Cindy Cinch-Halderman

Where are you from? I grew up and went to school in Buffalo, Tx. Lived in Mexia, Texas for 11 years then moved to the Ledbetter, Texas and I now have a home in Shiner, Texas.

When did you start barrel racing? I have had horses always, as a little girl I would ride them around the barrels in my Dad’s pasture but he would never take me anywhere, he always said “Those horses are just going to get you hurt.” So when I reached the age to drive myself then I told him he needed to teach me how to pull his trailer or it could be dangerous, so he did and I was on my way.

Are you involved in any other equine events? Yes, I love to rope, I have a head horse and team rope when I can.

Who or What got you started barrel racing? I really got started at a competitive level in my early 20’s, I was married to a horse trainer/ roper and I helped break and start colts and exercised race horses, a lot of horses came thru our barn and some of the rejects that didn’t make it on the track he gave to me and I started them on the barrel pattern, I fell in love with one of them and started hauling a lot to jackpots and open rodeos, my time and effort paid off and my colts were noticed , I learned that I had a knack for starting colts on barrels and selling them.

What was the name of your favorite horse and tell us a little about it. I have had lots of favorites, I had one that was the devil to put a barrel pattern on but one day after about a year of hauling and hitting, jumping and whatever else you can do besides turn a barrel right he saw the light, I had won the battle, he made an awesome barrel horse and he was pretty special considering everything we went thru together. But I have one now that stands out a little more than any. I call him Cat, I bought him a year and half ago as a 8 year old, he came from California and had spent a lot of his time in the working cow horse classes there, I started working with him and within a couple months he was placing in the 2Ds and shortly after progressed to the 1D, he loves it as much as I do, so I decided to start rodoeing on him and after the first couple I went to I almost second guessed myself thinking we were not ready because he didn’t do so good but then we started winning and now he is just awesome, I don’t know what I did to deserve such a special animal but I thank God each and every day that he gave me the privilege to be the other half of the team of such an athlete.

What are some of the events that you have won (or races that stand out in your mind)? Every win thru the years sticks with me from the playday days to the jackpots, open rodeos, the novice horse wins to the 4D’s , I can remember each and every one and am very proud of every horse that brought them to me, but I guess 2002 has to stand out in my mind the most, Cat took to barrels so fast and we had such a good year. We won several CPRA shows in 2002 including Brownwood the biggest CPRA rodeo last year and picked up Shiner Bock (the little brewery in Shiner, Texas) as my sponsor. He placed me in several others giving me the opportunity to compete at the Cowboy’s Professional Rodeo Association finals winning the first go there and claiming the Reserve for the year. In 2003 we have started the CPRA rodeos again and as of July he has won Conroe, Cleveland, Galveston County, Centerville, San Augustine, Hemphill, Yoakum, Burnett, Needville and placed in several others and we have also went to a few WPRA shows and have placed, so 2003 may even be better.

Over the years have you noticed any changes in barrel racing what are the good or bad you’ve seen? Yes the D format has changed a lot of things but I believe it is for the better, it gives each and every level of rider a chance to compete at the same places and a chance to win the money. I see a lot more men barrel racing now, which back when I started a man would have gotten laughed out of town if he had been seen competing in public on a barrel horse. But its ok, just gives us women a little more drive to beat em.

What is do you think of an equal pay out 4d? Myself I feel that a percentage payout is more fair. Say we have a horse just starting and wins the 4D and is paid the same as the horse that someone has been hauling and working with and devoting so much effort to and has finally won the 1D and out runs all these other horses but the payout is the same as the one that just started that run 2 seconds slower, that doesn’t seem fair to me, it takes a lot to make a 1D horse and I feel they should be awarded accordingly. Then you have the horses that will never be a 1D horse and yes we have all had those and yes its nice to win the same money as that 1D horse but you still were outran and I just think its more fair for the slower times to collect a little less money.

Do you think of yourself as a professional barrel racer? Yes, since I have to turn in my earnings to the IRS.

Who is your favorite barrel racer or barrel racers? I can’t say I have a favorite. I do look up to Charmayne James and Scamper, anyone that can go to the NFR as many times and win as many as that team , I feel deserves great recognition

Do you have any advice for anyone just starting out in barrel racing? If this is your dream, chase it. We all had to start somewhere. If God brings you to it he will bring you through it. It can be discouraging at times but when it’s your day to shine its such a great feeling. It doesn’t matter if you get to go the NFR or a little jackpot or just a playday, if barrel racing brings you happiness that’s all that matters.

Do you think barrel racing should be limited to women only? Its ok for the men to run the futurities and the jackpots but I don’t think men should ever be allowed to compete in rodeos, I my self don’t know a man that would want to.