What is Barrel Racing

Barrel racing is another timed event, but it is unique in that its competitors are women. The cowgirls run a clover leaf pattern around three barrels; run being the pivotal word here. These horses and riders are going at full speed, for the winner is often decided by a hundredth of a second. The idea is to not only be the fastest, but to leave all of the barrels standing. A five-second penalty is added to their time for each barrel that is knocked over. While the tie-down horses are worth a lot of money, so are these barrel horses. It is not unusual for a competitor to start one from the ground up to build the trust and training that is necessary to win. To buy a made one will often cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Featured Athletes

Meet Barrel Racer Sue Smith

In addition to qualifying for her second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo after placing sixth in the 2011 world standings, barrel racer Sue Smith is also a farrier, a trainer, teaches clinics and has her own custom leather business making breast collars, bridles, purse straps and more. ...
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