ENTERPRISE, Oregon – The Wallowa County Barrel Racing Association wrapped up its first season with awards and a buffet dinner at El Bajio, Friday, Sept. 28.
For eight Saturdays from May to September barrel races were held at the Joseph Rodeo Grounds. In all, 15 adults and 10 “peewees” competed for money and prizes over the summer, organizer Kayla Rynerson said.
Rynearson said she and co-organizer Mary Moe, Moe, a professional barrel racer for the last 18 years, met while working together at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. Their mutual interest in horses led to the formation of the club.
“We wanted to help the equestrian aspect of the county,” Rynerson said.
Most of the participants were from Wallowa County, Rynearson, with one family regularly traveling from Elgin to Joseph for the races.
Competitors vied for both a daily jackpot and points that accumulated over the summer toward prizes.
For rodeo mom Dena Miller, the races at the Joseph Rodeo Grounds were a nice break from being on the road many weekends during the rodeo season with her kids Haley and Hanley two of the top scorers for the season.
Elli Bates earned high point in peewee and competed alongside sisters Hope and Faith. Their mom, Bobbie Bates, said she grew up in Heppner spending weekends competing in play day club.
Bates said, “This is a fun club to have for all of us.”
At the end of the year banquet a lot of kids took home armloads of prizes. Rynearson said she hopes to have enough interest from participants and volunteers to keep the club going another year.
A great number of volunteers are needed to put the events. Office help that includes entries, computer input, timer and announcer are just as vital to assure success as the ground crew. Mel Coleman was the main man of the hour during 2018 events, disking days ahead and harrowing in between runs. In addition, Kayla Rynearson, Mary Moe and Mel spent many hours watering the arena as well.
1st: Savanna Rynearson
2nd: Rhylinn Compton
3rd: Ellie Bates
1st: Emma Hite
Open results are divided into four divisions. 1D is what sets the pace for the race. Each separate division is then separated by half a second.
1D – 1st: Kayla Rynearson; 2nd: Emma Hite; 3rd: Hanley Miller
2D – 1st: Emma Hite; 2nd: Hanley Miller
3D – 1st: Tami Wightmam; 2nd: Emma Hite
4D – 1st: Jessica Clary; 2nd: Cyndy Payne; 3rd: Celeste Bauck
Most Improved (voted on by members): Celeste Bauck
The tentative dates for 2019 are as follows:
- May, 18, 30
- June 6, 13, 20, 27
- August 1,8,15,22, 29