Young Guns

The Great Texas Balloon Race Texas Young Guns

June 19-21, 2020 | Longview, Texas


A first-time event attached to one of the premier balloon competitions is growing to more than twice its size this year and is looking for young and new-to-the-sport balloon pilots to enter the field.

The Young Guns competition debuted at the 2019 Great Texas Balloon Race in Longview, Texas, with six up-and-coming pilots who competed alongside their more-seasoned colleagues. At this coming year’s event, June 19 to 21, 2020, up to 15 Young Gun pilots will take to the skies for a chance to win substantially more prize money but with considerations made for their experience level.

To qualify for the Young Guns competition, pilots must be licensed and 29 years of age or younger on the first day of scheduled flights.

With a total purse available of $12,100 for Young Gun pilots – not including a possible extra $5,000 for our “Ducks on a Pond” contest – these younger competitors stand the chance of taking home significantly more in winnings this year.

The pilot in first place at the end of the competition will win $2,500, a black cowboy hat a six-shooter. Each of the competitors will win something in the competition with winnings as follows:

  • Second place: $2,000
  • Third place: $1,000
  • Fourth place: $800
  • Fifth place: $700
  • Sixth place: $600
  • Seventh through 15th place: $500 a piece


Here are the pilots from the inaugural Young Gun competition in 2019:

#101 Blake Aldridge from Longview, TX

Blake flies Inheritance

#102 Renai Cafferty from Kyle, TX

Renai flies Texas Twist

#103 Duncan Hernandez from Albuquerque, NM

Duncan flies Singularity

#104 Andrew Petrehn, Jr.

Andy will fly No Lime

Andy will fly No Lime

#105 Cameron Wall from Albuquerque, NM

Cameron flies Summer Saver

#106 Gordie White from Lakeway, TX

Gordie flies T Racer