Henryetta barrel racer Saylor Smethers will be one of 160 contestants competing at the KK Run for Vegas/Junior World Finals Barrel Race and Pole Bending, set Dec. 10-14 in Las Vegas. The event will be held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale. saylor
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by these kids, and they have all earned the right to compete in Las Vegas,” said Kelly Kaminski, the event’s organizer and a two-time world champion barrel racer in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
“Each of these kids will be competing for over $150,000 in cash and prizes.” Each competitor will run twice, and the top 20 contestants with the fastest two-run cumulative times will advance to the championship round.
“These are all kids 17 and under, and they come from all across the country and Canada,” said Kaminski, a five-time NFR qualifier who also was a two-time reserve world champion. “This is a great opportunity for these kids.” The KK Run for Vegas/Junior World Finals is one of the most prestigious youth Western events in the country, and only the top qualifiers have earned the right to compete.
“This is a very exciting time for every child, every family that will be part of it,” Kaminski said. “As a former teacher, I’ve always wanted to be involved with kids, and this is a great way to tie rodeo and kids together in a championship format.”
She is the daughter of Stacey and Jerrod Blanchett.