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 Brenda Mays, 2012 WNFR Qualifier

Barrel racer Brenda Mays stepped right into her mother’s shoes in her rodeo career. Her mother, Lynn Mays, won the GRA Rookie of the Year title and qualified for the NFR in 1975, finishing 12th overall and is now a horse trainer. So is Brenda. Her father, Frank also completed in the PRCA as did her grandfather, Rich Vrendenburg. Brenda began competing in 1976 and as an amateur she became the NIRA National Breakaway Champion in 1992. She turned pro in 1995, when she joined the WPRA (Women’s Professional Rodeo Association)....
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