Thousands visit Perry for Youth World Championships

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PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Some of the world’s top barrel racers are in Middle Georgia this week for the National Barrel Horse Association’s Youth World Championships.

One family 41NBC spoke with at the fairgrounds Monday came all the way from West Brisbane, Australia! (That’s a 14-hour flight if anyone’s wondering.)

Riders ages 4 to 19 are competing for bragging rights and the title of world champ.

The riders and their families took a break from the action Monday for dinner, watermelon and fellowship.

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As the crowd danced and sang along to live music from a country band, we caught up with Taylor Stinson, a 16-year-old from Alabama who’s been barrel racing for two years.

"My best friend did it, so I was around it a lot," she says. "I had a choice when school started back to either play that or volleyball. I had a passion for a horse, so that’s what I chose."

The Stinson family had a much shorter trip (about 3.5 hours) than most of the competitors.



"These people come from 43 states," says Sherry Fulmer, executive director for the National Barrel Horse Association. "We have them from Brazil, Australia. We have a girl from France. We have so many kids here. We’ve got over 2,200 horses on grounds."

The event runs through Saturday. Here’s the remaining schedule:

Tuesday, July 21 – 8 a.m. Teen Competition continues

Wednesday, July 22 – 8 a.m. Teen Competition continues, Second Go Rounds, Spirit Parade

Thursday, July 23 – 8 a.m. Go Rounds

Friday, July 24 – 8 a.m. Go Rounds

Saturday – July 25 – 1 p.m. Youth Finals Followed by Teen Finals

Kids 5 and under get in free. Everyone else must pay $10 per day.  Reaves Arena is located at 401 Golden Isles Parkway.