WEEPING WATER – Cass County Fair visitors watched equestrian excellence Friday night during a barrel horse racing show that featured many local residents.

The Nebraska chapter of the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) held its annual event at the Cass County Fairgrounds. Dozens of youth and open-class riders took part in the contest. They participated in front of a supportive crowd at the horse arena.

Cass County is located in District 9 of the NBHA’s Nebraska chapter. District 9 includes 17 counties in the southeastern part of the state. Union resident Kris Harms is director of District 9 and helped organize the Cass County Fair show.

Harms and other volunteers placed three barrels in a triangle shape inside the horse arena. Riders had a goal of steering their horses around all three barrels as fast as possible during the contest.

Everyone began on the eastern side of the arena and then maneuvered their horses around either the lefthand or righthand barrel first. They moved across the dirt to the other barrel at the base of the triangle, and they then galloped to the top barrel at the western edge of the course. Riders then flew back across the arena to the finish line.

Judges kept track of each rider’s time from a press box located at the arena. Riders were penalized if their horse knocked over a barrel or if they completed the course in a non-triangle pattern.

An electronic scoreboard located on the eastern edge of the arena provided fans with instant results from each race. Many riders were able to finish their routes in less than 23 seconds.

Plattsmouth resident Sierra McMains won the youth division with a time of 17.405 seconds. Elmwood-Murdock student Kylie Rieflin placed second in 17.500 seconds, and Syracuse student Gracie Lintz captured third place in 17.623.

NBHA District 9 riders have also competed in Auburn, Pawnee City and Lorton this summer. The final event of the season will take place at the Johnson County Fair in Tecumseh Aug. 17.

The National Barrel Horse Association is the largest barrel racing organization in the world. The group is headquartered in Augusta, Ga., and has more than 23,000 members across the globe. Members are from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

Youth Division Top Ten Results

1) Sierra McMains – 17.405 seconds, 2) Kylie Rieflin – 17.500, 3) Gracie Lintz – 17.623, 4) Halle Johnson – 17.860, 5) Chayce Oenbring – 17.865, 6) Kinze Gordon – 17.968, 7) Sierra Goracke – 18.156, 8) Jessy Bateman (Ride 1) – 18.368, 9) Jessy Bateman (Ride 2) – 18.417, 10) Jessy Bateman (Ride 3) – 19.081

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