa Whitfield 88
4D – 2 Dallas Flyin Rocket Lisa Mullinax 57
4D – 3 Bo Ringo Haley Mullinax 43
4D – 4 Peppylenas Mastrpiece Bonnie Harding 41
4D – 5 Ketchsfleetingporuno Melissa Whitfield 39



[Reprinting all of part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provide back to apha.com.]

About APHA
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 creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.