Local girl wins barrel racing world title

Alison Murrell has been riding horses since she was 18 months old.

Alison Murrell on her pony Diamond while leading her other horse Sally. She is holding some of the prizes she won, including a bucket, embroidered bag, Carhartt jacket, two World Champion horse halters and some other goodies.

Alison Murrell on her pony Diamond while leading her other horse Sally. She is holding some of the prizes she won, including a bucket, embroidered bag, Carhartt jacket, two World Champion horse halters and some other goodies.

Now the 7-year-old from Cambridge holds the 2012 world championship title in the United Barrel Racing Association’s PeeWee division.

“I was really excited and happy,” Alison said about how she felt upon finding out she placed first.

Alison usually does speed events, but she started practicing barrel racing when the Murrells found out this year’s competition was to take place in Verndale, Minn., from Aug. 3 to Aug. 5.

Using her white pony named Sally, Alison placed first all three days of the event.

“We were hoping she would do fairly well, but weren’t necessarily expecting her to win, so that was a really big blessing,” her mom Kari said.

Alison participated in her first competition at the age of 4 at the Minnesota State Fair, and she holds other titles in addition to her most recent from the United Barrel Racing Association.

Alison rides around a barrel during the competition in the PeeWee division of the United Barrel Racing Association held in Verndale, Minn., Aug.3-5.

Alison rides around a barrel during the competition in the PeeWee division of the United Barrel Racing Association held in Verndale, Minn., Aug.3-5.

Alison is home schooled, so horse riding is what she does for physical education. She and Kari do trail riding, barrel racing, horse racing and more. Her next event is the pony racing division of a horse racing competition during the Carlton County Fair in Barnum, Minn., on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19.

“This will probably be a lifelong thing for her,” Kari said. “She even rides when it’s raining and I refuse to go, so I follow her in the car.”

Barrel racing is her favorite event, and Alison said she wants to continue competing as she gets older.

“Riding ponies is my favorite thing to do,” Alison said.

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