Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cowgirls Don't Cry....Ride, Baby, Ride

Paul and I recently traveled to Forsyth County in North Georgia to visit his niece, Sherri and to attend the 2nd Annual James Soares Memorial Barrel Race. The race is held in honor of her father, Paul's brother Jim, who was killed last year and raises money for the transport division of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Sherri's sister Dawn, her husband Jesse, and daughter Raychel were also there for the week. We visited with Dawn & Sherri's mom, Donna, Sherri's son Austin and her fiance Kevin. It was a great week of family fun and getting to know lots of good people who have been Sherri's support group over the last year.

Sherri is the owner of S & S Equestrian Stables in Cumming. A horse farm on 31 acres of beautiful Georgia countryside where she provides English & western riding instruction, specializing in barrel racing. Sherri & Dawn have been riding horses since before they could walk. Both have been champion barrel racers although Dawn hasn't ridden in several years. But you couldn't tell by the way she rode that week. Dawn competed in the adult and open classes of the race and took third place in one of the divisions.

The race was on a Saturday and the Friday night before we had a horseshoe tournament and barbecue. Here are some photos from the week.....there's a lot of them. I hope you enjoy.

NOTE: For those of you who are unfamiliar with barrel racing, and that included me, the average time the riders take to enter the arena, clear the three barrels and exit is about 15-17 seconds. The winning time for this race was 15.095 seconds. Not a sport for a new rider!

Here are Jim's daughters, Dawn and Sherri. Here's Sherri and Kevin. What a great team they make. Both hard workers and devoted to each other.


Getting the arena ready the morning of the race. We'd had a day of rain and it was a mess.

Paul grew up on a farm. He said being at Sherri's that week brought back memories of his childhood. He totally enjoyed it all.

Here are some of the guys throwing 'shoes as my grandfather used to say.



Spectators the day of the race.

Here's Donna and Austin.

Cupcake the Pony all dressed up for the prom.

Sherri and Dawn along with some of the other riders waiting for their exhibition rides.

There were many trailers there for the race with dozens of horses. This beauty caught my eye.




Paul and I were amazed at the work and organization that went into planning the show. Paul said Sherri put the Energizer Bunny to shame. Here she is on her cell no doubt coordinating something.
More riders waiting to race.

Looks like somebody's getting a new pair of shoes.

Dawn and Raychel.

Here's Sherri on Buddy. Her friends told me she and this horse are One.

Raychel kept busy shuttling people around with the Gator. Here she is with her dad, Jesse.

Dawn and Raychel.

Donna worked the food concession stand that raised lots of money.

I had to get involved with the money! Here I am with Sherri in the booth counting out the prize money. Nearly $4000 in prize money was awarded.

The arena has to be dragged after every fifth rider. Kevin must have had saddle sores from sitting on that tractor all day.

Here's Dawn on Heifer the horse not a cow. Doesn't look like she hasn't been on a horse in 5 years.

Another of Dawn's runs. I guess you don't forget.



Here's Sherri on Buddy.

Winner of the James Soares Memorial Barrel Race for the 2nd year in a row, Terri Alexander. More than 125 riders raced that day and $1500 was raised for the hospital.

Paul and I look forward to being there next year.



31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Sandy! Way cool..... I used to ride a LONG time ago, but never did barrel racing. I'm very impressed with the riders and the horses!!!

Was that Lucy standing very bravely near those BIG horses???? :)

Katie B.

Sandy said...

Katie B.---nope, not Lucy. There were at least 3 Jack Russells there that day and I had to take a picture of each one. I guess they are awesome little barn dogs.

Pam said...

Great photos and description of the event! I know it's an important event for Sherri and Dawn and I'm so glad you and Dad were able to go and had such a wonderful time.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was an awesome event and a great tribute. Next year maye we'll see you and Paul on a horse?
Janice G

Sandy said...

