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January 27, 2015 • Headlines

Jac-Cen-Del kindergartners Landon Owens and Neil Sullivan share their dreams for the future. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana associates visited Leslie Hick’s classroom and shared a story about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and challenged students to consider their dreams for the future. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Blood and bone marrow drive
Tuesday, Jan. 27 • 1 to 6:30 p.m.

Crossroads Restaurant
615 W US 50, Versailles

Blood donation

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and generally
feel well. Appointments are preferable, but not necessary. Go online at to join the Cure Camille drive.

Bone marrow
Be The Match is a bone marrow registry that links thousands of donors to patients.
A cheek swab is done, and if it’s a potential match, you will be contacted for the
next step. Additional testing may be needed.

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A Flare for winning
Holton horse racing for a million bucks

By Julie McGuire
Reprinted with permission from The Republic in Columbus, IN

A Columbus rider, who’s been barrel racing since he was 3, is preparing for the race of his life. And, the horse he’ll ride on has local connections. Justin Beach of Holton owns the horse. A million dollars is on the line for Jimmy Bryant and Beach, if Bryant can make it through the semifinals next month and win the national barrel race finals at The American rodeo March 1 to be held in the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Bryant, 48, will race a horse known as Flash Red Jet, owned by Beach, a 2006 South Ripley graduate. But Bryant and Beach just call her Flare, because she’s just that fast.
Justin Beach and Flare


Justin Beach of Holton rides his 9-year-old horse Flare in a barrel race . Beach is the son of Danny and Alice Beach.

Speed is the main ingredient to get to a national rodeo final in barrel racing (14 seconds fast to be exact ) in a three-barrel cloverleaf pattern on dirt. In just those few seconds, a barrel-racing horse and rider must go 40 feet from the timer to the first barrel, 90 feet between the first and second barrel and 110 feet from the first and second barrels to the point of the cloverleaf to finish, Bryant explained. To do that in 14 seconds, a horse like Flare is probably traveling more than 35 mph, and the horse must lean and slide around the barrels as quickly as possible. And, if you knock down a barrel, the horse and rider are disqualified and done for the day. “It’s a rush,” Bryant said of the trip around the barrels competing against a clock.

Getting this far not easy

Just to get to the national semifinals in which about 100 riders will compete to be in the top 10 to make it to the final, Flare and Bryant had to be close to a 14-second run. They ran a 14.218 to place in the top five at a competition in Verndale, Minnesota, to make The American semifinals. Bryant said he believes a time of 14 seconds can win the title. Bryant is one of the few men who are competitive on the national level in barrel racing; there are more women in the sport at the top levels. He is one of five men in the semifinals and the only one from Indiana. When he’s not racing, he’s a truck driver for Kroot Corp. in Columbus, where some of his biggest fans are his co-workers. Beach , a native of Holton, works for UPS as a driver. One of the best parts of barrel racing is coming back to Kroot and having everyone ask how he did with Flare, he said. Beach said he found Flare when she was about 6 years old at a sale that was listed in a farming magazine. He had no intention of buying a horse that day, but since his friend was riding another horse for sale, he decided to check out Flare with a ride.

“The minute I threw my leg over, I knew I had to buy this horse,” he said. Flare, a quarter horse, was a barrel racer then but was running about two seconds off the winning pace for her former owner, Beach said. “The lady didn’t know what she had,” Beach said of Flare. But, Flare didn’t really realize it either until she met Bryant. Beach still owns the horse but turned her over to Bryant as the rider to see if Flare had what it takes to win. “Those two are perfect,” Beach said of the pair. “Flare really likes Jimmy, and the two are just inseparable.” “Once I got her, we just clicked,” Bryant said.

Bryant and Flare have won just about everything they’ve competed in, which includes barrel races in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky and further travels to competitions in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Beach also has won many barrel racing shows on Flare himself. Prizes at the bigger rodeos can reach up to $60,000, and he splits the winnings evenly with Beach as a part of their deal, Bryant said. If the two manage to win the million, Beach will probably get the bigger share because it’s his horse, Bryant added.

Looking for a champ
Finding a barrel racing champion horse isn’t easy ; the horse must be physically built for speed and unafraid to lean into the barrels and dig into the dirt. Flare recently did training away from Bryant, swimming in a specialized indoor pool in Greenfield that exercises horses, he said. The horse swims against a current while staying in place. Swimming uses every bit of the horse’s body and helps her endurance, building her lungs up for the explosive speed that will be needed in Texas, Bryant said. But, Beach said it’s not always just the physical look of a horse that indicates a talent for barrel racing.

“I honestly believe it’s the horse’s heart,” Beach said. “Flare has a big heart and she loves to race. That’s her job. And if a horse loves her job, they will go out and do it and win.” Bryant and Flare don’t have any good luck charm or pre-set routine before a barrel race; there’s no superstition involved when Bryant rides toward the start line in an arena. The main thing is to keep nerves at bay and communicate with the horse, Bryant said. “When I get ready to go into the arena, I give her [Flare] a tap and say it’s getting ready to happen,” he said. Nathan Jones, a fellow barrel racer from Corydon, travels with Bryant on the racing circuit and said Bryant’s chance at a national win is a real possibility and a dream come true. “Getting to that national stage is what everybody shoots for,” he said. “Jimmy puts a lot of work in and strives to be the best. That’s why we all do it , to get to the top.”


Bryant said he plans to leave in mid-February for Texas for the semifinals Feb. 18 to 20 and remain there if he and Flare make the March 1 finals. It will be the first time he has competed in The American, and Bryant’s fans say he may be the only representative from Indiana in the whole competition.“Last year, I sat at home and watched it on TV,” Bryant said. Bryant said he knows a lot of his friends are pulling for him and will be rooting for the pair as they race toward the million.
“Anything can happen,” he said of his chances. “You can be beat out by a fraction of a second. But I’ve got pretty high hopes. We are going to be on our game.”

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• New superintendent at JCD board meeting (front page)
• Osgood loses town board president (front page)
• Commissioners change policy: Squad vehicles allowed off duty (front page)
• Free college tuition misses the mark by Luke Messer (page 4)
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