Champion cowgirl makes dash for gold
EMERALD cowgirl Leanne Caban left the best to last, to round-out champion sprinter of the Central Highlands Barrel Horse Association Fast Dash Futurity at the weekend.
Finishing the fastest in three rounds of the futurity, a class specifically targeting horses six-and-under, only one-hundredths of a second separated Caban and her racing rivals in the round timings.
Her first-place win aboard Hotshot came on the back of a slow start to the barrel racing circuit after an inconsistent run the day prior in competition at the Emerald Rodeo.
Giving Caban an even run for her money in the futurity was former Central Rodeo Cowboys Association champion barrel racer Jema Slotosch, who recorded the day’s fastest time of 16.027 with her horse Aussie Swirl.
Jema’s shot at the championship prize was knocked out almost before it began, after nudging a barrel on the turn in the futurity’s opening round.
Caban’s latest win with the CHBA comes on the back of her 2009 futurity winner, Maggie Thorn. She said it was particularly special to train two winners for the event she co-founded with association president Melinda Balderson.
“Usually it’s the older horses that place in barrel racing, so the futurity opens up a new setting for the younger ones,” Caban said.
With prize money in excess of $13,000 on offer for the barrel racing winners, there was some serious competition among the ladies divisions.
In the men’s barrel race, however, the stakes weren’t as high with competitors taking the opportunity to have a little fun, racing minus a few items of clothing Caban said.
Riders, no matter their class, were also given a crack at the prize money in the Four Divisional Barrel Race, run over two rounds.
Champion – Leanne Caban, Hotshot 49.189
Reserve Champion – Adele Edwards, Roc ‘n’ Elvis 49.591
Third – Sarah Morgan, Lethal Whiskas 16.479