STARKVILLE, Mississippi — The eyes of the barrel-racing nation will turn to the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville on Oct. 17.
A barrel racing qualifying event for The American, a major national rodeo, comes to Starkville Oct. 17.
The Mississippi State University facility will host a qualifying event for The American, a major national rodeo. Parts of the qualifier will be broadcast nationally on RFD-TV and live-streamed over the Internet. This competition is on the first of a three-day event that also will include the Better Barrel Racing Eastern Regional Finals and Horse Poor Barrel Races.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our Mississippi Horse Park to host one of the 10 qualifiers in barrel racing for the world’s richest one-day rodeo,” said Bricklee Miller, horse park manager. “Part of what makes this so impressive is the list of other venues hosting one of these barrel-racing events.”
The nine other events sanctioned by Better Barrel Racing will take place in Pasco, Washington; Springfield, Ohio; Loveland, Colo.; Verndale, Minn.; Lincoln, Neb.; Silesia, Mont.;; Glen Rose, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Buckeye, Ariz.
Miller described the Starkville event as “the SEC Championship of Barrel Races” with each contestant paying $500 to run down the horse park alley. Participants will compete to advance to the semifinals and then the finals on March 1, 2015, in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
RFD-TV’s The American, presented by Polaris Ranger, is the world’s richest one-day rodeo. It pays out $2 million to the day’s victors and awards over $500,000 in prizes. The top 10 individuals and other qualifiers will compete in barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, attended The American finals last March in Arlington, Texas.
“This is a great opportunity for Mississippi tourism. We are seeing a tremendous interest in rodeo sports, both in Mississippi and nationally,” Hyde-Smith said. “In addition to the exciting events for spectators, prize money amounts have become a major draw for highly skilled competitors.”
Riders for the Starkville competition will be able to sign up online from Aug. 25 until Oct. 10 at http://www.horsepoorBBR.com.