2021 BOTB in the Books THANK YOU

Holy Hot Weather!  That is the one thing everyone will agree on. It was a HOT weekend for 2021 Best of the Best. 

The days leading up to the show are always hectic with the other businesses we run and working our real jobs!  This particular week before the 2021 BOTB was what one might call a cluster; both our stall girls were out with injuries (both in the same week). All six days before the show, we were in the barn until midnight doing stalls and chores. The mower decided to die and we can not get parts til 2025 sometime therefore G4 Horse Ranch is now called G4 Jungle, the phones were blowing up with changes and things required for the performance, and it was a little hectic, to say the least.

Thank goodness for Lynnie and everyone at home to help get us ready to hit the road. 

We usually arrive a day before the show starts; because of limits on being in the facility the night before to set up (they would have charged us another day rental – Ummm, no thanks), we had to arrive for set up Wednesday morning.  Once we got there and got the horses settled, it was a bit trying that things that were to be done were not, and then the arena lights went out for 30 mins for a reboot !!WHAT!! At that point, we all had to take a deep breath and laugh!   Anyone who knows us knows we HATE starting anything late, but we managed to get it all together and roll into the weekend. 

Once we got started, it was all forward from there.  The ground crew ran those horses through the gates at a high rate of speed.  The crew was spot on this weekend.  They never missed a beat. 

Now for the Champions!   

Nina Shirey and Rooster – 2021 BOTB Pee Wee Slot Champions.  Nina has been with OTR for as long as we can remember.  This was her last year trying for the BOTB Championship, and BOOOMMM, she did it. She came to Michigan and was the Rebel Soul Champion and then carried through to the BOTB!  She has a family full of champions, and she continues the Shirey streak of champions.  We are sure Faye will be gunning for the title in the next couple of years as well.  Congrats, Nina, you are a rockstar!  Thank you, Brad and Jenna, for the text and kind words on our crew and for raising such great kids for the future of the sport. 

Kaylee Weaver and Friday Night Cowboy – 2021 BOTB Youth Slot Champions Kaylee and Friday Night Cowboy came to win on a Saturday Night in the Taft Coliseum.  Kaylee qualified in the Open and the Youth Slot races but chose the Youth Slot Race to run in.   Kaylee is no stranger to the OTR Shows her, and her mom have been to many OTR Shows, and we are happy to have crowned her the Youth Slot Race Champion.  I am sure we have not seen the last of this team.  We have a feeling she will be back to defend the title or gun for the Open Title in 2022.  BTW thanks for being so kind and understanding on the changes. We could not get to stick in the system. We appreciate you. Kaylee we do not yet have a photo of you to add 😦 we will update when we do.

When you say Champion, you think of a winner of the race.   That is just part of it.  This lady has so much heart and graciousness in her she is a Champion without the race.  

Denise Evans and Lightningrollingstone – 2021 BOTB Open Pole and Open Slot Barrel Champions.  Denise and Minnie were on fire this weekend! Running a 19.470 in the Poles and a 14.732 in the BOTB Slot Race to clinch both Champion titles.   The entire coliseum was roaring as she made her way out of the pen to the chute to her better half Travis Smith.  If you have not seen the video, look it up on Denise’s FB Page; it will make your heart melt.  She was feeling the love in the arena and out when those white gates opened, and he was waiting for her with open arms.  It makes us tear up typing this. 

Denise is not only the 2021 Pole and Barrel BOTB Champion. She is way beyond that.  She is gracious, she is kind, she is funny, she is sometimes forgetful (Blahhahah), and she is always thanking the other person.  We, as the OTR Team, appreciate all the kind words and recognizing the crew for their endless hours of hard work.  We thank you for that.  

