the saying goes "Everything is Bigger in Texas."
Kristi Schiller of Schiller Ranch is hoping to prove
that with the first annual Diamonds and Dirt Barrel
Horse Classic scheduled for March 14-18, 2012 at the
Brazos County Expo in Bryan, Texas.
The event will offer barrel racers
of all ages the opportunity to pursue their dreams in
one of the richest purses in the country with $60,000
added for the futurity division and $10,000 for the
Open 5D, plus a $125,000 shared prize package. The Brazos
County Expo is one of the newest and finest equestrian
facilities in North America. The Expo is home to the
PRCA Rodeo and the Texas A&M Collegiate Rodeo, a
winner of the Best Rodeo of the Year in the NIRA Southern
Region. Diamonds and Dirt was specifically geared towards
the final weekend of RodeoHouston making Bryan/College
Station a naturally pit-stop for the world's greatest
horses and riders.
"Despite today's economic challenges,
interest and participation and passion in barrel racing
continues to thrive," says DDBHC founder Kristi
Schiller of Schiller Ranch, located southeast of the
Expo in historical Millican, 10 miles south of the Texas
A&M campus. "I believe barrel racing is on
the verge of becoming a world-class sport of its own.
The time is right for tapping into a larger audience
as well as providing an outstanding new venue for the
loyal riders who have dedicated themselves to the sport
over the years."
Schiller, whose entrepreneurial
background is in broadcasting and marketing, is returning
to her roots of breeding and showing Quarter horses
through Schiller Ranch with the help of her husband
John. In addition to breeding horses, Kristi and John
are passionate about philanthropy and focus on causes
geared towards children. In 2009, Kristi founded K9s4Cops,
a non-profit charitable organization that supplies K9
service dogs to law enforcement agencies. K9s4Cops Inc.,
has been selected as the charitable non-profit beneficiary
of Diamonds and Dirt.
After researching the number of
big futurities available to owners, trainers and riders
alike, Schiller realized there were a limited amount
available and thought this was an ideal time to bring
one to Texas.
"This is the largest futurity
ever co-approved by the WPRA and to have an event for
5-year old horses of this magnitude is a great thing
for the industry," said WPRA Futurity and Derby
director Susie McConaghie. "I am really excited
about this event and opportunity to conduct a WPRA membership
drive during the event as well. I am thankful for Kristi's
vision on making this industry more viable and excited
to partner with her on this.
"Schiller Ranch was very instrumental
in assisting the WPRA in providing its webcast for the
2011 WPRA World Finals in Lincoln, Neb."
Event organizers are expecting over
300 futurity entries for this first annual event and
hopes this will be the beginning of something great.
All the top barrel racing jockeys are expected to attend
as well, including, Schiller Ranch futurity trainer,
LaTricia Duke, Angie Meadors, Jolene Stewart Montgomery,
Bo Hill, Kassie Mowry and two-time world champion Brittany
"We are excited to be bringing
a fresh prospective of sponsors to the sport. Along
with our sponsors and the phenomenal bloodlines, combined
with the agility of world's most talented riders and
trainers, I believe history will be made every year
at Diamonds and Dirt," said Schiller. "We
at Schiller Ranch are dedicated to making this a truly
premier event. The service and hospitality experienced
by each participant will be second to none, and our
payouts, always top-tier. At Diamonds and Dirt, we're
'Bringing the Bling back to Texas' where it all began."
For more information and entry forms
Futurity event rules:
- Futurity will be two long go rounds and a short go
will be determined by fastest qualifying time. Short
go time will be added to qualifying time to determine
event champion. Top 10-percent of futurity entries will
be taken to short go.
- Futurity open to horses foaled 2007 or later
- Horses must have never competed in a barrel race prior
to Dec. 1, 2011
- 80% payback of entry fees, 100% of added money
- Futurity is open to all breeds.
- Sections taken on first come first serve basis. Contestants
will be contacted if their section request is full.
Section 1 maximum 150, Section 2 maximum 150, Section
3 maximum 400 and Section 4 is unlimited.
- Youth incentives will be figured on a 3D Full Second
Format, 100% payback
- Saddles to Youth Incentive Division Winners
- Derby Incentive will have $1,000 added. This will
be open to horses ages 5&6 that ran as 4-year old
futurity horses, and to 6&7 year olds that ran as
a 5-year old futurity horse.
- 80% payback of entry fees, 100% of added money for
open 5D and Derby Incentive.