LAS VEGAS — A local girl will get to race among the stars in Las Vegas this December. Drew Ellen Stewart of Normangee will be one of 147 cowgirls competing at the KK Run for Vegas/JrNFR Barrel Race, set for Dec. 11-15 in Las Vegas. The event will be held in conjunction with the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale.
“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 $130,000 in cash and prizes and a chance to earn a qualifying spot in The American Semifinals next February in Fort Worth.”
Each competitor will run the cloverleaf pattern twice, and the top 20 girls with the fastest two-run cumulative times will advance to the championship round. The girl with the fastest average time also will win a CM Trailer.
“These are all kids 16 and under, and they come from all across the country, Mexico and Australia,” said Kaminski, a five-time NFR qualifier who also was a two-time reserve world champion. “This is a great opportunity for these girls.”
The KK Run for Vegas/JrNFR Barrel Race 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 a part of it,” said Kaminski. “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.”