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Barrel racing attracts 250 to Virden

"Overwhelmed! Really happy with the turnout." -Riley Cross

A group of young horsewomen from Virden held a barrel racing event over the May long weekend, a brand new event that attracted far more participants than expected and bodes well for the future of the sport in this part of the province. 

Riley Cross, Stacey Mead, Rae Lyng, and Shayanne Bear dreamed up and organized the “Don’t Give A Buck” Barrel Race.

Cross said they only expected about 100 horses and riders but closer to 250 came from across Manitoba and Saskatchewan to compete in the Sunday and Monday races at the Virden fairgrounds.


“We’re really happy with the turnout. Overwhelmed! We couldn’t be more thankful.”

There were 18 riders in the Pee Wee Draw, 50 in the under-16 Youth Draw, and 180 in the all-ages Open category. Winners went home with buckles, blankets, tack and some cash prizes.

Boosting barrel racing

The races got strong support from sponsors, but the goal wasn’t to make a profit or raise funds. Rather, Cross says their motivation was to make barrel racing bigger in this province.

“In Manitoba, we only have four big races a year. In Saskatchewan and Alberta, they have them just about every weekend and people from here end up travelling there to participate,” said Cross.

She and the other organizers plan to repeat the “Don’t Give A Buck” barrel races next year.