Paul and I did ride! But not in the race. The average time into the ring and around all three barrels and out is about 20 sec. They are moving! We did a 14 mile trail ride one day, half of which was in the pouring rain but it was still fun. Look forward to riding again next year.

KarenMarie said...

what an amazing event to honor Jim. he must have been a great guy! thanks Sandy and Paul for sharing with us.

Badass Geek said...

Looks like it was a lot of fun, and all for a wonderful cause, too.

kaye said...

great post. I've grown up going to rodeo's and had a sister that raced barrels. Sometimes it looks like those horses will lay right down on their sides they turn so quickly. It's an amazing thing. I also like to watch the calf roping and cow cutting.

New England Girl said...

It sounds like a fantastic day, event and week spent visiting family! I loved all of the photos. :)

Sherri Soares Thornton said...

Sandy, you did a great job on this blog. All the photos look great. I really hope you and Uncle Paul do come back next year and bring Uncle David and Uncle John with you. ....After expenses we raised 1500.00 for charity..... Maybe next year we can hit the 3k mark. That would be great! Thank you so much for posting this blog and all the photos. People can also go to creekfall.com and besteventphotographer.com to see more photos of the weekend if they are interested. Love and miss you.

Kyle Hardy said...

Sandy- What a beautiful blog about Sherri adn her memorial horse show for her dad. I enjoyed so much meeting you guys while you were down. I am looking forward to seeing you next year. Sherri is a wonderful person and those who surround her have a special presence about them. I know that she loves you all very much and I can't thank you enough for your contiued support. What a wonderful family she has and I am so blessed to have met you all. Much love and look forward to our next visit. Kyle

Sandy said...

Kyle, we felt the same about all of you! So glad to meet the people who have meant so much to Sherri.

Vodka Logic said...

Looks like a lot of fun and thanks for the pictures.
xx

BONNIE K said...

What a wonderful event. Lots of cool pictures too.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Looks very challenging.

Just Breathe said...

Looks like a great time. Love the pictures, they are beautiful.

Michele said...

What a terrific event and time very well spent. Looks like everyone had a good time.

Jane In The Jungle said...

What fun and a great event! The pics are great. I have a friend in Forsythe County and we've played ball in Cumming, small world!

Shauna said...

Looks like fun! I love Forsyth County. It's really nice.

Mary said...

Great pic's Sandy - and a great story too. Thanks for sharing.
Mary

honeywine said...

That looks like so much fun. I haven't been on a horse since I was 15. I grew up on them for the most part. I'd love to spend some time doing that, but I suspect that might be a great outing for Blondie's birthday in Feb. She's horse obsessed.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

You attend the most interesting activities. My husband and I went to a county fair a few weeks ago. Saw a 4H rodeo of kids barrel racing. The mutton race we liked best.

Debbie said...

Great photos. Looks like so much fun. That is a beautiful area.

Tammy Howard said...

Really cool action pics! Looks like a lot of fun for a good cause.

carolyn said...

What a great family to do such a cool thing for their dad. I'm sure Jim was there smiling down on everyone and I'm sure he approved. Thanks girl!

Anita said...

I'm sorry I'm late in responding, what a wonderful event, you did a great job telling about it.

Oz Girl said...

What a great cause, and looks like such a fund day. Love the pic of Sherri on Buddy... beautiful horses. I'm familiar with the countryside too... my sis used to live in Roswell, and I moved down there for almost a year in my 20s. Loved north of Atlanta, went hiking many times with my son along the Chattahoochee and up in Dahlonega. Great memories!

bettyl said...

Looks like a great time was had by all!!

JOE TODD said...

Really enjoyed the photos and commentary. What a great world we live in

Anonymous said...

That's really cool Grandma! Maybe next year I'll go with you guys because I love horses and I think it's great they are doing something in memory of Uncle Jim

Jen said...

Wow Sandy what a GREAT Post. I felt like I was there, well, I wish I would have been there! Your pix are outstanding especially the one of Sherri and Buddy riding like the wind. Thanks for sharing and Happy Saturday Sharefest.

 

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