BG woman & horse race to the top PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Saturday, 24 November 2012 08:38
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Crystal Haskins and her horse Dixie (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
A Bowling Green woman fulfilled her childhood dream last month.
Crystal Haskins astride her horse, Dixie (registered name, Sheza Streakin Bully), won the amateur barrel racing championship at the All American Quarter Horse Congress.
“It was always my dream since I was a little girl,” Haskins said of the title.
The Congress, as it is commonly called, is the largest single-breed horse show in the world. It is held annually at the Ohio Expo Center (state fairgrounds) in Columbus, and this year drew 19,861 entries during its 24-day run in October. Participants in the Congress come from 48 of the 50 states and three foreign countries.
Haskins said there were 119 entries in her event, with 93 of those horses competing.
For her win, she won $200, a bronze trophy and a medallion. She is also waiting to receive the championship coat.
Haskins drew the 27th position in the run order. She and Dixie took the lead with their time of 14.962 seconds.
Her nerves and patience was tested as she waited and waited to see if any of the others could best her time. None did.
“This year all the times were significantly faster. The ground was a lot better,” she said. “I was just hoping my time would hold.”
The next four times were close, including the second place finisher who finished just .011 seconds behind at 14.973. Three others were within .09 seconds.
“We ran a clean pattern, it was terrific,” Haskins said.
She said often times the horse will brush against the barrel which is all it takes to lower the time a fraction of a second.
Dixie has been part of the Haskins family since birth and her success is a bit of a miracle considering two separate incidents.
First, when Dixie was born at the rural Bowling Green farm, the mare did not want to lay down. Haskins was fortunately in the stable at the time the foal was born. She and her husband, Josh, were there and caught Dixie or the mare would have let the foal drop to the ground.
“We were there and caught her. It was kind of amazing,” Haskins said.
At age 5, they found a chip in the horse’s knee. They took her to Purdue University for surgery to remove the chip. The chip and surgery could have finished her racing.
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Crystal Haskins tends to her horse, Dixie, in a stable.
“We followed the recommendations and she came back good,” Haskins said of her horse who is now 8 years old.
“We’re finally getting it together and hopefully we can continue. She’s a real nice horse,” she said.
Haskins is hoping for ongoing success as she says some horses are still competitive as old as 20.
In addition to barrels, Haskins also competes in pole-bending. This is by far her best showing, but she has placed at the Congress before with another horse, Bully. Haskins says Bully and Dixie are related through the pedigree blood lines. She thinks Dixie’s grandfather may have been Bully’s sire.
Like the horses, Both Haskins and her husband come from “pedigree” horse families.
Her mother is Becky Johnson, a frequent award winner in the National Barrel Horse Association; as are Josh’s parents, Dave and Sheri Haskins. Two of her grandparents were also champions. Her paternal grandmother, Mary Johnson, was active and frequent winner in racing; while her maternal grandfather, Gerald Burris, was an active barrel racer and still races standardbreds to this day.
When not riding, Haskins works as a dental hygienist for Dr. Frankel in Toledo. She is a 1997 graduate of Bowling Green High School. As a youth, the then Crystal Johnson was a member of the Cactus Kids 4-H Club. She was active at the Wood County Fair and took several placements including wins at the county fair contests.
It was through her activities in the club that she met her husband who was active in a different club. Together they own three horses.
Josh Haskins also competes in barrels and poles, but her recent win gives her a bit of bragging rights.
 

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