In the August 4 edition of The Crossroads Chronicle, a story was published, detailing two area teens’ trip to the NBHA Youth World Championship in Perry. Those two teens were Ella Kate Canady and Zaren Williford. During the time of composing that August 4 edition, The Chronicle was unaware that four others from the area competed at the same event. At presstime on August 3, The Chronicle learned about the remaining competitors. Since then, The Chronicle has been working behind the scenes to put together a synopsis of those four competitors’ time at the championship. Thus, the following article is finally written and published.
DEA students Aubrey Williams, Jamie Gunter, Ann Carol Daniel, and Kinsley Swinson competed in the National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Championship in Perry from July 17-24. There were 4,000 runs total and 1,200 competitors in the teen division.
Jamie Gunter, 14, has ridden horses for her whole life. As a newborn, her mother took her on rides and walked her through the barrel pattern. When she was around 3-years-old, she began doing shows on her pony and hasn’t stopped since. Gunter has 3 horses: Max, Bambam, and Red. This was her second time competing at the NBHA Youth World Competition.
Gunter competed in the pole bending jackpot on a friend’s horse, Cain, and though this was her first time competing in this event, she was the 3D champion with a time of 22.5 seconds. In round one, Gunter ran: a 15.7 second and tipped the second barrel on Cain, a 16.1 on Bambam, and a 16.8 on another friend’s horse, Rusty. In round two, she ran Rusty for a 16.1, Bambam with a 16.2, then finally Cain with a 15.8. Gunter and Cain qualified for finals in round two. She explains, “I was beyond excited about running him, and it was definitely an amazing experience. Cain ran a 15.9 during finals and overall, it was an awesome day!”
Gunter hopes to return to Youth Worlds in 2022 with “another trailer full of great horses.” She would like to thank those who made her 2021 Youth World experience one to remember. This includes Jessica Pinard, who Gunter grew up admiring and now is grateful to ride her horse, Rusty. She would like to thank Jennifer and Stephanie McPhall for letting her ride Cain and giving her help and uplifting words, saying, “I feel truly blessed to jockey Cain every chance I get.” She is very thankful for her family and all of their support throughout the years—be that prayers, encouragement, or advice. She says, “I’m so thankful that I have the opportunity to compete in the world of barrel racing, and God has put amazing blessings in my life to enable me to do so!”
Aubrey Taylor Williams, 13, also competed at the championship in Perry. The DEA eighth grader has ridden horses for most of her life. Her horse’s name is Millie. In round one of the competition, Williams and Millie ran a 16.203. In round two, they ran a 16.330. The duo received a no-time in the finals. Williams says she “feels good” about her experience at Youth Worlds. She plans to train along with Millie in order to “show up and show out” in 2022.
Ann Carol Daniel, 16, showed up for her sixth year at Youth Worlds. She has ridden horses since she was in diapers and barrel raced since she was around 8-years-old. She says, “Youth World is always the highlight of my summer. I have met so many friends through the years, and we reunite every year.” Daniel sadly had to leave her main horse at home this year due to an injury, so she relied on her other horse, Spoon, to get her through the competition.
Daniel and Spoon unfortunately hit a barrel for a no-time in round one but came back in the redemption run for a time of 15.5 seconds. This won the team third in the 2D division among 675 other riders. Though they did not make finals, Daniel is proud of Spoon and their performance. She plans to come back stronger next year.
Daniel hopes to barrel race and work with horses for the rest of her life. She has big plans to attend University of Georgia in 2023 to become a veterinarian and specialize in equine sport and medicine. She wants to thank her parents for making all of these things possible.
“They took me to that one rodeo when I was 8 and allowed me to fall in love with this great sport. None of this would be possible without God and my support system. I believe the sport of rodeo is a special thing and every kid deserves to be introduced to it.”
Kinsley Swinson, 13, rode her two horses Brody and Charmer at Youth Worlds. The DEA eighth grader was eager to return to Perry. She has competed there several times. Swinson has ridden horses and barrel raced for as long as she can recall. She says it is always a good experience when she competes in the NBHA Championship.
She rode a 15.0 on Brody in the second round of the competition, which earned her 13th place in 1D. She ran 15.2 on Charmer in section 2, which earned her first place in 2D. In the finals, Swinson ran a 15.1 on Brody, which placed them in seventh in 2D. Swinson is proud of these runs and says she had fun at the event no matter what. She wants to thank her mother and her granddaddy for all of their support.