Monsoons and the Willow Fire took its toll on the 2004 Summer Barrel Race and Pole Bending Series.
Originally scheduled as a nine-week event, the competition was reduced to seven due to rain and the blaze that raged west of Payson for more than two weeks.
Although the series was shortened, Payson recreation specialist Charlene Hunt said the event was a success, drawing more than 80 entrants.
The only competitor to win age group titles in both the barrel racing and pole bending was Skye McNeeley competing in the 9-to-12-year-old division.
"She practices hard and pours her heart into it," Hunt said.
In the 13-to-17-year-old division, Candace Bullard won the barrel racing but had to settle for second-place in the pole bending behind Payson High School freshman Amber Marshall.
Chancy Brown won the 18-to-39 barrel racing but tied for second with Riley Miller in the pole bending. Lori Brown won the pole bending.
In the 40-years-and-over competition, Melanie McNeeley took the barrels crown and Deanna Hale won the pole championship. Also in the poles, McNeeley was second behind Hale.
The 8-and-under barrel racing was won by Chelsie Stodghill. Taylor Randall edged Stodghill for the pole-bending crown.
The age group champions received Gist buckles. Other top finishers received a variety of prizes including breast collars, saddle pads, grooming kits, halters, lead ropes and headstalls.
Next up on the parks and recreation department's equestrian calender is a progressive barrel and pole-bending series to be held 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday during September and October.
An inaugural Fall Stampede is slated for Oct. 2. Both the series and the stampede will be at the Payson Event Center.
Hunt explained the "progressive" format to be used in the fall barrel series as one in which riders will compete against other riders with similar times rather than in age groups.
It is similar to the 4D format the National Barrel Horse Association uses. In it, the competitors are grouped into four divisions based on their times.
According to NBHA District II Director Suzanne Barnes, having four divisions levels the playing field for the competitors.
"The motto of NBHA is ‘where beginners can be winners,'" she said. "We make it fair and fun for everyone."
During the progressive series, Hunt said, "there will only be one event each night, alternating barrels and poles each week."
At the conclusion of the competition, Gist buckles will be awarded to the five high-point riders in each time slot.
For the Fall Stampede, eight events will be held each day. Books open at 8 a.m. and the first event will begin at 10 a.m. In the Stampede, riders will compete in age groups. They are: 8 and under, 9 to 12, 13 to 17, 18 to 39 and 40 and older.
The entry fee is $5 per event or $25 for all. At the conclusion of the competition, trophies, ribbons and other high-point awards will be given. Rules and event descriptions are available at parks and recreation at Green Valley Park. Pre-registration for the Fall Stamped will begin Sept. 20 and conclude at Oct. 1
For more information on the series or Fall Stampede, call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.
Summer Barrel Series
8 & Under - Barrel Racing
Bryce Stodghill, 2nd
Taylor Randall, 3rd
Cassidy Tidwell, 4th
Ali Tenney, 5th
Rachel Turner, 6th
Kelsey Tidwell, 7th
8 & Under - Pole Bending
Bryce Stodghill, 3rd
Cassidy Tidwell, 4th
9-12 years - Barrel Racing
Same prizes (Listed 1st-7th place)
Shannon Wedell - 7th place tie
Kevin Waterman - 7th place tie
9-12 years - Pole Bending
13-17 - Barrel Racing
13-17 - Pole Bending
KC Waterman & Cydney Figueroa (3rd & 4th place split)
Jordynn Runzo & Breianon Miller (5th and 6th place split)
Amanda Howard (7th place)
18-39 - Barrel Racing
18-39 - Pole Bending
Chancy Brown & Riley Miller (split 2nd/3rd)
Falicia D'Addabbo (4th)
Lindi Parker (5th)
Jessie Brown (6th)
Megan Ward (7th)
40 & Over - Barrel Racing
40 & Over - Pole Bending