We also want to shout out  Sophie Merriman and Magnolia Kit Kat for the fastest time of the weekend. – In Sophie’s words! “There are no words that can explain this mare, she is a once in a lifetime horse that is for sure!! I cannot believe we went in this pen and smoked a 14.411!!!! SOOO close to the arena record,  is a 14.402”

We did manage to get through the weekend even with us jacking up the software for any add-ones, draws, and changes.   That is all on us.  The gentleman at Barrelrace.com had about the same week as us before going into the show.   The week before they had their 5th baby and the weekend of the BOTB, he, his wife, and their 15-month-old were in bed deathly ill with Covid yet still managed to try to help us fix what was broken.  He is a rock star for building this program and building it as we have more shows. There are a lot of moving parts at the BOTB, and he did a great job making it work. (Until Dawn broke it) 

It was a trickledown effect from loading it wrong on Friday.  So, for those who we already apologized to a few times, we again are sorry for the mistake and the issues. Trust us when we say we did not want this to happen. We did not want to stay up till 4 am each day reentering data over and over.  So, when you are critical of the situation on Facebook or to your friends, please remember to say something good about the weekend too.  Do not condemn and form your opinion of the software on one weekend.  Also, remember – This is the same system we used at The Rebel Soul, and it was flawless. 

The bottom line is, be understanding of given situations. You never know what goes on behind the scenes when there are issues.  

Shout out to all the vendors who endured the heat all weekend to stay open so you could get some good deals.  

We cannot thank all the sponsors enough for helping make this show possible, from the Riders shirts – the White Pee Wee shirts were our favs this year- to the jackets the winners will receive. We are so appreciative of you all.  

Tim Billman, a huge thank you for all the time that you spent with us tracking down enough shirts when “the ship didn’t come in with the ones we ordered” to the certificates in the 120 rider bags that everyone had a hand in.  We, along with the contestants, appreciate you all.

For all of you asking and commenting on Dawn’s red shirt that came from our sponsor, Sundial Show Clothing.  Look them up on Facebook. She has some great shirts and does a fantastic job at hand making them. PS Chuck Givens makes that shirt look pretty good too! 


Barry Lindsay Trucking 

Bubby and Bert – B2 Ranch

Tom and Jhonda

Rileys Performance Horses

Chip and Lisa Nicholson 


EVS – Equine Veterinary Service

TC Customs

The Shafer Family – Tucson Sun

Denny & Jackie Dotson


Redtail Ranch Reckless Guy

5Star Equine Products

Rhinestone Lipgloss

Mandy’s Tack

DT Performance Design

Sundial Show Clothing 

MVP – Kelsey Morehouse

Nina Speed Beads

Ava’s Amazing Beads


Drinking Post 

Riverland Arena

Future Fortunes

Triple 777 Ranch


We want to Thank Everyone From the gate, to calling riders into the red sauna room (unless they were working with jacked-up draws), to the barrel/pole setters, they all worked together and had it covered without one complaint from our crew.  1900 runs not one missed time, 34,000 snaps from Brent not to mention Abbi and Bri taking those candid pictures.  

Our crew worked together as a team, and it showed. They are small, but they are mighty!  There were a couple newbys that stepped on board this show and they worked their tails off – long hours – but said they loved it and will be back for the 2022 season of the Half Bakes and our regular shows.  The long hours are a given but not one person complained everyone of our crew said “let’s get it done, we got this” They always Chose to Shine!

If you see them thank them for being part of the OTR Shows – they are what make the shows complete.  Also, remember to thank your show producer and their crew, big or small. At the end of the day, the shows they put on are what make everyone’s passion for this sport a reality.  We appreciate the love we felt over the weekend. 

Kelly Stewart Thank you for the much needed drink at the stalls and all the kind words about the show, the ground and our shows in general. We appreciate you and your family! Stormy Sue and little Ms Moser is gonna get it in 2022! Hope to see her at the Half Bakes for a shot at Qualifying.

To all the contestants, family members, owners and all who attended the show, thank you for being part of the weekend.  We appreciate all of you! 

Until we see you down the road, Remember to Be Kind and Chose to Shine!

Dawn, Clea and our entire crew.

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