AWPRA Barrel Race America winners were (left to right) Taylor Grantham (4D), Traci Cucitro (3D), Marissa Simpson (1D) and Nikkie Gosney (2D). Competition was held Aug. 4 at Payson Event Center.
Photo by Dennis Fendler.
The Arizona Women’s Professional Rodeo Association-hosted Open 4D Barrel Races held Aug. 4 at the Payson Event Center gave some of the finest competitors from around the state the opportunity to test their skills against one another.
In the 1D competition, Marissa Simpson of Eagar rode her quarter horse “Pepper” to a jackpot-low time of 17.498 seconds and a first-place finish. For it, she pocketed $199 in prize money.
In 2D, Nikkie Gosney, of Rio Verde and her horse “Jeter” finished first in 18.043.
Traci Cucitro and her stead “Hallmarked John” ran 18.555 to take first among the 3D riders.
Among the 4D competitors, Taylor Grantham rode “Babe” to first in 19.827.
A pair of Payson barrel racers, Bryndee Hall and Margaret Parker were second and third.
Hall was clocked in 19.862 and Parker in 19.971.
Brylee Hall, of Payson, and Pine barrel racer Chelsie Stodghill also competed, but received “no times” because their horses knocked over barrels.
Stodghill is fresh off a second-place finish in the barrel racing at the National High School Rodeo Association Championships and Hall was third in the all-around competition for 9-10-year-olds at the Arizona Junior Rodeo Association finals.
Although local barrel Teri James is a member of the AWPRA, she did not compete on Saturday.
James, however, is expected to enter the barrel racing event at the upcoming Payson Rodeo.
The turnout of racers at Payson, about 35, was less than AWPRA spokesperson Pauline Lindsay expected.
“This was kind of last minute and we didn’t have a lot of advertising,” Lindsay said.
Next up on the AWPRA circuit are 4D barrel races Aug. 24 in Wilcox and Sept. 8-9 in Cottonwood.
The series wraps up with championship finals Oct. 20-21 at Horse Lovers Park in Paradise Valley.