Connie V. Wyatt

I’m planning to race in the Southwest Desert Classic – Bust’em Out barrel race on November 19th – 21st!

Paul and Vickie Solmonsen produce this weekend of racing every November for the next year of futurity colts “busting out” race. This is the race they also host the Appreciation Race Finals, as a way of saying thank you to all their supporters who came to their races all year.

I love that the Solmonsen’s always offer free arena ride time to allow your horse a chance to walk around the arena and get used to all the banners and things that might distract them or scare them during their barrel race.

This year the arena is open Friday until noon when the Exhibition races run from 12:00 – 4:30 pm.

There is a Friday night Open 4D Jackpot at 6:00 pm, that they have added $250 and then it’s also the last race of the 2021 season to qualify for their Appreciation Finals race on Saturday!

The only qualification required to compete in the Appreciation Race Finals is to have run in at least six of their Appreciation Sidepot races throughout the season. The Appreciation Race sidepot’s are $40 and how it works is: They take $10 to add to the year-end finals race, they give whatever producer that hosted the Appreciation sidepot $2 for their work, and then the rest, $28,  is paid out for the sidepot race! So the riders end up getting all but $2 back in winnings!

Last year’s Appreciation Race had over $10,000 in it and it’s already over $9,000 plus so far this year! That’s pretty good odds for winning big money when you realize that there are not nearly as many Appreciation entries as compared to the Open race you’ll be competing in!

On Saturday, after the Exhibition Runs from 9:00-10:30 am, they will have the first go of the Bust’Em Out Futurity for 2022 Futurity Colts. They have a $1,000 added incentive for that race. Then a big drag.

The Open 5D, Appreciation Finals, Run For The Money – High Stakes Race as well as Youth and Senior division sidepot races. There will be a big drag in between each big race.

On Sunday, the second go of the Bust’Em Out Futurity will start at 10:00 am. Then after a big drag, they will start the Open 5D.

You can still enter on to be in the draw until Thursday the 18th.

This race is held at the Blackhawk Arena in Salina, Utah. There are stalls and RV hookups on-site. You can also reserve these on

Paul and Vickie are always happy to sit and talk with you and are a wealth of experience and knowledge in the barrel racing world. Vickie competed at the NFR level for several years and they raise some great horses as well. Paul usually does the tractor work, dragging the arena after every 5 runners as well as big dragging at appropriate times to ensure that every runner has great dirt for their horse to run on.

The Solmonsen’s also are very devoted to helping the younger generation of kids that are at the races by having fun events for the kids to look forward to such as easter egg hunts and giving numerous bicycles every year!

The city of Salina has several truck stops, motels, and places to eat a good meal. There are even clean showers at the truck stop and a laundromat in town.  Mom’s Cafe is a very old cafe that is steeped in history and many famous visitors. They serve homemade scones with honey that are worth a stop and The Hot Spot has great burgers and shakes!

Hope to see you at the Southwest Desert Classic this year!

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