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Utah’s horse world – Local racers inspired by Lockhart’s win at The American

Local barrel racer Jill Atkinson has been an inspiration to many!
Local barrel racer Jill Atkinson has been an inspiration to many!
photo by Sarah Robertson

With the 2014 race season already taking off, Utah’s barrel racers enjoyed watching pro rider Lisa Lockhart earn the first place prize at RFD-TV’s much anticipated rodeo, ‘The American’ this weekend (March 2 in Arlington, Texas).

Lisa and her incredible horse, Louie, ran a 13.983 in the first round to make it to the final four, combining skills and luck to pass up legendary riders that included NRF champions Charmaine James, Sheri Cervi and Mary Walker.

A touch of bad luck rode along with the other racers in The American’s final four, as Sheri Anzick, Robyn Herring and Jane Melby all hit a barrel in their bid for the big money. Lisa and Louie made a clean run with a time of 14.035 to earn their $100k prize and the title of the barrel race winners at the first ever American rodeo.

Other winners at The American included Kaleb Driggers and Patrick Smith (team roping), saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, who delivered two spectacular performances with scores of 90+, bull rider JB Mauney and steer wrestler Hunter Cure.

Interested in Utah’s local barrel racing opportunities? Visit one of the NBHA websites to learn more about upcoming races and clinics. We have active chapters in Ogden and Spanish Fork. The Utah Barrel Racing Association (UTBRA) regularly holds races at the Salt Lake Equestrian Center in South Jordan. For riders out west in the Tooele/Granstville area, you can find the Wind Runners on Facebook.

Want to take a few lessons or get some horse-training help from a seasoned and respected expert? IRHA hall of fame cowboy Joe Ruiz is located in Taylorsville, UT and occasionally has openings for new students.

This is a fun and friendly sport that encourages riders of all ages and welcomes horses of any breed. Add a little excitement to your life and give barrel racing a try!