BRAZOS COUNTY, Tx (KYLE) — The Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic may only be in its second year of existence but the competition has already taken off.
"She jerked a shoe off while running which is never good but it wasn't bad and it was a good experience."
Jenna Cadwallader came all the way from Arizona with her 6-year-old horse Ava race after she heard so many good things about the competition.
"It's been really great," said Cadwallader. "They run a good production, they keep it moving and the ground has stayed really flat which is critical in timing when it comes down to the thousandth of a second."
With 1,500 racers and 850 horses from 29 different states and 3 different countries, this 2-year-old horse classic is already one of the biggest competitions in the circuit with $450,000 up for grabs.
"Oh yeah it is most definitely," said competitor Macee James. "It's one of the five major ones I plan to go to this year."
And while the money is a great incentive, it's not all about winning the cash. The classic's main goal is to raise money for K9s4COPS, a non-profit organization that donates K9s to police departments in need.
"That's just awesome because they're not putting any money back into their own pocket," said Cadwallader. "They're giving back to an organization they believe in and giving back to the barrel racers."
A win-win for everyone involved.
The competition runs through Saturday night and organizers hope to raise more than $80,000 for K9s4COPS.