SUBMITTED BY MELISSA SWORD
Back when the British Columbia Barrel Racers was a 3D Association, only the Top Ten girls , determined by money won during the season, were eligible to attend the Finals. Even with hosting Novice and Maiden Novice Classes, the Finals were small and the BCBRA decided to hold an additional race at their season finale. 1992 was the inception of the Hank Vogel Memorial Race, a race that was open to all members not qualified in the Top Ten Finals, and the emergence of a much larger BCBRA Finals Competition.
As the number of contestants increased, the two day Finals format of two runs per day held on a Friday and Saturday with the Hank Vogel Memorial Race running on Sunday as the opener of the new season, gradually changed to a three day Finals with one run per day. Eventually, the Hank Vogel Memorial Race was made into a “stand alone” race.
The 2011 Hank Vogel Memorial Race, held at the Stampede Park In Williams Lake July 9th and 10th, was produced by a four person committee headed by Heather Auger and included Lori Rankin, Karen Yaworski and Simmone Fowler of Williams Lake and 150 Mile. Co approved by the Canadian Barrel Racers Association, there were approximately 330 runs in the Open, Junior, Peewee and Senior classes put in over the weekend.
Good weather, good ground and good management contributed to a successful weekend of competition. Kassi Simpson of Prince George, BC, put in a fast time of 15.261 on Saturday to win the Open 1D. Simpson was surprised and pleased with her winning run since her horse, Torque, was just coming off an injury that had kept her from competing for most of the summer. “I’m still in shock!” Simpson laughed when congratulated.
Veteran barrel racer Judy Hyde of Prince George, BC and her horse Kit ran the fastest time of the weekend, 15.217, giving her the Open 1D victory for Sunday. Monica Oram of Logan Lake, BC ran two fast and consistent runs for the weekend, winning her the Open 1D Average as well as the Senior 1D Average.
Peewee Amy Hume of Williams Lake, BC captured the Peewee 1D Average Award by placing first in the 1D both days of the competition. Rikki Laviolette of Williams Lake put in times of 15.803 and 15.952 to win the Junior 1D Average Award.