Mississippi Horse Park will host national event

MISSISSIPPI STATE — The eyes of the barrel-racing nation will turn to the
Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville on Oct. 17.

The Mississippi State University facility will host a qualifying event for
The American, a major national rodeo. Parts of the qualifier will be
broadcast nationally on RFD-TV and live-streamed over the Internet. This
competition is on the first of a three-day event that also will include the
Better Barrel Racing Eastern Regional Finals and Horse Poor Barrel Races.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our Mississippi Horse Park to host one
of the 10 qualifiers in barrel racing for the world’s richest one-day
rodeo,” said Bricklee Miller, horse park manager. “Part of what makes this
so impressive is the list of other venues hosting one of these
barrel-racing events.”

The nine other events sanctioned by Better Barrel Racing will take place in
Pasco, Washington; Springfield, Ohio; Loveland, Colorado; Verndale,
Minnesota; Lincoln, Nebraska; Silesia, Montana; Glen Rose, Texas;
Jacksonville, Florida; and Buckeye, Arizona.

Miller described the Starkville event as “the SEC Championship of Barrel
Races” with each contestant paying $500 to run down the horse park alley.
Participants will compete to advance to the semifinals and then the finals
on March 1, 2015, in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

RFD-TV’s The American, presented by Polaris Ranger, is the world’s richest
one-day rodeo. It pays out $2 million to the day’s victors and awards over
$500,000 in prizes. The top 10 individuals and other qualifiers will
compete in barrel racing, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback
riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping.

Cindy Hyde-Smith, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture
and Commerce, attended The American finals last March in Arlington, Texas.

“This is a great opportunity for Mississippi tourism. We are seeing a
tremendous interest in rodeo sports, both in Mississippi and nationally,”
Hyde-Smith said. “In addition to the exciting events for spectators, prize
money amounts have become a major draw for highly skilled competitors.”

Riders for the Starkville competition will be able to sign up online from
Aug. 25 until Oct. 10 at http://www.horsepoorBBR.com.