The night sky at Payson Event Center was a little brighter than usual July 27. That was when the first-place winners in the 7D Series were presented with at least 14 sparkling prize belt buckles.
The 7D Series, with its barrel racing and pole bending contests, started April 20 and concluded July 6. The awards program was held July 27. About 76 competitors, ranging in age from 6 to 70+, participated in this 8th year of the event, which is sponsored by the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.
Age and gender were not determining factors in which divisions the riders and their horses were placed. The divisions were 1 through 7, with those having the fastest times going into Division 1 (D1), so a 6-year-old rider could conceivably compete with a senior citizen, as explained by Kaprice Bachtell, Payson Event Center coordinator for Parks & Rec.
When the series first started, Bachtell made the division placements by averaging the competitors’ first two times. In the contests that followed, she said they could move up in the divisions, but not down.
The season-ending awards were based on accumulated points as well as times in which the contestants completed the barrel and pole bending courses.
Buckles were awarded to the first-place finishers and, in some cases, several contestants ended up with two buckles. The overall award-winners — Linda White in barrels and Lori Allen in pole bending — also received buckles.
The contestants who won second through fifth places did not leave the awards program empty-handed. Bachtell arranged to have ghost awards for everyone else, prizes donated by area businesses and provided by the Town of Payson.
“The ghost awards were so popular I plan to have them again at the end of the next series,” Bachtell said. The next series is the Turn & Burn contests that are currently being held at the Event Center Tuesday nights through the end of September.
“I want to thank all the participants and the businesses that supported the program,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my volunteers.” She said she had an indispensible crew of eight great volunteers who helped with the 2010 7D Series.
Barrel Racing awards went to:
• First place: Lori Allen, D1; Michael Allen, D2; Leanne River, D3; Laci Riggins-Taylor, D4; Linda White, D5; Daylen Brown, D6; Stormy Chambers, D7
• Second place: Melanie Haug, D1; Leanne River, D2; Angie Newbold, D3; Deanna Hernandez, D4; Laci Riggins-Taylor, D5; Christa Kilbourne, D7 (there was no D6 second place awarded)
• Third place: Chelsea Stodghill, D1; Anne Kilbourne, D2; Chelsea Stodghill, D3; Tasha Hunt, D4; Nathan Haug, D5; Cassie Frausto, D7
• Fourth place: Tasha Hunt, D1; Susan Althoff, D2; Emily Daniels, D3; Jessica Stone, D4; Jackie Ballam, D5; Rylinn Neese, D7
• Fifth place: Melissa Daniels, D1; Lori Brown, D2; Taylor Randall, D3; Whitney Matthews, D4; Jessie Brown, D7
Pole Bending awards went to:
• First place: Lori Allen, D1; Michael Allen, D2; Anne Kilbourne, D3; Deanna Hernandez, D4; Linda White, D5; Rylinn Neese, D6; Crista Kilbourne, D7
• Second place: Melissa Daniels, D1; Nathan Haug, D2; Angie Newbold, D3; Laci Riggins-Taylor, D4; Stormy Chambers, D5; Daylen Brown, D6; Hanna Tomerlin, D7
• Third place: Bryndee Hall, D1; Jessica Stone, D2; Emily Daniels, D3; Whitney Matthews, D4; Sasha Swartz, D5; Chanci Landress, D7
• Fourth place: Tony Root, D2; Taylor Randall, D3; Leanne River, D4; Sasha Swartz, D5; Chelsea Stodghill, D7
• Fifth place: Megan Brown, D3; Jackie Ballam, D4.