Kelsey Baker wins NBHA 5D Championship
Congratulations to Kelsey Baker of Fayette for winning the 5D Championship at the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) Youth Finals held at the end of July in Jackson, MS. Kelsey is the 13-year-old daughter of Donald and Judy Baker, and is the youngest of four children including brothers Jeremy, Michael and Kyle.
According to Judy, Kelsey’s love of horses began very early and that love has since steadily grown. She began riding ponies at age five and became a member of the NBHA at nine. Since joining the NBHA, she has been a three-time world qualifier and a two-time Youth World finalist, as well as winning high point youth 2D in the Alabama 02 District.
The NBHA is based in Augusta, GA, and has members in every state and five countries. It is known as the most innovative barrel racing business in the industry and is credited with introducing the divisional concept to barrel racing.
The largest youth barrel racing in the world, held in Jackson, MS, from July 25 through July 30, 2011, hosted contestants from 34 states, Canada, Italy and Australia. Contestants must qualify in their respective states to compete in the Youth World Championship and are the finest, youth equestrian athletes in the world. They qualify on a local level by competing at sanctioned shows or they can win a "wildcard" at National Shows, Super Shows and State Shows. At the invitation-only event in Jackson, Kelsey competed against over 600 other young people and won the 5D portion of the event. Along with being crowned champion, she won an impressive array of prizes including two trophy buckles, a trophy saddle, a two-horse gooseneck with dressing room and a cash prize.
Kelsey’s extracurricular activities are horses and barrel racing. Instead of the ball field or gym, she heads to the barn or the practice pen with Slim, her 11-year-old Quarter Horse gelding. She has had Slim since he was three years old, which means they have grown up together. Slim has large, gentle, brown eyes and, according to Kelsey, has a lot of personality and a big heart.
Slim is a large part of the team and their success, but a supportive family is critical to attain the success the pair have enjoyed. Kelsey’s family support and encourage her to reach her goals — both short and long term. The long hours of practice, traveling, competing and support freely given by family and friends have paid off for Kelsey and Slim. In the future, Kelsey plans to attend college and hopefully get an equestrian scholarship, so she can continue her barrel racing and be able to compete at the collegiate level.
The Bakers are customers of Fayette Co-op Branch of AFC and they rely on Manager Lance Ezell and his crew for all their equestrian needs. Quality Co-ops support youth agricultural activities of all kinds and are proud when our youth excel in their endeavors. Remember your local Co-op has what you need for your operation and, if not, the friendly staff will be happy to try to get it for you. They appreciate your business and strive to help where they can.
Don Linker is an outside salesman for AFC.