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Gibson brings home State Champion Barrel Racer title

By Carolyn B. Edwards & Shanna Gibson

Center Photo by Rusty. Top and Bottom photos Contributed-

Sidney Gibson earned the state championship barrel racer title on her horse Miss Beacon's Blondie at the Texas High School Rodeo Association competition this month. She will be competing for the national title in Wyoming in July.

As a member of the Texas High School Rodeo Association (THSRA), Bandera County's Sidney Gibson competed in Region 8 this year and qualified for the state finals in both pole bending and barrel racing. At the state rodeo, Gibson earned the title of State Champion in barrel racing.

"I love being at the highest level of competition that I can possibly be along with my dreams of qualifying for the NFR (National Finals Rodeo)," said Gibson.

Gibson has been barrel racing since she was a young girl and has been a member of THSRA for the past two years.

The state finals were held in Abilene, Texas, from June 10-16, 2012.

After the first go-round, she placed in the top six and won a buckle. In the second go-round, Gibson again placed in the top six, winning another buckle.

This series of successes qualified her for the short-go, in which the top 15 barrel racers in THSRA compete.

For the first time in eight years there was a tie for State Champion Barrel Racer.

Gibson and Jackie Ganter, of Abilene, were named co-champions in the event.

They both received the State Champion saddle and buckle.

As a result of her achievement, Gibson will be representing Texas as the state champion in Rock Springs, Wyoming, at the National High School Rodeo Finals (NHSRA) from July 15 through July 21. She will compete with 1,500 contestants from 41 states and five Canadian Provinces for over $350,000 in scholarships and a chance to be a national high school rodeo champion.

"I hope to be the National Champion Barrel Racer and retire the trophy for Texas!" said Gibson.

Bandera Feed and Farm Supply sponsored Gibson for the Region 8 competition.

Gibson is 17 years old and graduated from Bandera High School this year.
She has a full-ride scholarship for the rodeo team from Howard College in Big Spring, Texas. She plans on getting her degree in equine science with a minor in business.

She also plans to become a member of the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) with the goal of making it to the NFR (National Finals Rodeo).

She enjoys the support of community, friends and family, but she is very self-motivated. "If you don't believe in yourself, who will?" she said.

Proud parents are Brian and Shanna Gibson of Pipe Creek.

Gibson has been training her horse, Miss Beacon's Blondie, since the horse was two years old. Blondie, a palomino, was born on Gibson's grandfather's farm. Lonnie Taylor, from Ackerly, Texas, gave the mare to his granddaughter when the horse was two.

Former NFR qualifier Lisa Ogden helped train Blondie on the barrel pattern. Ogden and husband, Randy, own Ogden Training Stables.

Gibson considers Blondie an extremely smart mare with a gentle heart, the heart of a champion, who always gives everything she's got.

If Gibson comes home from Wyoming with a national title, Bandera County will have to make room for yet another national rodeo champion on the champions' monument on the courthouse lawn.

Follow Gibson's national rodeo action daily on the NHSRA's web site at www.nhsra.org.

Catch all the action live via iHigh.com on their audio web cast.