Edmonton’s Virginya Foran and her horse Pale Face head into the final barrel as the 10th pair to run in the open division at the Calnash Winter Barrel Series final on Sunday. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Prestigious Ponoka winter barrel racing titles handed out

Pair of northern Alberta racers ride off as champions

Despite not capturing the top barrel racing run of the day, the finish was good enough to claim the overall series title.

Candace Lefebvre from Ardrossan rode off Sunday with the open high-point championship — complete with series jacket and saddle — at the Calnash Winter Barrel Series finale.

Lefebvre, on her horse Larry, wound up placing second in the 1D open with a run of 17.645 seconds, just 0.026 back of the day winner Edmonton’s Virginya Foran and her mount Pale Face. However, even without the win, the advantage Lefebvre had heading into the final event provided more than enough of a cushion to take the title. Shayna Weir on Kricket was third with a time of 17.730.

And just because a rider may not have the fastest horse or best runs, the series is all about rewarding consistency, which is why the youth high-point championship was taken by Hailey Duncan from Athabasca. Her third-place run on her ride, Dodge, in the 2D at the final was just enough to push Duncan into the overall title.

The rest of the last event winners were: Open 2D — Rhonda McConaughy on Jet (18.655), Rene Leclerq on Patsy (18.656), Whitney Nepinak on Zee (18.661); 3D — Shelbie Hunt on Vegas (19.788), Milena Radanovic on Annie (19.792), Tamar Folk on Spur (19.973); Peewee — Leigh Busenius on Cat (20.198), Kaycee Schwerdt on Buddy (22.531); Rikki-Jae Henderson on Earl (34.016); Youth 1D — Kyla Kelly on Cheeka (18.008), Justine Elliott on Blondie (18.299), Harleigh Henderson on Dee Dee (18.519); 2D — Alyssa Olson on Pokey (19.276), Quinn Going-Rycroft on Sundance (19.344); 3D — Kassidy Butler on Shadow (21.107), Harleigh Henderson on Eddie (21.120).


Candace Lefebvre accepts her high-point championship saddle by Ed Seto of Ponoka Family and Community Support Services, one of the Calnash Winter Barrel Series sponsors. Photo submitted

Nathan Stone presents Hailey Duncan with her championship saddle, sponsored by Prairie Auction Services, for capturing the youth high-point title at the Calnash Winter Barrel Series. Photo submitted

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