Local rider finds success at Winter Classic
NORTH AUGUSTA — It was an opportunity to move up in the standings.
Savannah Bracci competed this weekend in the 18th Annual Winter Classic at The Hippodrome. The horseman found herself sitting in third place in the National Barrel Horse Association’s South Carolina district 04 standings, tied for third in the Open 3-D division as of Nov. 25.
Bracci added to her point totals with a win on Saturday in the 3-D division, while riding her 8-year-old mare, Windsor Pie. The horseman gravitated toward the sport of barrel racing because of the speed variable. But she admits there are no shortcuts if you want to succeed because of the ambitious nature of the discipline.
“It takes a lot of time and effort, but I find developing a strong bond with my horse is extremely rewarding,” said Bracci, who’s from Ridgeville. “It’s a commitment if you want to remain competitive, and even more so if you want to win.”
Windsor Pie, the horse Bracci competed this weekend, is an 8-year-old mare the horseman has been working with for the past three months.
“It was a challenge at first,” said Bracci. “I had to really get on her and work her. But she’s definitely a top notch horse.”
Bracci’s focus this weekend was to improve her previous times, with the objective to lower it from 15 seconds to 14.8, which the barrel racer was able to accomplish on Saturday.
“You have to get yourself mentally and physically prepared,” said Bracci. “The competition has been very challenging this weekend. You have to be on the top of your game. This is the last show of the season, so we’re preparing for the upcoming year.”
Ben Baugh has been covering the equine industry and equestrian sport for the Aiken Standard since 2004. Among the awards Baugh has won include the 2003 Raleigh Burroughs Award as the turf writer making the most impact on the Florida Thoroughbred Industry. Baugh is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, worked for North America’s leading Thoroughbred breeder Adena Springs in Ocala, Fla. And interned at Thoroughbred Racing Communications in New York, N.Y.