Bailey was born on July 8th, 2010 in Las Vegas, NV. She arrived a little early but seemed to be doing fine. However, she developed an intestinal infection and had to have emergency surgery. Bailey spent the next four months in the Las Vegas Spring Valley Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
While we were in the NICU our family came up with the idea to produce a charity barrel race to help other families with sick children and to help out the very special doctors and nurses that staffed that unit.
We contacted Michael and Paula Gaughan who are the owners of the South Point Hotel, Casino and Equestrian Center to see if they could help us make this dream a reality. They generously donated the use of their amazing equestrian facility in November of 2011 for us to hold the first annual Buckles and Barrels for Bailey.
The first event was a huge success and we raised thousands of dollars which we donated to the Spring Valley Hospital Auxiliary. We were able to pay for some specialized training for the NICU staff, buy some much needed equipment and create a parent's room for families preparing to take their babies home from the NICU.
We realized that what we really wanted to do was to help other families with sick and injured children so we created our own 501c.3 under the name Because of Bailey and gained approval in 2017. Our mission is to help families with sick, injured and terminally ill children with medical expenses, the purchase of specialized equipment, travel expenses and the day to day costs to keep a household running while a child is in the hospital.
When Bailey was about three and a half years old we began to notice that she was struggling. She tripped and fell constantly, began stuttering, and started having seizures .We took Bailey to numerous specialists only to have her misdiagnosed over and over.
In September of 2016, a week after Buckles and Barrels for Bailey event, Bailey was admitted to UCLA Children's Hospital where we would finally receive the correct diagnosis. We were devastated to learn that Bailey has a rare degenerative terminal illness called Battens Disease (CLN 6).
We were told that Bailey didn’t have much time and that she would deteriorate quickly until her little body just gave up. However through hope and faith, our family refused to give up. We started doing research and discovered the Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation.
The Gray family has two daughters with the same diagnosis. They funded the research for a clinical trial initiated in Columbus, Ohio at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The trial involves injecting a replacement gene into the child to stop the progression of this terrible disease. Bailey was admitted to the trial and was the 5th person in the United States to receive a gene transfer.
Our hope was that the gene transfer would stop the progression of the disease and that Bailey might find her way back to us. It slowed the disease down and gave us more time but sadly Bailey lost her fight on October 4th, 2021. She always belonged to God and thankfully he let us live in her light for awhile. We are heartbroken and miss her sweet soul but we also know that her legacy will be one of hope, love, faith and strength. We will continue to honor her memory, cherish the relationships we have built through her and fight on for the other families out there battling for their own kids.
Buckles and Barrels for Bailey has raised thousands of dollars for families all over the country and has partnered with Ropin' Dreams to continue to lift up families while they face their worst nightmare. Please join us in making a difference.
Buckles and Barrels for Bailey is an annual charity barrel race held at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, NV.
We currently draw contestants from all over the West and we have done so with very little sponsorship.
In 2021 we sold ALL the stalls at the South Point.
Because of Bailey now has an approved 501c.3 and all donations are tax deductible.
November 17-20, 2011 our family hosted the first annual Buckles and Barrels for Bailey benefit barrel race at the South Point Casino Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. All proceeds from this race went to the Las Vegas Spring Valley Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that saved our daughter Bailey's life.
In 2016, Because of Bailey was formed with the goal of helping families with sick and terminally ill children with travel expenses, medical bills and special needs equipment.
We are now on Amazon Smile! If you would like to add our charity to your Amazon smile you have to log into your account at www.smile.amazon.com
and search for Because of Bailey.
Over the last few days I have reflected back on our 10 year anniversary. You know what I love about barrel racing? I love the little victories that you see happening all weekend. Whether it is the little girl that has never been to a big competition and took her horse in to the novice race smiling the whole time, that runner that is coming back from a serious injury or illness trying to get their confidence back or that girl that has been falling in the cracks of the 3D all year an won herself a big, fat 3D check with some tough competition there are little celebrations going on the whole time. We have learned over the years with Bailey's struggles that sometimes what may look like a little victory to one person is the spark that lights a huge fire for someone else.
I saw people making the best of a weird situation. People helping strangers get their horses in the gate, people cheering for an awesome run or giving an encouraging word when it was needed. You all showed up knowing that there were going to be some restrictions and you handled it beautifully. We raised just under $100,000 this year. When I say we I mean all of us! If you have never been in a situation where your child is in the hospital and you are not sure how you will pay your mortgage or keep food going for everyone at home I can tell you it is a terrible feeling. WE are going to help those people this year and maybe we can help relieve some stress during those dark times. Sometimes it just takes one kind gesture to help lift you up and keep you going. I know because that has happened to us and I will never forget the kindness that has been shown to us.
We are so grateful to the people that help us make this happen! Our family and friends showed up in force this year and spent endless hours making this event a success. Thank you to all of those amazing volunteers!
Without sponsors we wouldn't have had those amazing payouts. Thank you Hard Dig, Brown Ohana Photography, AAA Arroyo Air, our anonymous youth sponsor, Raynlin Millworks and AMD, The Hitchin Post and Trails West for getting us the added money for the open, youth, novice, senior and men's race. To all of you that sponsored buckles or just sent me a check telling me to use it however we needed it, thank you! You are the reason that this race was so amazing!
Patrick and I had a day where it fell upon us to decide if we were going to go forward with this event even though there would be restrictions or if we would cancel. You all proved to us that we made the right decision. I hope that all of you understand that not only did you get to compete at this amazing venue but you also helped keep a lot of people working at the South Point. You all paid it forward all weekend and I am proud of what we all accomplished together!
For the couple of people that showed up and complained from the minute you got out of your truck...I hope you find the thing that completes your cold, dark soul so that you can find some unicorns and rainbows in this world. Until that time, please distance yourselves from others, you are testing the Jesus in me...
We are already planning for next year and it is going to be amazing!! We hope to see all of you again, without masks! We have so much love for the people that support this path that God has placed us on.
The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation exists to improve and save lives of all children impacted by Batten Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Thank you to the Gaughan’s for always being huge sponsor. We couldn‘t do it without them.
Brown Ohana Photography is our official photographer, Jonathan, Sarah and Bailey Brown have always been huge supporters of us and the race.
If you have any questions please email, call or text.
The below map and address are to the South Point Equestrain Center where the barrel race is held each year thanks to the generous donation b the Gaughan family.
South Point Equestrian Center, Las Vegas, Nevada 89183, United States