Young rodeo team competes with professionals - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Young rodeo team competes with professionals

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –A young rodeo team in Hahira got to compete with professional riders at a rodeo in Berrien County.

Three horse riders from KB Farms took the top three spots in the junior barrel racing division.

This is Christen Lanier racing around the barrels at a professional rodeo held in Berrien County over the weekend. It was the first time the KB Horsecamp Rodeo Team got a chance to race with professional riders.

"It was really fun," said Lanier. "It was an experience."

The team usually competes at local shows but at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's rodeo a division was designed just for girls, racing barrels sixteen and under. 14-year old Hope Smithwick placed third.

"It depends on your level of balance and the horse how he turns how quick how fast he does it," said Hope Smithwick.

Kim McGhee is the owner of KB Horsecamp in Hahira. Out of 18 riders in the division, three of her own took first second and third place.

Mcghee says a lot more goes into barrel racing than what many people think. She says you gave to guide your horse around the barrels and always keep your eyes forward.

"It's very important you have to stay about three feet to four feet away from the barrel equally around the whole barrel because if you get too far away it loses time if you get too close it loses time," said McGhee.

These girls train just about every day by walking, trotting and perfecting their moves, never running the horses at top speeds until they're at the rodeo.

"They only have so many good runs anyway and you always want to save those for the show," said McGhee.

13-year old Whitney Bender won first place with the fastest time of 17.4 seconds. 13-year old Sierra Johnson took second.

Kim MaGee says her team learned a lot by participating in the rodeo just from seeing how the pros warm up and compete.


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