The headlining race of the Best of the Best is the BOTB Slot Race, and 2022 had the packed coliseum roaring with excitement right out of the gate.
Sierra Baker and The Real Slim Sadie were the first draw of the race and clocked a 15.514-second run that would hold for not only the BOTB title, but also Saturday’s Open win out of around 450 horses.
Baker was excited about her win and reflected back on her first trip on “Sadie,” a 2013 mare by Slim Fittin Jeans and out of Count On Royal by Sonny Go Royal, back in 2018.
“My first run on Sadie I won a saddle—well, it was a 3D saddle,” Baker said. “We kind of trained her as we ran her. Dad did the training on her and then mom ran her.”
After she sold her first-string horse about three years ago, mom handed the reins back to Sierra and the two figured things out, with a few bumps along the way.
“We hit a lot of barrels,” Baker said.
A chance bit change helped Baker smooth things out with the mare.
“I run her in a hackamore,” Baker explained. “One day, I honestly didn’t feel like going to grab a bit, so I threw this hackamore on her that was hanging close by. She worked so good in it, so I called my dad and told him. We kept working her in it and I was nervous to run her in it, but Dad pushed me to.”
Baker isn’t even sure what the exact hackamore is, but she knows it works.
“I think it gives me less control, which is good for her,” Baker said. “She’s really sensitive. As soon as you pick your hands up, she’s turning.”
Although she is a first-time BOTB champion, Baker is no stranger to winning on different horses. Mom, Penny, dad, Ken, and brother Simon, all train horses. Baker’s specialty has always leaned more towards the push-style horses, which helps explain why Sadie is such a solid fit.
When Baker isn’t training, she is working full-time in a position at Honda. Once her workday is finished in the office, she heads straight to the barn to work horses.
Springfield is one of Baker’s preferred arenas. On Friday, Baker was fourth in the Open 4D with a 15.872, but said she is comfortable clocking in the 15.5-15.6 range inside of Champions Center. Baker was first out in the stacked slot race, and the other contestants chased her through the course of the entire class.
“Sitting in the alley, (Sadie) was just shaking,” Baker said. “Her heart was beating so fast. She was so nervous—I wasn’t nervous. I was just thinking about, I don’t know, La La Land, anything but my run.”
The only contestant out of over 600 runs on the entire day to come close to Baker’s time was Pennsylvania’s Chasey Wain. She smoked a 15.576 on ImStillAGuy. Wain also finished in the fourth place position aboard CFour DarkPatch Patsy, leaving room for only Brian Langmore and Busy Leaving Memorys room to slide into the third place position.
Baker chose to sit Sunday’s race out, and after rolling her BOTB slot race time back to the Open 4D she took the win there out of around 450 entries.
A testament to the family’s training ability, Baker also had a hand in helping the 2022 PeeWee BOTB Champion, Cheyenne Garrison.
Baker is Garrison’s mentor and her family trained ALeeSpecialLeo, the 2012 gelding by Our Special Shiloh out of ALees Royal Leo by Ole Dancing Leo.
“I look up to Sierra Baker,” Garrison said, “But I’m not selling her Leo back.”
Garrison is 12 years old and doesn’t care much for boring school but loves riding horses. Her father used to be a racehorse jockey, and her mother is a competitive barrel racer. They helped her get her start at an early age, and didn’t plan on her jockeying Leo until she was older. However, Leo and Cheyenne didn’t follow the plan.
“I let her run him and they just clicked,” Paige said. “He really loves her. They’ve been outrunning me, he’s just such a great horse.”
Stay tuned for more on Garrison and the BOTB Youth Champions, Emily Stiles and UndniablyABlazingStar.
BOTB Open Slot Race
|1||Sierra||Baker||The Real Slim Sadie||West Mansfield||Ohio||15.514|
|3||Brian||Langworthy||Busy Leaving Memorys||Sturgis||Michigan||15.680|
|6||Kaily||Sooy||Flashy Ms Ease||Plainwell||Michigan||15.806|
|2||Mia||Crone||Rare Irish||Pleasant Lake||Indiana||16.414|
|4||Krichel||Clark||DT Cody Badger||Meadville||Pennsylvania||16.564|
|6||Emilee||Heath||Silverados Foxy Style||16.750|
|3||Kaylee||Fisher||Shesis on a high||15.915|
|4||Nina||Shirey||Fame N Perks||Ohio||15.916|
|6||Havana||Wester||About French N Time||Paris||Kentucky||15.959|
|7||Morgan||Hutton||Swear Im Rare||Eighty-four||Pennsylvania||15.988|
On day one of the Best of the Best, it came as no surprise to locals that Indiana’s Cindy Patrick—well known regionally for making winning runs look effortless— and Flit Ta Heaven reigned surpreme after over 12 hours of barrel racing competition.
Patrick’s 15.759-second trip in the late hours of “Friday Night Lights” competition (a preview to the BOTB slot race the following evening) bumped Pennsylvania’s Chasey Wain and CFourDarkPatchPatsy to No. 2 for the day. Below is a recap of the Open riders and horses who cashed in during Friday’s competition.
