8 Year Old Kelli Acreman Cleans Up At ABRA Finals

by Michelle on August 31, 2011

One of the “littlest biggest” winners at the 2011 ABRA Finals was Miss Kelli Acreman.   Kelli and her horses won so many prizes I think they may have had a hard time finding a place to put everything on the way home.   We were thrilled to have Kelli answer these questions for us about her barrel horses and her haul at the ABRA finals.

-What are the names of the horses you ran?

My little black mare’s name is Pixie ( also known as pigs, because she eats so much) and my sorrel geldings name is Little Hookie Del better known as Hobbie.

-How old are you, and what age are your horses?

I am 8 years old, Pixie is 15 years old and Hobbie is 9 years old.

-How long have you been running barrels on them?

I have been running barrels on Pixie for 3 years and I got Hobbie a year ago.

-What is the training background on your horses?

We bought Pixie from a girl in Oregon. Pixie does everything from barrels, poles, breakaway and she is even the reserve world champion youth mounted shooting horse.

Hobbie is a barrel and pole horse.

-Do you have to adjust your riding for each horse and how do you do that?

For Hobbie I hold him in and try to get as far into the arena as possible because he he needs help on his first barrel. I try to keep him soft and shaped, after his first I try to ride up and ride hard for the rest of the run.

Pixie… I get her pumped in the alley, but I don’t let her go untill she is closer to the timer.  She has an old injury and I try to keep the pattern as short as possible for her.

-What is it you liked best about each horse?

I love Pixie because she is so solid and she always has the same run no matter what. She has taught me how a barrel horse should feel, putting me in the same spot, and turning the same turn every time.

I love Hobbie because he has challenged me to learn how to read a horse. He is a really funny horse with a few quirks and I have had to learn how to give him confidence through me.

-How did you feel all your runs were at finals?

I thought they were all great runs. I was very proud of my horses. Every run got stronger for them and they stayed very honest. My goal at ABRA was to keep all my runs clean.

-Did you do anything different to prep for your runs at ABRA finals as opposed to what you normally do?

Stalling the horses for that long was a challenge. So I made sure they got lots of exercise through the day and we wrapped their legs every night to help with stocking up. We wanted their legs as tight as possible before we ran. We also took extra measures for Pixie as she reacts to the shavings. Thanks to Daleny Vet they kept Pixie in tip top shape!

-What kind of saddle do you use?

I ride Hobbie in a Double J saddle and Pixie in custom saddle that has a good wide tree. She Loves her food and is a little bit rounder than we would like her to be!

-What kind of pad do you use?

I use a Impact gel and my new felt pad I won at Jr. Rodeo

-What kind of bit do you use on your horses?

I ride Pixie in a Molly Powell Smooth Run and I ride Hobbie in a Molly Powell port bit.

-Are there any specific goals you have set for yourself and your horses this season?

When I got Hobbie my goal was not to have any expectations, just to get to know him and become a team.

My goal this year with Pixie was to try to keep her fit and not so fat.

-What lead you to be a barrel racer?

My mom is a barrel racer and she has had me on horses since I was 10 days old.

-If you were to share a training/rodeo tip what would it be?

To believe in yourself and always think positive. Visualize your run before you go and do it over and over untill it’s perfect.

 – Tell us about the great awards and prizes you won at the ABRA Finals (in youth), sounds like quite a haul!

In the First go I won 3rd in 4d on Hobbie and got a 200.00 gift certificate for boots from Jones boys and 6th on Pixie and got a 100.00 gift certificate to Twisted label.

In the Second go I won the 4d on Pixie and got a buckle, jeans and Interval timing gift certificate and 9th on Hobbie in the 3d. And won the 4d average on Pixie.

In the Short go I won the 3d and the 4d as well as the high point overall youth….

I won a Lindsay Sears Shilo saddle, a Molley Powell saddle and a Raylee Racer saddle, a youth high point buckle, 2 leather jackets, headstall and breastcollar, magnetic blanket, silk scarf, gift certificates from Mike Copeman, 12 basket productions, and Interval Timing. I also took home approx $3000.00 in prize money.

Kelli also wanted to thank all the people that worked so hard to put on such a great event.  She says “This is my favorite event every year”.

Congratulations Kelli on such a rewarding finals!

Check in later for some video of Kelli making some runs.

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Dad September 2, 2011 at 9:20 am

Message to my daughter. Wow you have made mom and I so proud. Not for all the prizes that you won but how you have worked so hard all year exhibiting dedication and sportsmanship towards your horses, competitors and friends. You are a true CHAMPION.

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