In February 2011, world champion barrel racer Sherry Cervi of Marana, Ariz. ran a blazing-fast 16.646 and broke Barbara Merrill of Axtell, Utah’s arena record of 16.653 in barrel racing at the South Buckeye Equestrian Center in Buckeye, Ariz.
That record stood until Saturday, March 22, when Rifle’s C.J. Vondette beat it.
Vondette, aboard the 18-year-old Cache A Mount, aka “Grizz,” completed the cloverleaf pattern in 16.625 seconds, the second-fastest time recorded worldwide on a standard-sized barrel pattern with a full score line. Vondette’s time will go down in the record books as the Buckeye arena record and the second-fastest time recorded and validated worldwide.
Also competing on two other horses at this event, Vondette ran a 17.460 on Meradas Dual Stich, but had a barrel down penalty on Doc Dry Badger to take her out of the money.
The world record time in barrel racing for a standard pattern is held by Ms. Perky Bug and Courtney Duncan, 16.586 on Feb. 23, 2013, at Haras Rapheala in Porto Feliz, Sao Paulo Brazil.