The JJK Barrel Races continue Saturday and Sunday just east of Great Falls at The King’s Arena.
Event producer Juli Jo Kelly is proud to have been hosting the event for 20 years, this year featuring nearly 200 riders.
These riders traveled from across the state, and some even ventured across the border from Canada.
“It gives me a place to run my own horses, it can be a little frustrating trying to produce the race and run my own horses, but I’ve got some really good help, just a lot of friends that pitch in and help,“ says Juli Jo Kelly.
“Our races we really try and make family-oriented,” says Larry Kelly, Juli's husband and head groundsman. “We have pee-wee, which is the little girls and boys just starting out, to the juniors and adults, and we hope that everybody enjoys it while they’re here.”
Larry Kelly operates the tractor to rake the arena in between riders.
“It’s very important to me that the grounds are safe for every runner,” says Larry, “we’ll have close to 200 runners today and the first one out I hope has the same advantage as the last one.”
The stakes are high for the winners of the event: “I’ve got abut $15,000 tied up in the awards, this is what it’s all about,” said Juli Jo.
The races continue Sunday and people of all ages are encouraged to go support the runners as they compete for the awards.
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