Longtime Norval resident Sue Collier made a last-minute change of plans in order to compete in two prestigious North American barrel-racing events this past weekend and said Monday that making the non-stop overnight drive from Augusta, Georgia to Toronto was well worth it. Collier competed in the National Barrel Horse Association World Championships near Atlanta last week with her two rides, Roll out the Money and QT Poco Vittoro, making the grand finals with both. Because the NBHA Finals were scheduled to end just before 10 p.m. Saturday, Collier had decided before the competition that even if she and her horses were among the few out of the hundreds of entries to make the championship round, she would have to withdraw Saturday morning in See COLLIER, pg. 26
Collier has winning weekend
Continued from pg. 23 order to make it back for the 1 p.m. Sunday start time for the ladies' rodeo at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. A change of heart, however, meant that Collier would compete in the NBHA Finals after all and then try to make the 15-hour drive back to Canada. She and `Rollie,' a nine-year-old quarter-horse mare, recorded the fastest time in the finals of the Senior (50+) Division, which was open to men and women riders, but tipped a barrel on a turn and received a five-second penalty. Collier and the four-year-old QT Poco Vittoro finished 12th in their division at Augusta, earning a cheque for $579. Then, with her partner Adam Harrison at the wheel and her mother Sue along for support, Collier's trailer cruised through the morning hours and pulled into the Exhibition Place parking lot just in time for Sunday's Royal. She and `Rollie' raced around the barrel course seven-tenths of a second faster than any other of the eight competitors in the East versus West Canadian Challenge. "It was announced just prior to the rodeo final on Sunday that we had represented Canada the night before in Georgia and then driven 15 hours to get back for the Royal, and the crowd was explosive with their applause," said the 53-year-old Collier. "Rollie just loved that and he responded with a marvelous ride." Collier's season isn't over just yet as two of the Ontario circuits will hold their finals later this month.