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Area barrel racers compete at Sherry Cervi Youth Championships

Bemidji High School senior Shannon McBride (right) poses with four-time world champion barrel racer Sherry Cervi after receiving her champion saddle for being named the senior division youth champion at the Sherry Cervi Youth Championships in Verndale last weekend. (Submitted photo)

VERNDALE -- The Sherry Cervi Youth Championships of barrel racing were held in Verndale last weekend, and a number of area competitors were in action among the more than 400 youth participants from Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Wyoming, Missouri, Illinois and Saskatchewan.

The event is annually one of the largest on the barrel racing calendar for young riders, and this year marked the first time a Sherry Cervi event was brought to the Midwest. Cervi is a prominent four-time world champion barrel racer from Arizona.

Three age groups were in action at the competition -- peewee, 12 and under and 13-18.

Awards were based on the average of each horse and rider combination of barrel racing

runs over two days. The top six in each division received awards with first place in each division winning saddles.

Shannon McBride, a senior at Bemidji High School, was named the senior division youth champion by placing first in the 1D average on her horse LRG Dandy Stripper with the fastest combined time of two runs over Saturday and Sunday.

The Bemidji area was well represented as seven of the top nine fastest runs on Sunday were from Bemidji area riders. Area participants competing in the race included McBride, Shevlin; Austyn Tobey, Bemidji; BryAnna Haluptzok, Tenstrike; Ella Larson, Blackduck; Alexis Neese, Laporte; Seth Lehmann, Laporte; Alexa Eklund, Laporte; Trent Haugen, Puposky; Kaci Schultz-Reese, Bagley; Kirah Otting, Bagley; Chelsey Gilbertson, Puposky; Savanna Juelson, Hines; Aubrey Stoskopf, Bagley; Adison Merrill, Hines; Madison Fisher, Cass Lake; and Luke Eklund, Laporte.