Shannon Aspinall and her horse touch a barrel during the celebrity barrel race at the New Year's Eve Rodeo.
Shannon Aspinall and her horse touch a barrel during the celebrity barrel race at the New Year's Eve Rodeo. Margaret Walsh

Woman rider just too fast around barrels in celebrity race

KAREN Banks recorded the fastest time, 18.167 seconds, to win the celebrity barrel race at the New Year's Eve Rodeo at the Warwick Showgrounds.

The barrel race brought together nine representatives of business and community organisations.

Banks represented Talk N Heads Hairdressers and won by half a second from Warwick Show and Rodeo Society representative Geoff Grant.

Builder Peter Bradfield rode the course on a motor bike to come third in 21 seconds. Past Australian showjumping champion Pauline Pickering from Globe Accounting and Warwick Credit Union showed plenty of style to just miss a place.

Major event sponsor Brad Steele from Steele's Bakery negotiated the course on a quad bike on a surface more suitable for horses than bikes but he made it home in good time.

Accountant Shannon Aspinall and local identity Tracy Vellacott started riding horses in the past fortnight to compete on Saturday night and both were timed in the high 20s before Aspinall was pinged five seconds for knocking a barrel.

The littliest horse in the field, Elmo, was ridden by event organiser and Australian Professional Rodeo Association office manager Karen Burraston who was decked out in purple on a horse not much bigger than the purple saddle cloth. Like all participants, she finished the course after opting for a smaller horse for a bit of fun rather than a horse which may have given her the chance of a top-three finish.

Daily News sports editor Gerard Walsh was timed at 27 seconds but was reminded by the MC he went the wrong side of one barrel on 16.3 hands high Darcy.

There were no withdrawals from the celebrity barrel race, the nine nominees all turned up.

Portable yards were set up in front of the chutes to reduce the size of the arena, bring the crowd closer to the action and reduce the size of the barrel racing course.



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