🎉 Last Chance BOTB Slot Qualifiers 🎉
Congratulations to the following athletes who showed out to earn one of the remaining positions in Saturday’s Best of the Best PeeWee and Open slot races.
|Caleb||Hanes||Joe Cody’s Hotrod||Lancaster||Oh||17.114|
|Emilee||Heath||Silverados Foxy Style||17.211|
|Joyce||Hanes||Marry Me Fame||Lancaster Ohio||Oh||16.048|
|Hannah||Wheeler||SRS Perfect Gal||Winchester||Ohio||16.057|
|Chloe||Whitesel||Pals French Martini||Centerburg||Oh||16.116|
|Julie||Siesky||Hope This Fame Fires||Connellsville||PA||16.126|
- How does NFR Aggregate Champion Ivy Saebens select a saddle for each of her horses?
- 5 Easy Things EVERY Barrel Racer Can Work On
- The Jules Story: Hailey Kinsel’s “Other Palomino”
Open 4D Results – Friday, August 19
1D-1 Cindy Patrick on Flit Ta Heaven, 15.759
1D-2 Chasey Wain on CFour DarkPatchPatsy, 15.849
1D-3 Braia Vogel on Frenchies Single Guy, 15.865
1D-4 Sierra Baker on The Real Slim Sadie, 15.872
1D-5 Brian Langworthy on Busy Leaving Memorys, 15.920
1D-6 Kayla Moody on Oliver, 15.944
1D-7 Summer Shafer, Froze My Socks Off, 15.959
1D-8 Denise Evans on Jewels Casanova, 15.975
1D-9 Kendall Kirkpatrick on SmartNStellar, 15.979
1D-10 Summer Shafer on Barvatos, 15.979
2D-1 Lauri Givens on Firewater, 16.260
2D-2 Denise Evans on Famous Rolling Stone, 16.262
2D-3 Nikki Cowden on SR Ta Heaven N Fame, 16.267
2D-4 Rachel Miller on Kaydens Girl, 16.270
2D-5 Danielle Walworth on Cuz I Seis So, 16.279
2D-6 Randy Kuipers on Easy Judgement Call, 16.282
2D-7 Melissa Gonterman on GT Maximum Romance, 16.290
2D-8 Jaelyn Cooper on GT Maximum Romance, 16.290
2D-9 Sally Kuipers on Cant Trump My Fame, 16.300
2D-10 Chloe Whitesel on JTS Stick A Dynamite, 16.319
3D-1 Devony Mull on Ohla French Charge, 16.759
3D-2 Carol Slonski on Perk Up N Kiss This, 16.770
3D-3 Macie Brumfield on SBH Killer Moves, 16.775
3D-4 Kaylee Weaver on Kelowna Moon, 16.777
3D-4 Mackenzie Miller on Zan Zuki, 16.777
3D-6 Katy Kemp on Rancho Deluxe, 16.778
3D-7 Jackie Arnett on Know Me Dough, 16.789
3D-8 Amber Martin on HPH SixShootinMartha, 16.811
3D-9 Anna Gulash on Genuine French Miss, 16.816
3D-9 Sydney Hutton on Dandys French Lady, 16.816
4D-1 Jocelyn Holley on TES Redneck Romeo, 17.775
4D-2 Hollie Withroe on ItsFiveOClokSumWhere, 17.777
4D-3 Jeremy Passwaters on Bulls Little Buck, 17.798
4D-4 Savanna Murphy on Fast Wager, 17.802
4D-5 Jason Boysel on Fast Wager, 17.831
4D-6 Dawn Shirey on Mollie Jo Stinson, 17.835
4D-7 Mason Lynde on Bodacious Ruby, 17.850
4D-8 Bayleigh Gallaugher on Izzy, 17.852
4D-9 Eric Haid on LL Blueboy Badger, 17.859
4D-10 Case Salyers on Melmin, 17.871
Barrel racers in the Eastern United States know that the end of August—for nearly the past decade—means that it’s time for the best open, youth and peewee barrel racers from surrounding states to travel to Springfield, Ohio, and compete for big bucks.
Best of the Best Fast Facts:
The Best of the Best is presented by On the Road With Dawn and Clea productions and represents the third installment of the ladies’ big races, and arguably the most exciting. BRM has been with Dawn and Clea all season long at The Panty Raid Futurity and Rebel Soule events, and we’ll be bringing you timely, in-person coverage of the “BOTB,” all week long.
Where: Champions Center, Springfield, Ohio
When: August 18-21, 2022
Who: The show is open to all, but the real action takes place during the Best of the Best invitational slot races on Saturday night. Open, youth and peewee horse and rider combos qualified for these races by placing inside the top three in the first division at approved races all year long.
On Friday, August 19, all BOTB qualifiers will have the chance to run in a bonus race with no additional entry fee–a preview to the Saturday action, if you will. It’s called “Friday Night Lights” and it’s sure to bring viewers on BarrelRacing.com to their feet that evening.
Why: The BOTB is one of the highest-paying events in its region. Their awards for PeeWee and Youth riders are unrivaled. It also features National Pole Bending Association (NPBA) pole bending and International Barrel Racing Association (IBRA) sanctioned barrel classes, meaning that members can earn points in those associations while competing. The BOTB is also home of the Buckeye Regional Championship for Future Fortunes and offers an additional $25,000 for horses enrolled in FF.
The 2022 BOTB showbill.