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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Local teens earn top honors at national barrel-racing events in Las Vegas

By Patrick Massey

A pair of Arkansas teens  showed Las Vegas how barrel-racing is done this month.

Eden Blaise “Ziggie” Parks of Wickes competed her way to become the 2021 Vegas Tuffest World Champion 19 & Under Champion Barrel Racer. The Cossatot River High School sophomore student won $20,900 and a signature saddle Dec. 6 for her accomplishment at the event held in Las Vegas from Dec. 1-6. The 15-year-old was racing her horse, Grayman. Ziggie is the daughter of Mona Parks, and Josh and Mandy Parks.

The annual Vegas Tuffest Junior World Championship is held by Mike and Sherrylynn Johnson and showcases the top junior rodeo contestants in the nation with over $100,000 in cash, prizes and scholarships.

Hadlie Dixon of Lockesburg won the 2021 Western Legacy Tour Junior Hooey Patriot for barrel racing riding Vegas French Boy, also held in Las Vegas the first week of December. She won second place in the first round and, as a top-ten finalist, will compete in the Junior Patriot semi-finals in Fort Worth, Texas, taking place Feb. 25- March 6, 2022. The Junior Patriot has the largest payout of junior rodeo competitions with over $1 million in payouts. Hadlie is the daughter of Sam and Allison Dixon. 

Barrel racing must run in the genes, as Parks and Dixon happen to be cousins. The pair joined KENA’s sister station KDQN 92.1 program The Morning Brew on Dec. 15 to discuss their recent performances at the two national events.

In the meantime, they are surely preparing for their next competitions. 

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