Jones wins state barrel racing title 

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

The International Barrel Racing Association held the West Virginia state finals in Canvas this past weekend at the Good Evening Ranch. Alexis Jones of Greenbrier County won the “Open 1D Average Champion” belt buckle by having the fastest average time throughout the entire weekend. 

The “Average Champion” is anything but average. It represents the fastest average time throughout all three days of the state finals. Jones and her horse, Penelope, raced Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the adult and open divisions. Out of roughly 160 horses in the field, their average time was the fastest, making them state champions. 

Alexis Jones competes at the WV IBRA State Finals in Canvas, riding Streakin’ on the Beach (Penelope). They won the Open 1D Average Champion title.

“Penelope gets all the credit,” she says. “It was all her.” 

While Alexis calls her horse Penelope, her formal name is Streakin’ on the Beach. Alexis bought her in 2020 from Oklahoma. 

“She was already broke to ride as a two year old off the racetrack, but not trained on barrels,” Jones says of her best buddy, “but shes still young and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs with hoof issues through the couple years.” 

They competed a few times in 2021 and 2022, but they hit the circuit hard this year for the first time. And the results speak for themselves. Jones and Penelope are in the Top 10 in points for the year and now are state champs. 

“I cried like a baby all weekend long,” Jones reflects. “I kept saying I don’t deserve to be here. This is so crazy.”

Unlike some other riders whose horses are products of well-known and high-dollar trainers, Jones says, “It’s just been me and my horse. So it’s a very rewarding accomplishment.” 

When asked the hardest part of competing, she said, “Finding a ride,” with a chuckle. “I don’t have a trailer.” 

While Jones enjoys picking up the win, she says the competition is the last thing on her mind. “Every time I leave the arena, I tell the next person up I hope they kick my butt.” 

Instead, what drives her is the adrenaline rush of racing and the relationship she builds with her horse. “I’m trusting her with my life and vice versa. Our partnership and the rush keeps me coming back.” 

Jones said she didn’t really celebrate the state title. Instead, she brought Penelope home and, “I gave her lots of hugs, told her I was very thankful for her and for the trust we have with one another.”

Jones will compete again on Penelope Aug 26-27 in Canvas at the Good Evening Ranch. As part of the saddle series, a saddle will be up for grabs for the winner. 

“You can hop on any horse,” Jones says. “But unless you understand each other, you are hitting a brick wall. They sense everything you are feeling.”

Both will head into their next event feeling full of confidence, fresh off this state title win. 

For further information, visit:


Related stories

Amanda Hawkins

If the notion of “strength” could take human form, it would look exactly like Amanda Hawkins.  Not only is Amanda the second Charley Clayton Memorial

Give us your feedback