Age, size prove no deterrent

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Shelby Spielman, 13, of Dalhart, Texas, put together a strong showing during the first two days of the Double Dash barrel racing event at Curry County Events Center. The event concludes with a 10 a.m. show today.

By Dave Wagner

CLOVIS — Shelby Spielman isn’t one to let her relative lack of size bother her. Nor her age.

The 13-year-old from Dalhart, Texas, has shown herself to be one of the top competitors in this weekend’s Double Dash barrel racing competition at Curry County Events Center.

Spielman turned in the sixth-best time overall on Friday, and the best among youth competitors (15-and-under), with a mark of 15.847 seconds. She also had two strong runs in Saturday’s session.

The event, sponsored by CBT Productions of Canyon, Texas, wraps up with a 10 a.m. show today.

Spielman, preparing to enter the eighth grade, said she stands around 4-foot-9. “I think I’m one of the shortest people in my class,” she said.

She said she’s been riding horses since the age of 2 and doing barrel racing since around 6. She competes in a number of CBT Productions events in the region.

“I just started out doing junior rodeo and ‘play days,’” she said. “I like being able to compete. I love riding horses and being around people who love the same things I do.”

CBT manager Angie Moore said her six-year-old organization puts on about 10 events a year, all one-day outings except for this one and the “Christmas Cash” in Amarillo in December.

It’s the first time CBT has hosted an event in Clovis.

“Each one is its own standalone (event),” said Moore, a native of Portales. “That way we don’t have to keep track of (season points).

“We just started out small and have slowly grown,” said Moore, a native of Portales. “Each (event) is its own standalone race. That way we don’t have to keep track of (season) points.”

The top overall performer on Friday was 43-year-old Susan Siggins of Ruidoso, who posted three of the top five times on three different horses.

Siggins spends most of her time training horses for barrel racing, although she competes regularly — often with the idea of getting a horse ready to sell. She usually is training around 10 horses at a time.

Essentially, she competes because she enjoys it.

“I just kind of go everywhere,” she said. “I don’t go very far away. I just kind of stay close (to home) and train (the horses).

“I’m just lucky enough to be able to do something I love every day.”