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Battle in the Saddle 2017


By Nancy Brannon

Barrel racers and supporters of Safe Harbor and its programs were out in full force January 20-22, 2017 at the Expo Center in Tunica, Mississippi. The show paid out over $65,000, said Operations Manager Kenny Lane. The event was sanctioned by the WPRA, Better Barrel Races, and was a qualifier for the Junior NFR in Las Vegas, teaming with KK Productions for the KK Run for Vegas. Ten young riders ages 13-16 and ten, ages 12 and under, qualified to go to the Jr. NFR in Vegas this year.

Friday night’s classes started with the Young Guns at 6 p.m., a division that was started about four or five years ago to give riders 12 & under the same opportunities as the Open riders without having to compete with the more experienced riders. There were 54 Young Guns racing on Friday night, 73 for Saturday’s, and 62 in Sunday’s Young Guns. With an entry fee of $25 and a payback of 70%, there was a good opportunity for young barrel racers to get going in the sport and earn some money. The Dobbs family donated award statues for the Young Guns division Average Champions. Campbell’s Performance Horses also sponsored part of the Young Guns awards.

Plenty of adults were on hand to round the barrels, too. There were 335 barrel racing entries on Friday, 511 barrel racers on Saturday, with 405 entries running on Sunday, according to Kenny Lane.

There were other fund-raising activities, too. Battle in the Saddle offered a gift card for the winner of the paper air plane toss, and held a foot race – for young folks to round the barrels on foot. First prize was a $25 gift certificate to Frontier Ranch Supply Western Store. Pugh’s Photography was on hand with videos and still photos of everyone’s runs. The concourse was filled with vendors offering a wide variety of products and services.

Kenny Lane said that Mid-South Ag provided two Case-IH tractors to drag the arena over the weekend, and that the “Drag Queen did a really good job for us this weekend.” Lane also appreciates use of the Reveal 4-N-1 drag, used on the other tractor. Find more information about these arena drags at:,, and on facebook: The Drag Queen Arena Drag. The Drag Queen was designed and built by Randy Prince at MetalFab, LLC in Jackson, Tenn.

Barrel racers showed their generous support for Safe Harbor’s programs by donating over five tubs of items, such as towels, soap, socks, t-shirts, tooth brushes, tooth paste, shampoo, shaving cream, etc. The folks at Safe Harbor make “welcome packs” for the men who enter their program. All the items are put in a laundry bag including 2 towels, 2 wash cloths, 2 razors, 2 t-shirts, 2 pair socks, 2 pair underwear, and the toiletries – plus some candy.

Friday’s Young Guns 1D winner was Hailey Hass, of Hampstead Texas, on Tango with a time of 15.102, taking home $175. Mollie Carter of Eads, Tenn., on Chase, won Saturday’s Young Guns 1D with a time of 15.344, taking home $173 for her efforts. Mollie was back on Sunday to take the win with Chase in 15.221 seconds, earning another $163. Hailey Hass was second in Sunday’s Young Guns, rounding the barrels in 15.311 seconds. Overall, Hailey Hass and Tango were the 1D Young Guns Average winners. Mollie Carter and Chase were second in the Average.

Ashlyn Wright, of Dayton, Texas, riding PC Senor Jet Wood won Friday’s 1D Youth Side Pot with a time of 14.924 seconds, taking home $157. Jaylie Matthews of Wynne, Ark., on A Lil Drop of Candy, won Sunday’s 1D Youth Side Pot with a time of 15.061, taking home $194.

In the Open, Quay Eaves of Louisville, Miss., on She’s Just Like Candy, won Friday’s Open 1D with a time of 14.856, earning $829. Jayma Jo Shomaker, of McKenzie, Tenn., riding SF Frenchman’s Leo, was a close second with a time of 14.891. Carly Taylor of Clinton, Tenn., riding Diva Dinero, won the Saturday Open 1D in a time of 14.762, earning $979. Carly and Diva Dinero also won Saturday’s 1D Youth Side Pot, taking home another $214. In Sunday’s Open 1D, Bert Thompson-Skimehorn, on Shez Truly Oldtime, was the winner in 14.755 seconds, taking home $898. Bert also won Sunday’s Adult Side Pot, earning another $160.

In the Adult division, Dana Haas from Kiln, Miss., riding TWR She Steal Famous, won the Saturday’s Adult 1D with a time of 15.005 seconds, earning $187.

Average results for the Tunica show put Katie Hulsey and Boomerang Ta Fame Jr as the Open 1D winner, with times of 14.940 and 14.763; payout was $516. Bert Thompson-Skimehorn and Shez Truly Oldtime were second in the Open 1D with times of 14.967 and 14.755.

Full results of the show are posted on the Safe Harbor website: Also find information on Facebook at Battle in The Saddle.

Safe Harbor offers support programs to help people “regain their strength and rebuild their broken lives.” Safe Harbor works with Davidson County Judge Casey Moreland, who was one of the main sponsors of this show, to help people who are first time drug offenders. Safe Harbor is one of the affiliate agencies with the General Sessions Treatment Court, founded by Judge Moreland in 2003. Those brought to Treatment Court are given opportunities to participate in a three-phase rehabilitation program.

Safe Harbor has a 6-month treatment program geared toward helping drug and alcohol addicts recover from their addiction; helping the homeless; and helping those getting out of prison to make the transition to a new life. Safe Harbor helps addicts with a 12-step faith-based program to help them understand and recover from their addiction; they offer employment skills, pastoral support, anger management, fatherhood development, money management, and transportation. Their back-to-work program partners with Memphis businesses to help their clients gain employment. When their clients are ready to leave the program, Safe Harbor helps them find housing, helps with their utility deposit, and some up-front money to get started. Their clients may come in with practically nothing; but when they leave, they have a proper ID, new clothes, a place to live, and a job. Kenny Lane encourages folks to help support the mission at Safe Harbor; visit the donation page on their website Folks can also see photos of the projects that their donations fund.

Safe Harbor will have another fundraiser in October: a Golf Tournament.

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