Bonsall’s Linda Stenerson not only won the National Barrel Horse Association race November 11 at Aspin Arena in Ramona but also won the season NBHA District 20 championship.
Stenerson also won the District 20 championship in 2011. “I was very happy to win it two years in a row,” she said. “It’s what you work for.”
The NBHA races use a divisional format. Stenerson won the 1-D November 11. She was also in Ramona on November 10 for a benefit barrel race at Mountain Valley Ranch held for Christina Roberts. Rachael Ross of Murrieta won the 1-D in that barrel race, but Stenerson had a time of 16.557 seconds to win the 2-D and $527. “I was very happy to win it,” Stenerson said, noting that Roberts’ stepmother, Selena Roberts, is a close friend. “Rachael’s really tough competition and my horse is a novice. It was really quite an honor to win the 2-D.”
The benefit barrel race raised more than $17,000 for Christina Roberts, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She has undergone chemotherapy and is currently taking radiation therapy. Roberts has medical insurance but is independently employed and did not qualify for disability or Medi-Cal, so all co-pays are out of her own pocket along with treatment beyond what is covered by her insurance.
Riders could also use their ride for side pot competitions with an additional entry fee, and Stenerson won the 1-D and an additional $42 in the novice horse/rider side pot for horses which had won less than $500 in their lifetimes. Stenerson rode Fergie, a six-year-old quarter horse mare.
Marcia Fuller of Bonsall had a time of 16.387 seconds to finish fourth in the benefit barrel race 1-D and win $146. Fuller also won the senior side pot for riders at least 50 years old, giving her an additional $70.
Stenerson also won the season-ending NBHA race on Fergie. She has been training Fergie for 2 1/2 years and obtained him from John Hannon of Brawley in July. “I offered to buy her and they gave her to me,” Stenerson said. “It’s a big honor to have her given to me because they just know I loved her.”
Fergie’s registered name had been Once Was Special; after Stenerson became her owner the mare’s registered name was changed to She’s A Special Gift.
“I’m very grateful to the Hannons for giving me the ownership of her,” Stenerson said. “We’re going to get a lot of great things in years to come.”
While Stenerson was pleased with winning the NBHA district championship, she was even happier that her daughter, Heather Herron, finished third in the 3-D. Herron, who is now 41, was 36 in March 2008 when a brain aneurism left her with brain and body damage. Herron died on the operating table and spent six months in the hospital. She was initially blind after the aneurism, although she later was diagnosed with dried blood in her retinas and surgeries restored her sight. “She’s a success story,” Stenerson said.
Herron’s lack of 3-D points in the final two races of the season was due to faster performances which placed her in the 2-D and 1-D.
Herron rode Rose, who has had malignant lymphoma for the past four years. “She’s not supposed to be alive and my daughter’s not supposed to be alive and here they are running together,” Stenerson said. “It’s been a very blessed year.”