By Madison Fleck
For Ponoka news
Barrel racers competed in the fifth annual Leather N Lace Barrel Racing event July 23-24 at the Ponoka Calnash Ag Event Center.
Competitors from across Canada and the United States competed in a variety of races including the Open Jackpot, Splash and Dash, The Vegas and The Runaway Slot. In The Runaway, racers buy slots for $ 750 for guaranteed payout.
The top riders from each of the three divisions received cash prizes totaling just over $ 100,000. This year’s Runaway 1D winner was Taylor Manning, seventeen, a three-year-old competitor in the Canadian final, on her horse Move just like Jagger.
âMy weekend has been really good,â Manning said, âIt was great to be back at the rodeo.â
Another popular event was the Splash and Dash, which sees contestants running in the typical clover leaf pattern, but with a twist. Each barrel is equipped with a glass of solo red wine. Riders must cover all barrels and drink at least one of the three cups, while staying on their horses.
âThe record time this year was around 18.6 seconds,â said Laciee Shock, president of Leather N Lace. “It’s impressive.”
The profits from the Splash and Dash were donated to the Ponoka Food Bank, an organization strongly supported by Shock.
Shock likes to organize his races professionally, so that competitors can ârelax and enjoy the eventâ without having to worry about being late. The event was well attended, with 426 entries for the Friday race, 346 entries for Saturday, 94 entries for The Vegas and 17 entries for the Splash and Dash.
âIt turned out amazing,â Shock said. “I think everyone needed something positive.”
Shock says it’s been great being able to come together at the Leather N Lace Race without pandemic restrictions.
âIt gave people the opportunity to hang out, get together with friends and have fun. “