The Hippodrome sees a family tradition continue
NORTH AUGUSTA — Amber Vinson is carrying on the family tradition.
The barrel racer, who was introduced to the sport by her mother Sarah Vinson, competed this weekend at the 18th Annual Winter Classic at The Hippodrome.
The barrel racer rode Panama Royal Dude, a 5-year-old, who is a bit green, beginning his career in the sport in April 2012.
“It's been a challenge with him in particular,” said Vinson. “He's cutting bred, so he wants to turn hard, so when he does, he comes back into the barrels. He's young.”
The horseman's schedule only allows her to ride Panama Royal Dude once or twice a week, but it hasn't hindered their performance.
Panama Royal Dude is a homebred, and is by the late, renowned stallion, Panama Edition.
Vinson's mother also competed this weekend, on an unaltered male, Docs Panama, a horse that Amber Vinson has also enjoyed success on in the past. The rider/horse combination finished 13th in the Dixie Nationals NBHA Youth division in 2013. They've also enjoyed success on the Five Star Barrel Racing Association circuit.
“He's (Docs Panama) out of a cutting horse dam,” said Amber. “We took turning and running and put them together.”
The younger Vinson has enjoyed success in both the youth and open divisions, and will be returning to The Hippodrome to compete later this month.
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.