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Holiday barrel racing

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Deb Hepp turns around the first barrel during her run

Deb Hepp turns around the first barrel during her run on Saturday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Hepp finished her run with a time of 18.999 sec.

The Kick Em Up Cans barrel race held on July 3-4 hosted barrel racers from around the state for the two day event. Friday evening's races ran late into Saturday morning and on July 4th racers were able to dodge most of the rain and race through the afternoon. There were more 100 entries in the open barrel race - the largest of the categories. 

Mary Vroman looks for her turn around the first barrel during her run

Mary Vroman looks for her turn around the first barrel during her run with horse Main Speed Braker on Saturday. Vroman was one of more than 100 riders competing in the Kick Em Up Cans open barrel race on Saturday.

The Kick Em Up Cans barrel race hosted at the Johnson County Fairgrounds

The Kick Em Up Cans barrel race hosted at the Johnson County Fairgrounds July 3-4 hosted more than 100 entries for barrels. Racers were split across five categories: pee wee, rancher, open 4D, youth and senior.

Isolina Nimick roles one of the three barrels away from its spot in middle of the arena

Isolina Nimick roles one of the three barrels away from its spot in middle of the arena so that the rake can turn the dirt between racers. The arena was raked every five riders quickly and then the big rake of the entire arena was repeated after every 50 riders.

Jolene Schmalz, 11, records friend Deb Hepp during her run

Jolene Schmalz, 11, records friend Deb Hepp during her run on Saturday. Schmalz and her mom Kristi would comment on each rider as they made their way through the pattern and talked about what Jolene could learn from watching each of the riders. Jolene ran as the last person in the youth competition on Friday night at 1:30 a.m. preventing the family from leaving the fairgrounds until about 2 a.m.

Nicole, left, and Jake Ludwick relax on top of their trailer in their off time

Nicole, left, and Jake Ludwick relax on top of their trailer in their off time on Saturday. They remained on top of the trailer even as some rain fell. The pair traveled up from Pueblo West, Colorado to attend the event.

Held over Independence Day weekend, some riders chose to dress up their horses in patriotic garb

Held over Independence Day weekend, some riders chose to dress up their horses in patriotic garb ranging anywhere from simple reds, whites, and blues to American Flag patterned breast collars and boots.

Wendy Greenough passes through the gate after she completed her pattern

Wendy Greenough passes through the gate after she completed her pattern on Saturday. Greenough, riding Fabulously Keen, finished with a time just under 18 seconds.

Riders walk in circles in the warm up area during the big rake

Riders walk in circles in the warm up area during the big rake on Saturday. The big rake or full raking of the arena and warm up area happened every 50 riders in addition to the quick rakes every 5 riders to keep the dirt in good condition for racing.

Photojournalist

Jessi Dodge joined the Bulletin as a photojournalist and a Report for America corp member in 2020. If you have ideas or comments, reach out at jessi@buffalobulletin.com.

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