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TURNIN’&BURNIN’-Two local youths competed in the NBHA World Barrel racing competition

Kelsey coming out of a turn at World competition. Photo submitted.

Kelsey coming out of a turn at World competition. Photo submitted.

Two local residents, Dondi Crosby and Kelsey Ryan, competed in the National Barrel Horse Association’s Youth World Competition (NBHA) in Perry, Georgia, in late July, and did well. The competition lasted for eight days.

Kelsey and Dondi both made it to the finalist’s competition. Kelsey, riding her horse, Turbo, competed in the teen competition and won a Commemorative Belt Buckle and a check for $100. Dondi, who competed with two horses in the youth competition, also won a Commemorative Belt Buckle and a check for $141.

Kelsey, who graduated from Colleton County High School, lives in Grover. She has been riding horses since she was 12 years old. “I started riding after moving to Grover from Summerville. I like horses, and the residence in Grover had several acres of land, so we had to clear the land and fence the land for the horses. It was a three-year process.” Kelsey added that she took lessons during the summer of 2010 from an instructor by the name of Skip Scott, who lived in Sylvania, Georgia. “He taught me how to ride correctly, barrel racing wise, and he also taught me how to teach my horse how to barrel ride. My horse had been a reining horse, which was another way of riding.”

Kelsey and her family have five horses at their residence in Grover. “Turbo is my favorite, and is the horse that I ride the most. I also ride a horse named Bandit. Turbo is a quarter horse, and so is Bandit, but we also have three paints.”

This fall, Kelsey will enter her third year at Francis Marion College in Florence. She is majoring in Veterinary Medicine, which requires eight years of schooling to obtain a degree.

This was Kelsey’s third year of participation in the World Competition. She noted that last year, she also made it to the finals. She noted that she also competes in many barrel racing competitions every year. “Riders have to do well in those competitions to make the World Competition. All in all, I would guess that I have ridden in at least 100 competitions.”

In the Youth World Competition, Dondi, who is twelve years old, has been riding for eight years. She trained for barrel racing through instruction from Tammy and Tommy Crosby.

Dondi competes in barrel racing competition. Photo submitted.

Dondi competes in barrel racing competition. Photo submitted.

“Dondi, who lives on Chestnut Road, which branches off Sidneys Road near the Industrial Area, has been training herself for the past year, said her mother, Donna. “As a result of this training, she is very disciplined. Every day, after school, she goes straight to the barn.”

Jerry, Dondi’s father, agreed wholeheartedly. “It takes that kind of commitment to learn how to ride well.” Watching Dondi handle her horse, whose formal name is ‘Brother’s Red Otoe,’ he added, “Those two have a bond, know what each other are thinking and doing.”

Jerry said the competitors at the event were from several different countries, such as Australia, Brazil, Italy, and China. He noted that the competition was held in a fully enclosed, air-conditioned arena. “It is the largest equestrian center in the southeast.” He said that, in the youth competition, about 800 riders started out, but, by the time of the finals, that number had dwindled to about 100.

In 2012, Dondi finished in first place within the youth division at both the S.C. NBHA State Show and the S.C. NBHA 04 June Show. Both of these competitions were held in North Augusta. She also placed first place in the youth division at the 2012 Winter Classic in North Augusta.