Senior FFA member qualifies for finals of barrel racing series

Ebony Tatmon, Panther Growls staff member

Lufkin High School senior Raven Williams has qualified for the Revolution Barrel Racing Youth Finals that are this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Raven Williams)

Lufkin High School senior and FFA member Raven Williams recently qualified for the Revolution Barrel Racing Youth Finals.

The RBR is a year-long series of nine barrel races that are held all over Texas.

Williams, 17, has been riding horses since she was 4. She broke her first horse when she was 12, and she has been barrel racing since she was 15.

This is Williams’ first time qualifying for RBR Youth Finals.

“I entered the last race of the series, taking a shot in the dark just to see what we could do,” she said, “and I ended up qualifying for finals.”

She also won the 3D racing division in youth.

The stud horse Williams will be riding is named Tank. Williams broke and trained Tank herself.

“I’ve been working on him for a while,” she said.

Williams said she purchased Tank as a youth project for FFA.

“I ended up convincing my parents to let me keep him as a stud instead of gelding him, and then I taught him to be a barrel racing horse,” she said. “If we do win, it will just show how intelligent he is and how much he loves the sport.

“I feel blessed,” Williams said, ”Mine and Tank’s hard work has paid off.”

Williams said FFA has taught her equine science, horse judging and showmanship.

“It contributes to letting me get a better understanding of my horse, competition-wise,” she said.

The finale will be this weekend in Glen Rose, Texas.

“I’m very excited to have this opportunity!” Williams said.