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Learn About Rodeo

Barrel Racing, A Race Against the Clock

Love barrel racing? Want to know more about it? Learn more here about the fast action sport of barrel racing. These girls are dare devils with a need for speed on their well trained horses.

  • Zadie
Barrel Racing at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

Barrel Racing at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

Fast horses, tough cowgirls, and three barrels, are the components that make up the women’s barrel racing event. A fan favorite at rodeos, the women’s barrel racing is one of the only events held at most timed event rodeos centered solely around the women and the bond she shares with her horse. Like other timed rodeo events, the winner of the barrel racing can occasionally beat their rivals by only a thousandth of a second. The winner is determined by the speed of the horse, and whether or not it can make a clean run without knocking over a barrel for a five second penalty. While the sport was initially just for the women, men are allowed to compete at specific races. The sport is for people of all ages and levels of experience.

Barrel Racing at Flagstaff Pro Rodeo

Barrel Racing at Flagstaff Pro Rodeo

Girl’s as young as third grade are competing in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) against veteran racers. The WPRA is the oldest Barrel Racing at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeoprofessional organization in the sport. Initially identified as the Girls Rodeo Association, the WPRA started holding sanctioned barrel races in 1948.The National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) is another key racing organization competed in. The NBHA has a system which allows competitors of varying talent levels to compete together. This inspires both new riders and veteran riders to compete alongside and appreciate the thrilling event. With some competitions having payouts and awards packages greater than $250,000, it’s hard not to want to contend.

The sport has come a long way with lots of hard work and perseverance. It wasn’t until the year of 1949 that barrel racing was judged off of the shortest time and not off of the appearance of the girl and her horse. This is also the year women were offered prize money instead of gifts such as make-up and hair products. As barrel racing continues to grow in numbers of participation size, it also continues to grow in hearts of rodeo fans who want to cheer on these cowgirls.

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

I am a 23-year-old from the small town of Hitchita, Oklahoma. I was raised in the well known Duvall steer wrestling family, so I am no stranger when it comes to the sport of rodeo and western lifestyle. I have two brothers, and the three of us have all competed in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. I am an Oklahoma State alumni where I majored in Agricultural Communications and Agribusiness. I am now a third grade teacher. When I am not writing stories or in a classroom, I enjoy camping with my family, feeding cows, traveling, going to rodeos, meeting new people, and eating dutch oven dinner.

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