A Grant Union High School student took the top spot in barrel racing this weekend at the Southern Oregon High School Rodeo in Cottage Grove.

Bailey McCracken, a freshman, took first place in average time in barrel racing, an event where a horse and rider attempt to run a pattern around barrels in the fastest time. She finished with an 18.07 in her first go-round and an 18.10 in her second.

This was McCracken’s first rodeo.

“I was pretty nervous,” she said. “But it was really cool, because it was my first one, and I was competing against people who are older than me.”

McCracken said she had just got her horse, Chex, about five weeks ago, and they have practiced together quite a bit this summer and competed at other events.

“It’s been going pretty good,” she said. “I’ve placed pretty high in the barrel races I’ve been to.”

Another Grant Union freshman, Sarah Clark, finished in the top 10 in pole bending, a timed event where a rider runs a weaving pattern around six poles arranged in a line. Clark finished with a 22.17.

Two more fall rodeos will take place this season. The next one will be in Cottage Grove Saturday and Sunday and in Condon Sept. 18-20.

Sam McCracken, who brought home the state title in cow cutting at the Oregon State High School Rodeo State Finals in Prineville in June, will compete Saturday.

He went to the National High School Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma, in July and finished in the top third in reined cow.


Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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